Derek Lowe, pitching against the Mariners.
After the Texas Rangers' first game this season, an 8-2 loss to the Houston Astros, many Rangers fans might have been ready to cut bait with veteran Derek Lowe, who the Rangers took a flier on to be the club's long-relief man and possibly a spot starter.
Lowe gave up a big home run in a tight game, throwing 10 pitches and recording just one out, as the Astros went on to the easy win over the Rangers. Not the way he wanted to start his Rangers career in his 16th big-league season.
Since then, however, things have gotten progressively better for the reliever-turned starter-turned reliever, and on Saturday night in a bad situation, Lowe showed what he's made of when he filled in for starter Nick Tepesch, who was knocked out of the game in the second inning after taking a line drive off his wrist.
In that game, Lowe threw four innings of hitless baseball against te Seattle Mariners and got the Rangers to the back part of their bullpen in a 5-0 win, recording 12 outs on an astonishingly low 31 pitches, using his signature hard sinker to induce groundball after groundball.
"To throw 31 pitches in four innings, that's not just the pitchers," Lowe told The Dallas Morning News. "It takes two to tango, so to speak. I tried to throw as many sinkers down in the zone as I possibly could."
That outing came after a decent showing Thursday in a loss to the Chicago Cubs, when Lowe worked 2 2/3 innings and allowed one run with two strikeouts. But Lowe was really pleased with the way he pitched against the Mariners in relief of the injured Tepesch on Saturday, and he had every right to be.
"This is what I signed up for," Lowe said. "You never know when that day is going to come. I pride myself on being prepared."