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White Sox talking World Series, and why not?

“If we don’t win the World Series then we’ve never really done what we came to do,” Lucas Giolito said Tuesday.

 “I thought that making the postseason was a good step in the right direction. But now that we’re here, why not go out and win the whole thing,” White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito said.
“I thought that making the postseason was a good step in the right direction. But now that we’re here, why not go out and win the whole thing,” White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito said.
Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

Are the White Sox thinking big?

Of course they are. As right-hander Lucas Giolito said Tuesday, what’s the point of thinking small?

“If we don’t win the World Series, then we’ve never really done what we came to do,” Giolito said. “I thought that making the postseason was a good step in the right direction. But now that we’re here, why not go out and win the whole thing?”

That’s the mindset manager Rick Renteria wants, which shouldn’t come as shock, although if you’re among those who’ve followed the Sox since their last World Series in 2005, it’s still a bit jarring to the system hearing the Sox talk like this. After all, it has been 15 years since that World Series, and 12 since the Sox were even in the playoffs.

“Absolutely,” Renteria said. “You need to have a vision, you need to have a measurable goal, you need something to push you. We’re all on the same page with that.”

The Sox clinched a postseason berth last Thursday and might find themselves matched against the Indians in a best-of-three wild-card series next week. Right now, the teams are in the middle of an important four-game series with playoff seeding ramifications.

In the feature matchup of the current series on Wednesday, it’s Giolito vs. Shane Bieber, the American League Cy Young favorite and an MVP contender with an 8-1 record, 1.74 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 72 ⅓ innings. Giolito, who, like Bieber, was an All-Star last season, is 4-3, 3.53 with 86 strikeouts in 66⅓ innings. He has a 2.56 ERA in six career starts against the Indians and a 1.38 mark with 15 strikeouts against them in 13 innings this season.

The Sox are currently the No. 2 seed in the AL and the Indians the No. 7, meaning Giolito and Bieber could face each other again in Game 1 of a playoff series. That would be the first taste of the postseason for Giolito and a majority of Sox players. Playoff-tested veterans such as Yasmani Grandal and Dallas Keuchel have shared that there’s nothing like it.

“The excitement at an all-time high,” Giolito said. “For us, guys who haven’t been to the playoffs, it’s going to be a ton of fun. That’s what I’m focused on, just enjoying it. When it’s time to take the ball and pitch, I know the job I have, just give it my 110%, and that’s pretty much how us younger guys are all viewing it. Just enjoy the experience despite it being different and weird. It’s going to be, hopefully, the first of many.”

Grandal’s hand still swollen

Grandal, who left Monday night’s game against the Indians after taking a foul tip off his right hand while catching, still had swelling Tuesday and was available in an emergency, Renteria said. He’s day-to-day, although with Giolito pitching, he likely wouldn’t catch in favor of James McCann on Wednesday, even at 100 percent.

“He’s doing fine. He’s doing good,” Renteria said. “It’s just about getting that swelling out of there.”

This and that

Right-hander Evan Marshall, who’s expected to come off the injured list (shoulder inflammation) this weekend, “has been throwing and he’s doing well,” Renteria said.

The Sox were 17-10 on the road (.630) through Monday after losing three of the first four games on the road trip — the third-best road record in the majors behind the Dodgers (.733) and Rays (.655). It’s their best mark after 27 games since they were 18-9 in 2005.