Tuesday, August 24, 2004
I decided to tape Sunday’s game so between commercial breaks I watched D-Lowe in slow-mo trying to analyze his outing. Below is my amateur, fan’s take on D-Lowe’s seven innings on Sunday.
Top of the 1st
The key for D-Lowe is his left/lead shoulder. If it stays closed, Lowe throws more over the top. If not, he comes more across his body causing a late release that usually results in his sinker sliding away from RHB. D-Lowe has to pound the strikezone to be effective.
Bottom of the 1st
D-Lowe takes the mound with a three run lead. He should be relaxed. Lowe's mechanics appear to be solid. He also has good velocity. The sinker is around 90 mph with a four seamer in the high 80's, which can be an effective pitch for D-Lowe. It changes the hitter's eye level during an at-bat. The hitter just can't look low for the sinker.
After getting the first two hitters, Lee hit a good ball that Cabrera could have turned and then D-Lowe got squeezed on two pitches in Konerko's at-bat leading to a walk. D-Lowe is not getting the call on the inside part of the plate to RHB. He will need to make an adjustment going forward. D-Lowe gets out of a high pitch count first with a great stop by Minky. Minky bailed D-Lowe out. He threw a change up in the middle of the plate that was crushed by Everett down the line. Later, we found out that Minky was playing Everett to pull. Positioning has a lot to do with a fielder’s perceived range.
Bottom of the 2nd
D-Lowe got just what the doctor ordered, a quick inning. He only needed eight pitches. The Other Sox hitters went up hacking. Joe Borchard went down swinging because he went hacking after two pitches in the same location that D-Lowe got squeezed on in the first. Borchard should have adjusted his game plan after watching the action in the first.
Whole half of the 3rd
Lowe's timing is off slightly with his front shoulder opening up too early. It is most notable walking Rowand. He got away with it against Lee with him hitting a solid liner to the right field track. Thankfully, he found his mechanics against Konkero and got out of the inning.
Bottom of the 4th
D-Lowe looked great by getting ahead of each hitter. He got two strikes on them all. The fourth was a breeze.
Second half the 5th
D-Lowe has mixed in the curveball a little more. Opps, he made one mistake and left a sinker up that Konerko did not miss. After reviewing the pitch, it was a backdoor slider/cutter that never was off the plate so it ended up in the middle of the plate that Konerko hit into the bleachers. Now, the Other Sox are only down by one. The game just got a lot tighter. Let's see how D-Lowe responds.
Bottom of the 6th
Lowe continues to get ahead of the hitters resulting in three ground ball outs. It was a great, quick, prototypical D-Lowe kind of inning. His mechanics still appear to be solid and he is pounding the strikezone.
Final inning of the evening
In the seventh, Lowe was cruising along. Rowand got a cheapie with a chopper finding the hole between third and short. Lowe then makes the same mistake to Lee that he threw to Konerko in the fifth - a backdoor slider/cutter that tails over the heart of the plate. Unfortunately, the mistake yielded the same result, a dinger, giving the Other Sox the lead.
Lowe should consider not throwing that pitch against aggressive RHB, most notably, power guys that like to extend their arms. Patient hitters may take it since it starts off as a borderline pitch, but aggressive hitters with two strikes will be swinging. The margin for error is small and if the pitch misses and doesn’t hit the corner, it gets hit hard and far.
Lowe made four poor pitches all night, but they were all against the Other Sox best and power hitters. He got away with two but the other two killed Lowe. Better pitch selection and/or execution would have produced a gem of an outing for D-Lowe. D-Lowe has almost “turned the corner.” ($hit, I hope that has not been trademarked by W, yet.)