Derek Lowe has struggled badly this year. During the dog days of summer all we heard was that Lowe was going to turn things around in Sept. It never happened. I could sit here and throw a whole bunch of stats at you to try and prove one point or another. I’m not going to do that, for two reasons actually. One I don’t feel like looking up Derek Lowe’s stats right now and two they wouldn’t matter at this point anyways. The Braves in so deep right now that they just need to win games and no stat on this earth is going to get you to be a Derek Lowe believer if you weren’t already.
Derek Lowe has been terrible all season. I’m not trying to defend a guy who has failed to get it done all year and especially down the stretch. However this guy has been known to turn it on during the biggest moments in his career. When his team needs him the most he comes through in the clutch. There is every reason in the world to doubt Derek Lowe right now. However somewhere in my heart, as a fan that is. I feel as if Derek Lowe will give us a big start tonight. And a big start tonight would wipe away an entire season of struggles, especially if we clinch the Wild Card later tonight.
We have pressure on us, there’s no doubt. A 1 game lead isn’t much but I’d rather be up 1 game then down 1 game right now. There isn’t 5 or 6 games left anymore, were down to just 2 ballgames left on the schedule. If the Braves win back to back games, that’s it. The race is over and the red birds are going home. End of story. They need to win the last 2 games and we need to lose at least one of them just for there to be a 1 game playoff.
The Cardinals losing that game last night was huge for the Braves and really gave them new life. Cliff Lee last night presented the biggest test of the series for the Braves. Oswalt who is a very solid pitcher will go tonight. He’s a good but not great pitcher. He’s right handed which also helps the Braves. He’s not Cliff Lee, not in anyway shape or form and the Braves need to remember that.
Game 3 of the series and the final game of the season will be a gift wrap for the Braves. If they don’t win that game then they will only have themselves to blame. The Phillies will have a ton of guys coming in and out of the game and no pitcher will have a chance to settle in and get hot. No one will pitch more then 2 innings so the Braves can feast on all of their bullpen guys over the course of 9 innings. Not to mention the Braves will have their ace Tim Hudson on the mound that day. Like I said, if Hudson can’t be the Phillies bullpen tomorrow night then I don’t know that the Braves deserve that last playoff spot in the N.L.
At some point you need to stand up and help yourself. Not just in baseball but in life. A person can catch all the breaks in the world and get tons of help from other people whether it’s in school or business, but at some point they will find themselves in a situation where they need to stand up and get it done. The Braves are in that spot tonight, they need a win. Yes they are facing the Phillies but so what? It’s not like they haven’t beaten this team before. They’ve done it before and they can do it again.
The Braves are clearly sick of this whole situation. They are not fighting for a playoff spot that they figured to have had wrapped by now. Yes they did it to themselves but it’s still frustrating. If this team gets into the postseason I think their attitude might change some. I actually think they will feel less pressure when they get into the playoffs then they do now. Fighting for a playoff spot along with trying to avoid an epic collapse has been tough on these guys. They will breath a huge sigh of relief if they can clinch tonight and lock up their playoff spot.
By: Bob McVinua