Virtual baseball: Lucas Giolito is a proven ace in real life, but how does he fare in the video game world? (twitch.tv/generalgio)
Lucas Giolito, in his 1983 Sunday White Sox jersey, made his debut last night for the MLB: The Show Players Tournament, where one player from each team represents his respective ball club in an online baseball tournament. (Feel free to read Janice Scurio’s introduction to the event on SSHP to further familiarize yourself with the friendly, yet competitive competition!)
I took it upon myself to live-tweet the event, and I had a blast doing so! In case you missed it or just want to re-live last night’s opening events, I present to you … the game recap!
Game 1: Atlanta Braves at Chicago White Sox
To kick off the night, Giolito squared off against Luke Jackson of the Atlanta Braves. Rightfully so, Lucas Giolito opted to pitch the virtual game as himself. Giolito pitched into an early, bases-loaded jam to begin the tournament. However, like the ace Giolito is, he threw a fly out in-between two strikeouts to escape the jam unscathed. Unfortunately, Lucas could not capitalize on a major momentum shift, so the game remained scoreless after one full inning.
Both players settled in for the second inning, and failed to score.
However, to lead off the third and final inning, Luke Jackson went deep off of virtual Aaron Bummer for a solo shot to open the scoring, 1-0. Ace on the mound and an ace in the game, Giolito kept the damage to one. Looking for one to tie, two to win, Giolito went down 1-2-3.
Jackson squeezed by with a 1-0 victory, as Giolito dropped his first game of the tournament, resulting in an overall 0-1 record.
Game 2: Chicago White Sox at Miami Marlins
Shaking off a close game, Giolito stormed into his second match against Miami Marlin’s Ryne Stanek. Giolito opened the scoring with a deep two-run shot off of the bat of virtual Eloy Jiménez, 2-0 Good Guys!
For the bottom of the frame, Giolito started newly-acquired White Sox pitcher Dallas Keuchel. Stanek was able to snag a run, but that was all the Giolito/virtual Keuchel pairing surrendered in the inning.
Extra bases galore took over in the top half of the second inning. Lucas started with a leadoff double, which was immediately followed by an RBI triple! Then the triple came home on a single. Lucas scored two additional runs later in the inning; up 6-1, Lucas entered the bottom of the frame, where he pitched a scoreless inning!
Top of the third, Lucas snagged an extra run as he entered the bottom half up, 7-1. Keeping with the game’s momentum, Giolito pitched another scoreless inning and paved his way to his first victory of the tournament!
Lucas improved the Sox’s record to 1-1 overall and was looking to start a winning streak!
Game 3: New York Mets at Chicago White Sox
After some technical difficulties on Jeff McNeil’s end, game three of four was underway. Giolito started virtual Reynaldo López, who gave up a triple and walk to begin the game, but once again, the ace on the mound and in the game escaped the jam without allowing a run to cross the plate. However, similar to game one, Giolito could not score in his half of the inning.
Knotted 0-0, the second inning saw McNeil and the Mets score four runs. On the bright side, Giolito grabbed two runs in his half of the second to keep the game close!
McNeil was able to tack on an insurance run in the top of the third, adding to a 5-2 lead. Giolito looked for three to tie, four to win, but he left the final frame with a goose egg.
Lucas and the virtual Chicago White Sox sat at 1-2 overall as they went into their fourth and final game of the night.
Game 4: Chicago White Sox at Toronto Blue Jays
Ready to move on from his second loss of the night and even up his overall record, Giolito put up a crooked number in the top half of the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays’ Bo Bichette.
Bichette was 3-0 to start the MLB: The Show Players Tournament, so going up 3-0 in the first was a crucial accomplishment for Giolito. Giolito also left Bichette scoreless in the first, as Giolito pitched as his virtual self once again.
Giolito managed a few baserunners in the second inning to continue the pressure, but the runners did not find their way home. As for Bichette’s half of the second, he rocked a solo-shot to centerfield, but the ace kept the damage at one.
Entering the final inning up 3-1, Giolito threatened to score but could not add anymore insurance runs. Looking for the save and victory No. 2 on the night, Giolito put in Alex Colomé to seal the deal. As consistent as Colomé was for the 2019 season, virtual Alex is no different!
Lucas Giolito and the virtual Chicago White Sox put an end to Bichette’s three-game winning streak and evened their overall record at 2-2.
Interestingly, Lucas is 2-0 on the road, and he is 0-2 at home to the start of the Players Tournament!
Lucas Giolito currently resides in second place in the AL Central. Niko Goodrum and the virtual Detroit Tigers lead the division with a 3-1 record, with Kansas City and Cleveland yet to play. One game out of first and a few competitive games under his belt, look for Lucas to challenge Goodrum for the top spot in the division.
Overall, Lucas had a solid start to the tournament. His next scheduled set of games will occur this Wednesday, April 15 at 8:00PM CST; once again, I will live-tweet his performance in a Twitter thread. MLB is also keeping track of the records and schedules on their website. Lucas will play another four games: Pittsburgh, the North Side, Kansas City, and Colorado.
If you wish to watch Lucas live, make sure to give him a follow on his Twitch account, where he streams all of his practices and competitive games. All streams are available to re-watch at any given time! His commentary is fantastic, he constantly answers fans’ questions (he even demonstrated each of his pitching grips last night), and he radiates pure wholesomeness. Come for the MLB: The Show Players Tournament, but stay for Giolito’s wonderful character and personality.