Lynn, Giolito set for ALDS Games 1 and 2

October 7th, 2021

HOUSTON -- The White Sox officially announced as their Game 1 starter for Thursday’s American League Division Series opener in Houston, with getting the ball for Game 2 at Minute Maid Park.

Manager Tony La Russa said Game 3 was to be determined, with Dylan Cease and Carlos Rodón being candidates. Rodón’s shoulder soreness and fatigue, issues that affected him down the stretch, could still play a factor in the final decision.

Lynn was as entertaining as always during his interview session at Wednesday’s workout day. The right-hander was asked when he found out about starting Game 1, after being told the media received the word earlier in the day.

"Last week," said Lynn with a wry smile, drawing laughter from the assembled reporters through his candor.

Manager Tony La Russa mentioned that Chicago's Game 1 starter could work on short rest for Game 4 next Monday in Chicago, if necessary, without mentioning Lynn by name. When Lynn was asked if he would be ready to come back on three days’ rest, he smiled once again and said, "Yeah."

In his first season with the White Sox, Lynn put up AL Cy Young Award-caliber numbers. He finished with an 11-6 record and 2.69 ERA over 28 starts, with 176 strikeouts over 157 innings.

His lone start against the Astros, in Houston on June 19, was rough, as he allowed six runs on eight hits over four innings during a four-game sweep. Over nine career starts at Minute Maid, Lynn has a 3-6 record with a 4.92 ERA.

But Lynn’s mound presence was one of the major intangibles missing from a 2020 White Sox team qualifying for the playoffs but then losing in three games to Oakland in the AL Wild Card Series. Now, the self-proclaimed "big bastard" will get a chance to set the tone immediately for the South Siders against Houston's tough offensive attack.

"Yas [catcher Yasmani Grandal] and I have already been talking about things that we can do," Lynn said. "You do all the research, and you just know that you go out there and compete and make pitches, make quality pitches, and you can't give them anything because if you give them anything, they have a tendency to run with it and make big innings."

"The better you pitch and defend, the less you have to score," La Russa said. "That's a real challenge because they have an outstanding lineup. But we don't really concede that, because we think we have an outstanding lineup."