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In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the category “Derek Lowe”

Here’s something to chew on Tribe fans

There are obviously lots of ugly numbers when you look at the Cleveland Indians, who entered Monday night’s series-opener against Oakland in fourth place, 16.5 games out of first in the American League Central Division.

For example, the Tribe has won back-to-back games just twice in their past 44 outings, and they haven’t won three in a row since July 3-5.

Here’s another one for you, Tribe fans.

Derek Lowe, currently in the New York Yankees’ bullpen, made his last appearance in a Tribe uniform on July 31 against Kansas City.

Lowe won his eighth and last game as a member of the Indians on July 4, a 12-3 win by the Tribe against the Angels (part of that long-forgotten three-game winning streak).

Despite all that, Lowe currently has the third-most wins by an Indians pitcher this season, trailing Justin Masterson (10) and Ubaldo Jimenez (9).

It’s been that kind of season.

(Photo by Getty Images)

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Thanks for the memories, Derek

The Cleveland Indians finally realized what fans have known since June 1 – Derek Lowe is no longer a major league pitcher.

The team designated the 39-year-old Lowe for assignment following his latest poor outing, Tuesday night’s effort in Kansas City where Lowe gave up seven runs and eight hits in 2.1 innings of work. That continued a streak that has seen Lowe go 2-9 with an 8.28 ERA in his last 13 starts.

“It’s frustrating,” Lowe said after his start against the Royals. “You have a standard of what I’ve pitched like and this, this is not what you’re used to doing. But, it’s reality.”

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Tribe rotation hitting a Lowe point

Another day, another disappointing outing from a starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians.

Friday night it was Derek Lowe’s turn, as the veteran gave up nine earned runs, five walks and two home runs in just three innings of work in the Tribe’s 10-2 loss to Baltimore.

This is getting old.

Lowe’s outing is just the latest in a series of starts that make him look like the pitcher who went 4-10 with a 6.20 ERA after the All-Star break last season with Atlanta.

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A Big Shot of Sweet and Lowe

So who had Derek Lowe in the American League Cy Young sweepstakes?

The 38-year-old Lowe notched his first shutout in seven years as the first-place Cleveland Indians beat Minnesota on Tuesday, 5-0.

In the process, Lowe became the first pitcher since 2002 to throw a shutout without striking anyone out. After only winning nine games last year with the Braves, Lowe is now 6-1 on the season with an ERA of 2.05.

“It’s been a really gratifying start,” Lowe said after the game. “Coming into the season, there were so many questions about ‘Are you done? Are you going to retire? Blah, blah.’ So I worked my tail off, not just to prove people wrong, but to get myself back to where I knew I should be.

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Tribe takes a sip of sweet & Lowe

The Cleveland Indians were movers on the first day of baseball’s off-season, declining the option on outfielder Grady Sizemore, picking up the option on pitcher Fausto Carmona and trading for starting pitcher Derek Lowe.

Wait, what?

The Indians traded for the 38-year-old Lowe, who was 9-17 with a 5.17 ERA for the Atlanta Braves last year. The Braves were so frantic to get rid of Lowe that they will pay $10 million of his $15 million salary for next year.

And those 17 losses? They were the most by a starting pitcher in the big leagues this season.

Oh boy.

We just can’t join the crowd in trying to talk ourselves into Lowe as a viable starting pitcher any more. If he couldn’t do any better in the weaker NL, what is he going to do taking the mound against the Tigers, Yankees, Rangers and Red Sox?

We understand the reality of the economic situation for the Indians, however. They don’t have the money needed to be active participants in free agency so this is the only kind of move they can make. And that is probably what gets on our tits more than the thought of Lowe taking the mound every five days for the Tribe.

We just finished a post-season where the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals were praised for taking on the “big-money teams” in baseball. Of course, the Cardinals had an Opening Day payroll of $105 million and the Rangers were at $92 million; both far more than the Indians $48 million.

And let’s not forget the Rangers have an $80 million per year TV contract in place to start in 2015; the Tribe ain’t getting that kind of money.

Consider that the Yankees will pay C.C. Sabathia $24 million next year – about the same, or slightly more, than the Indians will pay for their entire starting rotation.

So, wahoo to a starting rotation of Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Carmona, Josh Tomlin and Lowe.

As for Sizemore, there was no way the Indians could bring him back at $9 million a year, no matter how much money they had. Not after he played in only 210 games over the past three seasons.

Of course, if the Indians pony up the cash then Sizemore will be back in Cleveland next year.

“Grady is not going to rule out playing for anyone, including the Indians,” said Joe Urbon, Sizemore’s agent. “The only difference is now he is able to engage with all 30 teams.”

In other words, Sizemore will sign with the team that gives him the most money. And there is already speculation that Sizemore will be the “right fit” for the Red Sox.

Something tells us we’ve seen the last of Sizemore in Wahoo Red, White & Blue.

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