May 16, 2021

Blistering Bats, Bullpen Have Boston Back in the Hunt (FanGraphs)

Lucas Giolito is a terrifying pitcher. His fastball looks like it was fired out of a gun, and it isn’t even his best pitch; his changeup is one of the best in the sport, and his slider induced whiffs on over half the swings hitters took against it last year. He had a 2.55 ERA in his first three starts of this season, and that undersold how good he’d been: He was boasting the majors’ ninth-best FIP, sixth-best xFIP, and eighth-highest strikeout percentage. He’s as likely to throw a no-hitter on any given day as any other pitcher in baseball. And on Monday, the Red Sox mindlessly swatted him away like a fly buzzing around their ear.

Giolito retired just three of the 13 hitters he faced that morning in Boston, allowing eight runs on eight hits, two walks and two homers. He induced a whiff on just five of 31 swings, did not strike out anyone, and was knocked out in the second inning of a game the Red Sox went on to win, 11–4.

If you’re looking at this game in a vacuum, Giolito just had a very bad day. His fastball was poker-straight, and he couldn’t persuade his changeup to dip below the hitters’ thighs. The result was a complete inability to put guys away:…

Read “Blistering Bats, Bullpen Have Boston Back in the Hunt” at FanGraphs