Tom Boswell paints Boston pitcher Derek Lowe as an unstable flake in his latest column:
Asked at a postgame news conference about the bizarre disparity between his home (11-2, 3.21 ERA) and road (6-5, 6.11 ERA) records this year, Lowe did something you almost never see. He pretended he had heard some entirely different, imaginary question — presumably that pitch he threw to Nick Johnson on a two-run homer — and gave a lengthy answer about his misbegotten “cutter,” never mentioning his reputation as the Anti-Road Warrior.
Lowe is a man of many phobias. After this game, he said that his arm is sorer than it’s been all year, presumably because he pitched three times, twice in relief, in the Oakland series. With Lowe, you worry about any idea that manages to stick in his brain, because he tends to fixate on it. Two years ago, the criticism that comes with being a closer bothered him so much that the Red Sox made him a starter even though he once had a 42-save season in relief. Because he has the highest ground-ball to fly-ball ratio in baseball (3.62) he loathes pitching on artificial turf where bouncing balls become hits. And, finally, there’s that career-long history of road disasters — with the brilliant exception being his thrilling ninth-inning save in Sunday’s Game 5 in Oakland.