CLEVELAND: Is age a factor in Derek Lowe's two-month slump?
Since turning 39 on June 1, he has had many more bad starts than good ones, not that his birthday would signal a physical decline. But the grind of four months of baseball can have a wearing effect on any player, let alone a pitcher who is almost 40.
“”We’re humans,’’ manager Manny Acta said this afternoon. “”When we get older, we’re not as effective as when we were 27 or 28. But I think this is about making adjustments.
“”If you walk more batters than you strike out, you’re not going to be successful. None of you guys mentioned his age the first two months of the season.’’
In April and May, Lowe compiled a 3.25 earned-run average, walked an average of 2.7 batters per nine innings and induced an average of 22.3 ground balls per nine innings, which is important because he relies on a sinker.
Since June 1, Lowe has posted a 7.11 ERA, walked an average of four batters per nine innings and is inducing ground balls at the rate of 18.8 per nine innings.