One thing is for sure – Derek Lowe's September from a year ago is not making an encore performance. The plagued Atlanta Braves righty was shelled by the New York Mets in the series opener Friday night, giving up six runs on nine hits while not getting out of the third inning.
Lowe's troubles started early when Jose Reyes led off with a single in the first. Two batters later, David Wright hit a one-out, two-run homer to left.
Instead of stopping the bleeding there, Lowe then gave up a single to Lucas Duda and a walk to Jason Bay. After getting Nick Evans to fly out, Lowe gave up a single to Josh Thole to load the bases before Ruben Tejada drove in two with a single to spot the Mets four before the Braves had a turn to bat.
Things briefly looked promising for Atlanta in the bottom of the first when Michael Bourn led off with a triple and was subsequently driven in by a sacrifice fly by Chipper Jones, which at least got the Braves on the board.
It also seemed that Lowe had put his rough first inning behind him when he sat down the Mets in order in the second inning, and then Martin Prado led off the Braves' half of the second with a solo shot.
The nightmarish night would continue for Atlanta in the third, however. Though Lowe got Wright to ground out to begin the frame, he gave up three consecutive hits to Duda, Bay and Evans to load the bases before Thole struck again with a two-run single, prompting Lowe's removal for Julio Teheran.
Teheran got Atlanta out of the third, but would give up a three-run bomb to Wright and an RBI-single to Evans in the fourth to stretch New York's lead to 10-2.
"This was terrible. And I don’t mean to make light of it, but it was non-competitive pitching from the first pitch. I mean, it was terrible," Lowe said.
The loss was Lowe's 15th of the year, tying his career high from 2005 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his last 10 starts, he has accumulated an ERA of 6.02.
Last September, Lowe went 5-0 with and gave up only four runs. In two September starts so far in 2011, he has already given up nine earned runs.
"This has been a long year. Probably the worst year I’ve ever had. Right now obviously you feel discouraged and frustrated, all those things. But next time out, you’ve got to find a way to figure it out, because this has been bad pitching too long," Lowe said.
The St. Louis Cardinals came from behind to beat the Philadelphia Phillies in extra innings to leave the Braves with a slim 3.5 game lead going into Saturday.
The Braves will look to Tim Hudson (14-10, 3.32 ERA) to right the ship opposing the Mets' R.A. Dickey (8-12, 3.43 ERA) Saturday at 4:10 EDT.
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