Whether virtual or IRL, Giolito knows no-nos
Lucas Giolito knew a little something about throwing no-hitters before he tossed the 19th no-no in White Sox franchise history Tuesday night.
Giolito didn’t allow any hits in a complete-game shutout against the Syracuse Chiefs while pitching for Triple-A Charlotte in a seven-inning doubleheader matchup on May 25, 2017. But he also threw multiple no-nos already this year -- albeit virtually. Representing the White Sox, Giolito threw a pair of no-hitters (one with teammate Dallas Keuchel on the mound, and another with himself pitching) during this spring’s MLB The Show Players League video game tournament. Giolito went on to the tournament final before losing to Rays ace Blake Snell.
Giolito’s no-hitter with Keuchel was oh-so-close to a perfect game, but he pressed the wrong button and threw to second base instead of first after a dropped third strike, allowing a baserunner to reach. His second no-no came against Carl Edwards Jr.’s Mariners -- one of two thrown against Edwards on the same day -- with himself on the mound, and he even had White Sox play-by-play broadcaster Jason Benetti on the call, just as Benetti and color commentator Steve Stone were on the mic in real life in Chicago on Tuesday night.
Giolito raised his arms, flexed, pounded his chest and yelled, "That’s a perfect game!" back on that day in April when he got Edwards Jr. to hit a grounder to second for the final out ... before Benetti gently reminded him that he hit a batter.
"That's the no-hitter! That is a no-hitter!" Giolito said, correcting himself. "We've got two no-hitters! Two no-hitters! One with myself now! I can pitch with other people besides Dallas Keuchel!”
On Tuesday, Giolito yelled in triumph again knowing that his entire body (and not just his thumbs) had rendered a real-life Major League club hitless across 27 outs. He’s felt the no-no thrill in just about every way imaginable in 2020.