Derek Lowe: Wikis


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Derek Lowe

Atlanta Braves — No. 32
Starting pitcher
Born: June 1, 1973 (1973-06-01) (age 36)
Dearborn, Michigan
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
April 26, 1997 for the Seattle Mariners
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Win-Loss     141-117
Earned run average     3.84
Strikeouts     1,386
Saves     85
Career highlights and awards

Derek Christopher Lowe[1] (born June 1, 1973, in Dearborn, Michigan)[2] is a Major League Baseball starting pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. He throws and bats right-handed. He is 6'6" and 230 pounds.


Early years

Lowe attended Edsel Ford High School (Dearborn, Michigan) and was a four-sport letterman in baseball, golf, soccer, and basketball. He was an All-League honoree in all four sports, and was a first-team all-state pick in basketball.

Baseball career

Minor leagues

Lowe was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in round 8 of the 1991 Major League Baseball Draft. He signed with the Mariners on June 7, 1991. The Mariners immediately assigned him to their rookie league team, where he went 5-3 with a 2.41 ERA in 12 starts.

He spent the next several years working his way through several minor league teams: 1992 - Single-A Bellingham (7-3, 2.42 - 13 starts), 1993 - Single-A Riverside (12-9, 5.26, 26 starts), 1994 - Double-A Jacksonville (7-10, 4.94, 26 starts), 1995 - Double-A Port City (1-6, 6.08, 10 starts), 1996 - Triple-A Tacoma (6-9, 4.54, 16 starts).

Seattle Mariners

Lowe made his major league debut on April 26, 1997, working 3 2/3 innings in relief against the Toronto Blue Jays. He made his first major league start on May 27, 1997, against the Minnesota Twins, giving up four runs in 5 innings. His first career win came on June 6 against the Detroit Tigers, pitching 5 1/3 innings and giving up 3 runs in the Mariners 6-3 victory.

Seattle, however, was desperate for immediate bullpen help and packaged Lowe and catcher Jason Varitek into a deal with the Boston Red Sox for Heathcliff Slocumb. The Mariners' willingness to trade Lowe may have stemmed from his involvement in an incident earlier that year in Federal Way, Washington. Lowe was charged with fourth-degree domestic violence by King County police after his girlfriend claimed that he struck her. Lowe was released on $1,000 bond the next day, and he allegedly violated a no-contact order by returning to her home shortly after his release.[3] However, given the subsequent careers of the three players involved in the trade it is now viewed as one of the most lopsided in recent MLB history.

Boston Red Sox

Lowe compiled a 5-15 record over his first two seasons, during which he split time starting and relieving, but came into his own in 1999 after being transferred into the closer's role, finishing the season with 15 saves and a 2.63 ERA.

Lowe had his best season as a closer in 2000 when he led the American League with 42 saves. He was regarded as an unconventional closer, however, as he didn't overwhelm hitters. As a result, despite 24 saves early in the 2001 season, Lowe lost the closer's job soon after the trading deadline, July 31, when he lost the job to the newly acquired star closer Ugueth Urbina. Lowe was left in limbo, forced to take various setup jobs in the bullpen.

In 2002, Lowe moved back into the starting rotation, a move which paid off immediately. He posted a 21-8 record, a 2.58 ERA, and finished 3rd in Cy Young Award voting behind Barry Zito and teammate Pedro Martínez. Lowe also no-hit the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Fenway Park on April 27 that year, becoming the first pitcher to do so at Fenway Park since Dave Morehead in 1965.

Lowe struggled through much of the 2003 season, but boosted by the strength of Boston's thunderous offense, posted a 17-7 record despite a 4.47 ERA. He recorded an improbable save in deciding Game 5 of the American League Division Series, helped by two clutch strikeouts.

In 2004, he finished 14–12 with a 5.42 ERA in 33 starts, spending part of the season demoted to the Red Sox bullpen. During the postseason he rebounded with a 3–0 record and 1.86 ERA in four games, three of them starts. He was the winner in the final game of all three postseason series — American League Division Series against the Anaheim Angels, American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees, and World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals (where he threw shutout ball for 7 innings in game 4, to defeat Jason Marquis) — as the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years, extinguishing the Curse of the Bambino. Lowe was the first pitcher in baseball history to accomplish this feat. With the curse extinguished, he said that the team would no longer hear "1918" at Yankee Stadium.[4][5]

Los Angeles Dodgers

Lowe pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006.

On January 11, 2005, he finalized a $36 million, four-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. [6] Despite his signing with a new team, Lowe wore a Boston Red Sox uniform, with his career-long number of 32, during the Red Sox World Series ring ceremony on April 11, 2005, after already making a start for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

On August 31, 2005, Lowe nearly pitched the second no-hitter of his career. After giving up a leadoff single to the Cubs' Jerry Hairston, Jr., Lowe did not allow another Chicago hit, picking up a one-hit, two-walk, 7–0 complete game victory while facing only 29 batters.

For the 2008 season, after being the opening day starter for the Dodgers for the last three years, he was moved to the second starting position, with the honor of the first position going to Brad Penny. Lowe was chosen by manager Joe Torre to start game one of the National League Championship series against the Philadelphia Phillies on October 9, 2008. Lowe opened the game with five scoreless innings.

Both times that the Dodgers acquired Greg Maddux midseason, Lowe performed visibly better afterwards. He indicated that Maddux helps him considerably, and Maddux was often seen sitting next to him in the dugout.[7]

Atlanta Braves

On January 13, 2009, it was reported that Lowe had agreed to a four-year, $60 million dollar deal with the Atlanta Braves that was confirmed two days later.

On March 29, 2009, Bobby Cox announced that Lowe would start both Opening Night and the Braves home opener for the 2009 season. Lowe beat the Phillies 4-1 on Opening Night, going 8 innings and giving up just 2 hits and 0 runs.[8][9] On June 20, 2009, for the first time since leaving the Red Sox, Lowe pitched at Fenway Park against his former team. Despite losing the game giving up three runs, he received a standing ovation coming into and exiting the game due to his crucial part in the 2004 curse breaking World Series team.

In 2009, Lowe was one of only three active players, along with Brad Ausmus and Livan Hernandez, to have played 12 or more seasons without going on the disabled list.[3]

Personal life

On August 3, 2005, FSN West in Los Angeles announced that Carolyn Hughes, anchor of the network's Dodger Dugout show covering the Dodgers, had been suspended pending an investigation into a potential relationship between her and Lowe. Shortly thereafter, Lowe filed for divorce from his wife of seven years, Trinka Lowe, with whom he fathered two children. Hughes's husband had also filed for divorce. In the aftermath, Hughes ended her broadcasting career, while she and Lowe continued their relationship. The two were married on December 13, 2008 at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan.



See also

External links

Preceded by
Mariano Rivera
American League Saves Champion
(with Todd Jones)
Succeeded by
Mariano Rivera
Preceded by
Roger Clemens
American League All-Star Game Starting Pitcher
Succeeded by
Esteban Loaiza
Preceded by
Dontrelle Willis
National League Wins Champion
(with Harang, Penny, Smoltz, Webb & Zambrano)
Succeeded by
Jake Peavy
Preceded by
Hideo Nomo
Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day
Starting pitcher

Succeeded by
Brad Penny

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