Atlanta Braves: Has Derek Lowe Finally Turned The Corner
To say that Atlanta Braves fans have been disappointed in him over his first two years would be somewhat of an understatement.
As far as I can remember, the only time we had been completely satisfied with his performance was after his first start with the Braves, when he shut out the Philadelphia Phillies for eight innings on Opening Night last season.
Maybe (just maybe) it’s time to feel happy again (or at least not disappointed) with Lowe. Since the beginning of August, Lowe has posted a 3.23 ERA despite going just 3-3 over that span. Lowe did skip one start in the rotation, and has come back dominant as ever in September.
In his first start of the month, Lowe kept the Braves from getting swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates with six innings of one-run ball. In his last start, which was arguably his best as a Brave (you could make a start for his first, as the Phillies are a much better team than the Nationals), Lowe fanned 12 batters in eight shutout innings to give the Braves the win in the series opener.
Perhaps Lowe has finally turned a corner in which he can be the pitcher the Braves first expected when they gave him a huge contract following the 2008 campaign. In his career, Lowe’s best month has been September (3.30 ERA) and if he continues this trend, he could end up being more valuable to the Braves down the stretch than Tim Hudson.
The Braves initially gave Lowe a big contract as a direct result of his post season success, which we may finally see this year. Lowe and Hudson are the only two Braves starters with playoff experience, and Lowe has been the better of the two in the playoffs (granted, it is a small sample size for both pitchers).
If Lowe continues to pitch well, he will increase the Braves chances of making the playoffs and might finally get to show us his good post season work. With good work in the playoffs, Lowe might finally start earning the contract that so many Braves fans have regretted for the better part of two years.
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