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Derek Lowe in Boston
When Derek Lowe came to Boston from Seattle he had been a train wreck. He was 2-4 with a 6.96 ERA and had also allowed 11 home runs and 41 earned runs in 53 innings. Upon coming to Boston, they converted him into a strict reliever and the project panned out. Lowe, just 24 years old, had time and room to improve. After trying out the starting role the following season, the Red Sox and Lowe realized that he’d be best suited for the closing role.
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For three seasons, Lowe manned the 9th inning and recorded 81 saves between 1999 and 2001. In 2000, Lowe recorded 42 of 47 save chances and went on to his first of two All-Star appearances.
Lowe wasn’t recognized for his fastball but his sinker. It was because of this pitch and his ability to get ground ball outs that made him last into his 40’s. His status as closer came into question later on in the season as he became very inconsistent. With the Red Sox well out of playoff contention, manager Jimy Williams gave him a chance to start games in September of 2001.
In his three starts, Lowe allowed just two earned runs in 16 innings pitched. He also stuck out 15 batters. He recorded a 1-0 record in those three starts which opened the door for his becoming a starter the following season. Before the 2002 season began, Lowe made the transition from full time closer to starter becoming a leader in the clubhouse and on the field.
Lowe’s best year and No-Hitter
In 2002, Lowe posted a 21-7 record with a 2.58 ERA and struck out 127 batters in 219 2/3rd’s innings pitched. He only broke 219 innings once more in his career. Lowe again for the 2nd time in four seasons was an All-Star. His most memorable performance was his no-hitter against the Rays, the only shutout as a Sox. It was the first no hitter by a Red Sox in 37 years at Fenway Park. The last one was thrown by Dave Morehead in 1965. Who caught that no-no? Jason Varitek.
After a shaky end to his 2004 season, Lowe was carried into the post season as a reliever. Going into the ALCS, he regained his starting role where he dominated the competition. His most memorable game was his Game 7 performance against the Yankees where he pitched 6 innings, allowing one run on one hit, walking one and struck out three. Lowe helped in winning the clinching game defeating the Yankees 4-3 in the ALCS.
In Game 4 of the World Series, Lowe pitched 7 innings, allowing just three hits where he walked one and struck out four picking up the 4th win for the Sox. Lowe was one of the key cogs in helping the Red Sox both reach and win their first World Series title since 1918.
After spending seven plus years in Boston, Lowe was one of the many helping to break the curse that stood in Boston for 86 years. While he Boston he amassed great numbers.
Derek Lowe’s numbers in Boston
Innings Pitched: 1,037.0
Strike Outs: 673