Lucas Giolito flirts with perfect game – MLB.com

Dallas Keuchel got a different, calmer vibe from Lucas Giolito prior to Giolito’s masterpiece in the White Sox 4-1 win over the A’s in Game 1 of their American League Wild Card Series on Tuesday afternoon at Oakland.
A different vibe, that is, compared to Giolito’s first career Opening Day

Dallas Keuchel got a different, calmer vibe from Lucas Giolito prior to Giolito’s masterpiece in the White Sox 4-1 win over the A’s in Game 1 of their American League Wild Card Series on Tuesday afternoon at Oakland.

A different vibe, that is, compared to Giolito’s first career Opening Day start on July 24 against the Twins.

Box score

On Opening Day, Giolito’s first pitch was hit for a home run by Max Kepler. On Tuesday, a noticeably more calm and infinitely confident Giolito retired the first 18 Oakland hitters faced before Tommy La Stella singled to center to open the seventh in the right-handed hurler’s postseason debut.

“It was pretty cool. It was neat to see,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He threw the ball very, very well and took us deep into the ballgame. He looked very much in control.”

Giolito became the fifth pitcher in MLB history to be perfect through 6 innings in a playoff game, joining (per STATS):

Don Larsen (1956): Perfect game
Herb Pennock (1927): 7.1 IP
Jim Lonborg (1967): 6.1 IP
Mike Mussina (2004): 6.1 IP

Postseason no-hitters and close calls

Giolito needed just 28 pitches to get through two perfect innings and threw 60 pitches to set down the first 15, with just five whiffs during that time, per Statcast. The right-hander simply overmatched the A’s, even after La Stella’s leadoff single in the seventh. Robbie Grossman and Marcus Semien both worked the counts full after that, and Giolito struck both of them out among his eight in total over seven-plus innings and 100 pitches.

Wild Card Series presented by Hankook Tire, Game 2: Wed., 3 ET/2 CT on ESPN

Renteria went to the bullpen in the eighth after Giolito walked Mark Canha on four pitches and gave up Jake Lamb’s single to right.

Adam Engel, José Abreu and Yasmani Grandal all went deep, with Engel becoming the first player in White Sox history to homer in his first postseason at-bat.

Abreu slugs 2-run HR in first playoff action

The victory left the White Sox one win away from moving on to the Division Series, with Keuchel getting the start Wednesday afternoon.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.