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Derek Lowe becomes first pitcher to throw a shutout without a strikeout since 2002

May 15, 2012, 3:45 PM EDT

Derek Lowe AP

Derek Lowe came into today’s start with a 5-1 record and 2.47 ERA despite totaling just 13 strikeouts in 44 innings, but what he did this afternoon is even more remarkable.

Lowe tossed a complete-game shutout against the punchless Twins and did so without recording a strikeout. The last pitcher to throw a shutout without a strikeout? Scott Erickson way back in 2002.

He pitched well, of course, but the Twins’ lineup is brutally bad at this point and Minnesota is particularly inept versus ground-ball pitchers. Lowe has long been one of the majors’ most extreme ground-ball pitchers and today he induced an incredible 20 ground-ball outs, including four double plays.

For the season he’s now 6-1 with a 2.05 ERA … and more walks (17) than strikeouts (13) in 53 innings.

  1. baseballisboring - May 15, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    I wonder how many times the phrase “punchless Twins” will be printed this year.

    • kopy - May 15, 2012 at 3:58 PM

      I think it will soon regress to “fistless,” followed by “handless” and “armless.”

      • baseballisboring - May 15, 2012 at 4:03 PM

        Haha. And eventually just “helpless”.

  2. WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 15, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    Wow, Scott Erickson. Talk about a throwback.
    Talk about a career HIGH for LOWE!

  3. Jonny 5 - May 15, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    And the best part is, most of his salary is being paid by the Braves.

    • Kevin Gillman - May 15, 2012 at 6:11 PM

      Didn’t alot of people say Lowe was done after last season’s horrendous finish Jonny?

      • biasedhomer - May 15, 2012 at 9:10 PM

        And he may very well have another horrendous finish, but right now he’s looking good. But he will regress.

      • Kevin Gillman - May 15, 2012 at 10:56 PM

        Maybe, maybe not, the key to him is keeping that ground ball going, and with Jack Hanahan and Casey Kotchman manning the hot corners, and Kipnis along with All-Star Asdrubal Cabrera playing 2nd base and Short, respectively, nine times out of ten, Derek will keep the Indians in the game.

        Derek is a veteran of many years, he just had a collapse in September, but he has made the adjustments, and has been concistent in the early going. His ERA will rise, surely, but as long as he keeps his team in the game, he is giving the Indians a chance to win. So let’s get give him, and his defense some credit, for now.

  4. kopy - May 15, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    *sample size disclaimer*

    I’m not on the “Boo Mauer” bandwagon by any means. But he had something like a 70% groundball rate a short while ago, and weren’t his 3 balls in play today groundouts?

    I will take a .395 OBP any day, but backing that up with a .374 SLG is underwhelming and seems a little difficult to do. I don’t know that I’ve seen OBP > SLG before, but Mauer certainly hasn’t done it before.

    • kopy - May 15, 2012 at 4:09 PM

      That should read, I don’t know how common OBP > SLG is. I know slap hitters with discipline can get it easily.

      • Hoss - May 15, 2012 at 4:45 PM

        You know derek lowe is one of the best groundball pitchers of the last 25 years with tim hudson and greg maddux. That’s how he just got a shutout without striking anyone out. Don’t read too much into this game.

      • kopy - May 15, 2012 at 5:24 PM

        I would never overreact to one game, and even though the season is 6 weeks old, it’s a small concern to look at. Derek Lowe just brought the issue to light.

  5. sportsdrenched.com - May 15, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Wait! There was afternoon baseball and I’ve been too busy to dial up GDA? WTF? I better get after it.

  6. zidanevalor - May 15, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    The Rochester Red Wings (Twins Triple-A affiliate) is a healthy 14-23 on the season, good for dead last in the division, so I wouldn’t expect a lot of help to arrive any time soon.

    There isn’t a single hitter on the team right now (according to the Red Wings website) with 3 HRs on the season, which includes several players with 25-35 games, and only one (Matt Carson) with double-digit XBHs.

    • wlschneider09 - May 15, 2012 at 10:45 PM

      Sigh.

  7. bigleagues - May 15, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Who should we be crediting more for this feat? Lowe or the Twins sorry offense?

    But then as sorry as the Twins offense is, they somehow managed to avoid being struck out.

    Man, this gets more confusing the more I think about it.

  8. Lukehart80 - May 15, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    It’s also pretty crazy that Lowe threw 127 pitches without recording a strikeout.

    The last pitcher to throw so many was Livan Hernandez, in 2001.

    http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/Z2J8y

  9. mlenenski - May 15, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Derek Lowe was 9-17 last year….and the Braves blame him more than anyone for not making the playoffs.

    Should have been a line in the trade contract that Cleveland has to pay his entire salary if he gets to 15 wins.

  10. Jonny 5 - May 15, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Kevin, well yeah they did. But people say that about a lot of pitchers and end up being wrong. Lowe might stink for the rest of the season or he might prove lots of people wrong.

  11. jwbiii - May 15, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Oddly enough, Roger Clemens did this once, too.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS198707210.shtml

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