CHICAGO – The Sox are hosting a high school reunion Tuesday night.
Lucas Giolito starts for the South Siders, while Jack Flaherty goes for the Cardinals as the two former Harvard-Westlake Wolverines collide for the first time.
“I just think it’s an exciting and fun moment for us,” noted Giolito. “One thing going my way is we’re playing at our park, so I don’t have to step in the box against him. He doesn’t have to step in the box against me. He has a lot more experience swinging the bat than I do. He just hit his first homer, I don’t know, a couple weeks or so ago.”
There’s another West Coast connection for the two California kids – Ethan Katz. The White Sox pitching coach held the same position at Harvard-Westlake, when Giolito and Flaherty were on the Wolverines staff.
“I don’t know if this will ever happen again, where a high school coach is in a dugout coaching two guys he had at the age of 14,” remarked Katz. “We’re all still very close. It will be a special night.”
Flaherty is killing it this season in St. Luis, going 8-0 for the Cards, so far. He’s worked his way up to All-Star status, but he got some extra help from Giolito back in high school.
“When I was a freshman he was a junior. He was one of the first guys to introduce himself to me. He doesn’t remember that. I do,” explained Flaherty. “I kind of went with him everywhere. He was one of the guys that gave me rides, wherever I needed it – whether it was to practices or when we played games on the weekends.”
Both the Sox and Cardinals enter Wednesday night in sole possession of first place in their respective divisions, so after they step on the field it will be all business.
“At the end of the day, once the game starts, we’re going to be focused on what we need to do. I’m not going to really be paying attention to his pitching, while I’m pitching. I’m just going to be hoping that we’re scoring a lot of runs.”