There are many, many days when it blows my mind that Derek Lowe still exists on a Major League roster. But alas, he does. And tonight at Fenway, the now 38-year-old former Red Sox great will be back on the mound in opposition of a current Red Sox goat:
Josh Beckett vs. Derek Lowe: Can you feel it?!
Well, what about after the Celtics game?
Believe it or not (or maybe it makes sense since he's spent the last eight seasons in the National League), this will only be D-Lowe's second time pitching at Fenway since heading west in 2005.
His previous start came on June 20, 2009, when he was playing for the Braves, and in Lowe's defense, he was pretty good: 6.1 innings, three runs.
That's what we call a quality start, folks.
But on this day, Lowe was nothing compared to a bonafide ace named Josh Beckett, who struck out seven Braves on his way to throwing a five-hit, complete game shutout. (Reached for comment afterwards, Beckett said: "Eff you guys, I'm hitting the links!")
But enough about Beckett, let's get back to D-Lowe.
Whether or not he's been the greatest dude off the field over the course of his 16-year career is up for debate. But you have to respect and applaud everything he's done between lines. And, of course, every ounce of what he gave to the city of Boston. Whether it was as a dominant middle reliever, a 40-save closer, a 20-game winner or whatever you call what he did in the 2004 playoffs. (Amazing?)
Tonight, Lowe arrives at Fenway with 170 career wins, which ranks him seventh on the active list (this despite not becoming a full-time starter until he was 29). Last year, he led the league with 17 losses, but before that had a string of nine straight 10 win seasons, and whether or not I choose to believe it, he's back at it again this year with Cleveland.
After six starts, he sits at 4-1 with a 2.39 ERA. In other words, he's easily better than anything we have in Boston. And when Lowe takes the mound this evening, Boston has an interesting dilemma on its hands.
Who do you root for: Derek Lowe or Josh Beckett?
Answer: You probably just watch the Celtics.