Strange Lowe

Derek Lowe tossed a shutout on May 15, 2012. Mark it down.

Three points of significance:

  1. It was Lowe’s first shutout since 2005 and the fourth of his career
  2. He didn’t strike out a single batter
  3. He shelved his slider and cutter for the night

There’s a connection between Lowe’s pitch mix and whiff rate.

Check out the mix and whiff rates for Lowe’s starts from 2008 through 2012, excluding the shutout in question (13,440 pitches).

pitch % of pitches miss/swing
Sinker 59 .12
Change 11 .26
Fastball 1 .13
Cutter 4 .16
Slider 25 .34

Note the swing-and-missy slider, thrown one of four pitches.

And May 15, 2012 (127 pitches).

pitch % of pitches miss/swing
Sinker 90 .02
Change 8 .00
Fastball 2 .00
Cutter 0 na
Slider 0 na

Strange, eh? Talk about pitching to contact.

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