On Luke French and Mark Lowe Tonight
Another good win tonight. Russell and Kenji both came through big. I want to talk about two pitching performances though – Luke French, who pitched into the sixth, and Mark Lowe, who pitched a perfect eighth.
Luke French started off the game really nicely. Through the first four innings he allowed just one hit, and three walks. Unfortunately, the walks hurt him all night. Jayson Nix came around to score in the fifth after a two out walk, and Gordon Beckham, Jermaine Dye, and Paul Konerko all walked before coming around to score in the sixth.
On the night, he only threw 55% strikes, and that lead to him walking 6 batters in only 5 1/3 innings. The home plate umpire, Angel Hernandez, was terrible and really squeezed him, so that hurt him, but he still pretty much lost all his command in the 6th. He threw 60% strikes with his fastball – that isn’t good, but more of his problems came from failure to locate his slider and change. He didn’t have trouble missing bats – 7 swinging strikes on the night, but he’s going to need to keep his command up late into games to be successful.
On the other end of the spectrum tonight, was Mark Lowe. He’s been absolutely dominant lately, and his inning of work tonight was no exception. He threw 16 pitches, 12 of them strikes, and recorded 4 swinging strikes. That’s a 25% swinging strike rate. Yes, it’s obviously a small sample size, but against Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, and Carlos Quentin, it’s still impressive. He also threw 7 sliders, 5 of them strikes, and 2 of them for swinging strikes. If he keeps making good use of that pitch, he’s going to continue getting good results.
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