White Sox ace Lucas Giolito throws MLB's first no-hitter of 2020

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The first no-hitter of a pandemic-shortened season arrived on Tuesday, with Chicago White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito unleashing history against a hapless Pittsburgh Pirates team.

The 26-year-old did not allow a single hit over the course of nine innings, and also tied a career high with 13 strikeouts. His lone blemish: a fourth-inning walk to Pirates shortstop Erik Gonzalez.

The Pirates simply had no answer for his three-pitch mix, especially for a changeup that got 13 whiffs on 38 pitches.

By Statcast’s xBA, the Pirates’ best chance at breaking up the no-no actually came on their final at-bat of the game. A line drive from Gonzalez seemed to have a chance at a single, but Adam Engel was there for the play, then the celebration.

The no-hitter is the first of Giolito’s MLB career and the 19th in White Sox history. The team’s last one had been Philip Humber’s perfect game in 2012. Giolito has actually thrown a no-hitter before as a pro, but only of the seven-inning variety in a Triple-A game in 2017.

As far as all of MLB goes, Giolito’s no-hitter is the first since Justin Verlander blanked the Toronto Blue Jays on Sept. 1, 2019, one of four last season.

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Lucas Giolito tossed a perfect game on Tuesday against Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)

Giolito’s near-perfect night continues a strong follow-up to his breakout 2019 season, currently holding a 3.09 ERA with 58 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings pitched. It’s the brightest night of a winding career that has taken Giolito from Tommy John surgery to top prospect status, from the Washington Nationals organization to a rebuilding White Sox team and from MLB’s worst ERA in 2018 to All-Star honors in 2019.

The achievement also continues an emergent season for a young White Sox squad, led by the likes of Giolito, Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez. And the fun might only be starting with little more than a month until the playoffs begin.

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