Thanks to the continued brilliance of Derek Lowe, the Atlanta Braves are knocking on the door of the National League playoffs heading into their final three-game series of the season against the Philadelphia Phillies, who clinched the NL East earlier this week. Lowe won his fifth game in the month of September on Wednesday night. He struck out nine batters in just 5 2/3 innings, while allowing just one run. Lowe improved his record to 5-0 in September, and lowered his ERA for the month to 1.17. Impressive stuff.
On Thursday, Lowe joined 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston to talk about his remarkable month of Septemeber, and the task at hand this coming weekend as the Braves try to win the Wild Card race and return to the postseason in Bobby Cox’s final season.
How he has been able to pitch a lot of innings and make so many starts when lots of other players are unable to:
"That is hard to say. I think a lot of it is definitely some luck involved. With that being said, I would have to say work ethic is number one. I am a firm believer in a very rigorous workout program in between your starts and that is something that I have learned with years. I am not going to say that in my earlier years in Boston I would have given you that same answer, but as the years have gone on that is the only way that you can consistently make starts. I think when you do that especially when you are talking about wins, those things will take care of itself if you are making those 32-34 starts a year, and you’re going to get some wins. Without a work ethic, without dedicating yourself to the game success is hard to come by over a long period of time."
Whether being in a pennant race like the Braves are now brings back memories:
"Yeah it has been great. I have been very fortunate. I was talking with my wife last week, I have in my career I’ve been very fortunate to I believe never going more than one year without making the playoffs and that is with three different organizations. So this is a year where we didn’t make it last year so hopefully I can continue that trend. But yeah we are a game and a half back, we have three games this weekend coming up against the Phillies, we are not as bad as your team in Boston as far as the injuries go. We lost Chipper for a long time, Martin Prado one of our best hitters just went down a couple of days ago, he will be out. One of our strengths all year long has been our depth on our team and we have really good starting pitching and that is one of the reasons why we are still in this thing." (Editor’s note: the interview took place before the Padres game. The Braves now have a 2 game lead in the Wild Card race.)