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Home » Around BaseballJanuary 2005 » So Goes Lowe

So Goes Lowe

Dlowe_1Brilliant. Awful. Clutch. Choke. Choose any two diametrically opposed concepts, and I can guarantee you that both have been applied to Derek Lowe at some point in his career with the Boston Red Sox. As erratic and unpredictable as Lowe could be on the mound, when he was on, and threw his seemingly predictable sinker, batters grounded out consistently.

He came to the team from the Seattle Mariners along with Jason Varitek on July 31, 1997 in exchange for Heathcliff Slocumb. From his debut in 1997 and through 1999, he alternated between starting and relieving. And so his capricious tenure began.

In 2000, he was converted to full-time closer and had 42 saves in 47 opportunities, tying for the lead in the American League with Todd Jones, then with the Detroit Tigers. He still holds the second highest single season save total behind Tom Gordon’s 46 in 1998. He was selected to his first All-Star Game, the sixth different Sox reliever since 1980 to achieve this honor. By season’s end he proved to be one of the league’s best relievers, finishing behind only Jones for the Rolaids Relief Award.

The next season saw a tremendous reversal of fortunes. He was tied for first in the league for relief losses with 10. He went 4-10 with a 4.04 ERA. His 24 saves in 64 opportunities shows how dismal his season was. The only bright spot was his 8 game save streak, the best since Gordon.

In 2002, he was reinvented as a starting pitcher with outstanding results. He won 21 games with a 2.58 ERA, second in both categories, while he was third in BAA at 210. He placed third in Cy Young Award voting and was the AL’s starting pitcher in the ASG. Torii Hunter helped him out by robbing Barry Bonds of a home run ball he threw, although most will recall that this game resulted in a tie. During the regular season, he threw a no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Fenway Park, the first there in 37 years, after nearly no-hitting the Baltimore Orioles a week before.

He’ll be most remembered for this postseason heroics, in both 2003 and 2004. Despite the ups and downs of his career, he was most dependable when the stakes were highest.

He’s an athlete that’s a sports fan. He won’t be reading Dostoevsky in the bus like Mike Mussina. When you see him excited at a Celtics game, he really means it. (And knows enough to pretend to be a Cs fan when in Boston, despite being a Detroit Pistons devotee.) He plays a kid’s game with a child’s abandon, every scintilla of emotion shining through.

Pitching in Dodger Stadium with a stellar infield behind him and a pitcher in the nine hole will most likely be another boost to his career. Maybe he’ll mature further and gain that consistency that he lacks. I hope that he doesn’t lose the kid in him, though.


Nice writeup on DLowe. I have to agree on the whole Lowe thing that he always comes through when you need him the most.

I must say one of the best non-moves of 04 was not including DLowe in the trade. I'd say it worked out very well in the end.

One of my favorite DLowe moments was when he dressed up in Pedro's Dominican gear during Pedro's outing. That was fucking hilarious!

Even though I'm a Giants fan for NL teams, I'll cheer him on against any other NL team. Just not the Giants. I wish he'll have the Derek Lowe face against them every time. :)

Thanks, Piney. I think you are the one person that consistently reads my site that leaves comments.
Why the Giants for an NL team? Please tell me it's because Brian Sabean is from Concord, New Hampshire. I guess he's intentionally greying the team to make a run, see this link for an analysis of the Giants' makeup.
Hardball Times on Sabean
They have a nice park and all, but why not, say, the Braves?

Sabean is good people. But if you think it's because of Bonds, you're far mistaken. I can't stand that shithead. It's mainly because I'm a huge Jason Schmidt and Ray Durham fan. That and I have a friend whose a Giant fan and has turned me a bit into one.

Braves are okay...Dodgers are decent...don't really care for the Cubbies.

Yeah they're getting old(Giants) but it seems like Sabean wants to get all the old fogeys who haven't won yet or have fallen short and try to get like some old man winning thing going on. LOL At least that's what I say.

I can see it now: The 2005 SF Geriatric Giants. Sponsored by Metamucil, Levitra, and Fixodent.

Not Metamucil, that's Tito's market :)Though you could always go for like a brand of prunes to help you out there :)Or Depends...though Alou prefers something different. ;)

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