Gi­olito, Mc­Cann have formed spe­cial bond

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN, STAFF REPORTER dvan­schouwen@sun­times.com @CST_­sox­van

Some­thing must have been slightly amiss be­tween righthande­r Lu­cas Gi­olito and James Mc­Cann on Tues­day night.

Gi­olito ac­tu­ally shook off a pitch called by his catcher.

“He shook early in the game, and it kind of caught me off guard,” Mc­Cann said. “I can lit­er­ally think of maybe three times in our en­tire his­tory to­gether where he’s shaken off. It’s just kind of one of those things, that trust that we’ve had, I don’t know if I’ve ever had that with an­other pitcher in my ca­reer.”

One thing Mc­Cann does know: He had never caught a no-hit­ter un­til Gi­olito pitched a 101-pitch mas­ter­piece with 13 strike­outs and one walk against the Pi­rates.

As usual, Gi­olito let Mc­Cann’s fin­gers do the pitch call­ing. For 100 of the 101 pitches, any­way.

“It felt like a typ­i­cal out­ing,” Gi­olito said. “I’m let­ting him do all the think­ing, let­ting him read the hit­ters. I’m pay­ing at­ten­tion, I’m see­ing what they’re do­ing. It was one of those nights where we were re­ally in sync. Like I had the grip ready to go, and he was putting the signs down. Ob­vi­ously, the re­la­tion­ship we have on and off the field is stu­pen­dous. He was such a huge part of what hap­pened tonight.”

What hap­pened was the 19th no-hit­ter in Sox his­tory, the only no-hit­ter with 10-plus strike­outs and fewer than 105 pitches be­sides one of Sandy Ko­ufax’s and the most swings and misses (30) in a no-hit­ter since Nolan Ryan (31) in 1990. Gi­olito gives Mc­Cann a big as­sist.

“I didn’t say any­thing to him through­out the game other than ‘stay ag­gres­sive and at­tack, at­tack, at­tack,’ ’’ Mc­Cann said.

Gi­olito, who didn’t shake off Mc­Cann when he threw seven in­nings of score­less ball with 13 strike­outs in his pre­vi­ous start Thurs­day against the Tigers, be­came the first pitcher in Sox his­tory with 13-plus strike­outs and no runs al­lowed in back-to-back starts.

Mc­Cann formed a bond dur­ing his first sea­son with the Sox in 2019. Gi­olito, com­ing off a hor­ri­ble year in 2018 when he had the worst ERA in the ma­jors, changed his mo­tion and also jelled with Mc­Cann, who also had a turn­around sea­son, mak­ing the All-Star team af­ter the Tigers non-ten­dered him. Deal­ing with ad­ver­sity is one of the things that pulled them to­gether.

“Peo­ple wrote him off, peo­ple wrote me off,” Mc­Cann said. ‘‘And then all of a sud­den, we’re both All-Stars to­gether in 2019.’’

The bond might not last much longer be­cause Mc­Cann will be a free agent af­ter the sea­son and will want to be a starter, as the Sox are com­mit­ted to Yas­mani Gran­dal as their No. 1 catcher.

In any event, Mc­Cann will al­ways have Gi­olito’s no-hit­ter, and some nice keep­sakes, too. He is keep­ing his catcher’s gear and spikes and won’t wear them again, and the Sox were go­ing to dig up home plate for Mc­Cann and the rub­ber on the mound for Gi­olito to have.

“That will be a pretty spe­cial thing for me to

keep,” Mc­Cann said.

NOTE: Af­ter the off day Thurs­day, Rey­naldo Lopez and Dy­lan Cease will start against the Roy­als with Sun­day’s starter to be an­nounced. Man­ager Rick Ren­te­ria said Gi­olito will open the se­ries at the Twins on Mon­day on five days rest. Dal­las Keuchel would also get five days rest start­ing Tues­day.

AP

Lu­cas Gi­olito hugs catcher James Mc­Cann af­ter pitch­ing the 19th no-hit­ter in Sox his­tory Tues­day against the Pi­rates.

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