Why White Sox' Lucas Giolito 'really' likes the pitch clock

Why Lucas Giolito 'really' likes the pitch clock originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

MESA, AZ – Beer vendors probably don’t like the new pitch clock in baseball, but Lucas Giolito sure does.

“I’m liking it a lot more than I thought I would,”  Giolito said after striking out six Cubs hitters in 3 innings in the White Sox 4-3 victory at Sloan Park. “When all the new rules were coming out, I was like, ‘Sometimes I work a little slower.’  I think the more and more I get this experience in spring training doing it, the more I’m liking it. The more I’m getting used to it.”

With the pitch clock in full effect, Friday’s game lasted just 2 hours and 15 minutes. White Sox spring training games are averaging 2:32 this year, a sharp difference compared to last spring when the average time for White Sox games was 3:10.

“I felt more in rhythm with (the pitch clock),” Giolito added. “I really, really liked the pace.  I’m really liking the pace of the games right now. I like how it gets me into a good rhythm.”

Knowing the clock is ticking when he’s on the mound, Giolito says it forces him to grip it and rip it when the ball is in his hand.

“Less time to think. Get the ball and go. Hear the sign, agree to it and you don’t have much time. So, fire that thing. Do it over again until you’re out of the inning. Yeah, I really like it,”  Giolito said.

The White Sox victory ended the Cubs' 8-game winning streak in Cactus League play. Yasmani Grandal continued his hot spring with two doubles to raise his spring batting average to .389. Third base prospect Bryan Ramos, who turns 21 on Sunday, hit a 2-run homer in the 5th inning. Seby Zavala added a solo shot in the 8th.

After gaining about 20 pounds of muscle last spring, Giolito is seeing the benefits of coming to camp much lighter this time around.

“I definitely feel looser. I feel freer. I feel like I can make adjustments quicker,” Giolito said. “Realizing there’s something that’s getting a little off and I can reign it back in, I’m able to make that good physical adjustment so I can get back in the strike zone.”

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