Brad Penny was supposed to be the ace. Chad Billingsley has become the ace. But no Dodger pitcher has done more with less than Derek Lowe this season:
- In 12 of his 29 starts, the Dodgers have scored two runs or less. Yet Lowe has managed to even his record at 11-11.
- Lowe has gone fewer than five innings only twice.
- Most importantly, Lowe has started against the Diamondbacks four times, facing Dan Haren once and Brandon Webb three times. The Dodgers won three of those four games, including yesterday's Torre-mandated must-win contest.
I had assumed after 2007, when Lowe set Dodger career-highs in ERA and WHIP, that this year would his last with the team. Lowe is exiting his prime (he turns 36 next season) and could be playing for his last big contract (if you believe in the walk-year effect), so the Dodgers signing him to another long-term deal seems unlikely.
If 2008 is indeed Lowe's last year as a Dodger, he's done a lot to earn the thanks of Dodger fans. Let's hope he can finish things off in style and help make September better than August.
The Dodgers may not give Lowe much run support, but other teams can be downright hostile:
top photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images
bottom photo by Paul Connors/AP