Laurila: Q&A with Derek Lowe on 2004 ALCS Game 7

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on June 22, 2012:

On October 20, 2004, Derek Lowe had what might be the greatest pitching performance in Boston Red Sox history. It’s certainly the most underappreciated. Facing the New York Yankees in a classic Game 7, Lowe allowed one run and one hit in six innings. And he did it on just two days of rest.

The Red Sox won the game 10-3 and completed a stunning comeback from a three-games-to-none deficit against their hated rivals. They went on to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series and earned the franchise’s first title in 86 years.

Lowe talked about his historic outing when his current team, the Cleveland Indians, visited Fenway Park earlier this season.


DL: You had a 2-0 lead when you took the mound in the second inning.

Lowe: I knew the score, but by no means did I ever pitch to the score. There are some games throughout the season — the regular season — where you have a 7-0 lead, and you pitch to that 7-0 lead. What I mean by that is you may throw more fastballs. A run here and a run there isn’t going to kill you. This was a time where I never let the score change how I was going to approach the game.


DL: Did pitching on two days of rest help your sinker?

Lowe: I don’t believe in that. I would much rather pitch at full strength. You still need your legs under you, and you still need your arm in the right arm slot. If you get too tired, your ball doesn’t move anymore. I promise you. They should do that on the show Myth Busters, because it’s not true.

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Related link: David Laurila will moderate the “One on One: Roland Hemond” session at SABR 42 on Saturday, June 30. Find out more at

Originally published: June 22, 2012. Last Updated: June 22, 2012.