Yoan Moncada continued his hot start to the season, Jose Abreu and Yonder Alonso launch back-to-back homers, and Lucas Giolito turned in his sharpest start as a member of the White Sox in a 6-3 win this afternoon to avoid the season-opening sweep.
Lucas Giolito: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
Giolito had a no-hitter through 6.1 innings, showing incredible command after walking Whit Merrifield on four pitches to start the game. Giolito recorded 15 swinging strikes, including 4 swinging strikes on the 11 sliders he threw. He was as sharp as he’s been in his career with the Sox, sitting 94 mph on the gun consistently into the 7th inning. The key today was Giolito’s FB location and consistent use of his offspeed pitches: he threw approximately 20% CH and 15% CB, both of which are approximately 5 percentage points higher than those individual pitch usages were in 2018. Hopefully this was a sign of things to come for the big right-hander.
Yoan Moncada: 2-5, RBI, 0 BB, 2 K
Moncada continued his hot streak to start the season, adding 2 more hits to his total. His season average sits at .462 after the first series of the season. He has looked natural at 3B, which can only help. The more aggressive approach seems to be paying early dividends. Much like with Giolito, let’s hope this is a sign of things to come for Yoan.
Jose Abreu and Yonder Alonso
In what is hopefully a sign of what’s to come this season, Jose Abreu (2) and Yonder Alonso (1) went back-to-back in the fourth inning to give the Sox a lead they would never let up. March/April have statistically been the worst months for both Alonso and Abreu throughout their career, yet both have gotten off to fairly good starts in the first series of the season.
Alex Colome came on in the ninth for his first save as a member of the White Sox, and shut down the Royals with a quick 1-2-3 innings. Quick, easy, nothing special…. just the kind of ninth inning we like to see.
After watching the first three games of the season, the most glaring weakness for the White Sox is their defense. While no errors were officially recorded today, there were at least two plays – one by Moncada and one by Anderson – that could’ve easily been recorded as errors. This will be the most pressing area in which the White Sox will need to pay attention to out of the gates this season.
After taking the series finale, the White Sox will head to Cleveland to take on the Indians. The series starts tomorrow, April 1, at 3:10 CT. Probable starters are Ivan Nova and Mike Clevinger.
Featured Photo: Associated Press