Derek Lowe is a high energy guy to begin with. So when he feels the postseason adrenaline kick in – he’s ready for anything. A start in Game 4 for the Braves on three days’ rest? Just part of the program for the veteran of 22 postseason games, including 11 starts with the Braves, Dodgers, and Red Sox.
He’s been lobbying manager Bobby Cox since before he made his Game 1 start in San Francisco to come back in Game 4. Monday night he gets his wish.
“This time of year, adrenaline kicks in,” Lowe said. “You can pitch. I’ll make myself available for Game 5, if there’s one.”
With closer Billy Wagner (oblique) out this series and the next if the Braves advance, Lowe is ready to relieve too. He has his share of experience with that too.
“Especially with Billy going down, I can get my 86th save,” said Lowe, the former closer for the Red Sox.
This is a guy who pitched the biggest game of his life on two days’ rest: Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS for the Red Sox against the Yankees. He went six innings, allowed one run in the 10-3 win. Granted he’s 37 now, not 31. His stuff is not quite the same, but his enthusiasm is.
“During the season you probably couldn’t continue to do this,” said Lowe, who pitched on three days’ rest two starts ago against the Marlins, allowing one run in 5 2/3 innings in a 5-1 win on Sept. 29. “…But I love this time of year. I’ve always loved this time of year. You’d rather be the guy out there failing than not trying.”
Lowe said his rigorous workout program, which includes a regular regimen of stadium stairs, is what allows him to do this.
“You have a workout program all year long, not just to get you through the regular season, but to get you through the World Series,” Lowe said.
Lowe gave up one run in 5 1/3 innings in a 1-0 loss to the Giants on Thursday in San Francisco. Cox’s other option was rookie Brandon Beachy, who has only three starts and three weeks in the majors.