Derek Lowe, despite his build, has never been a true rotation work horse. Either because he was a reliever for so many years, or because his arm is just not built that way, throughout his recent career he has been an 80-90 pitch per start pitcher. This led me to wonder if part of Derek Lowe's problems this year are related to overwork.
This season, Lowe has thrown 100 or more pitches 11 times in 18 starts (before tonight). That is drastically more often than in either 2008 or 2007 with the Dodgers. In 2008 he threw 100 or more pitches only 11 times in 37 starts, while in 2007 he did it only 9 times in 33 starts. In 2007 and 2008, Lowe threw less than 90 pitches in 36% of his starts, while this year that number has fallen to just 22%.
Maybe this has had no role in Lowe's struggles. Afterall, he hasn't been struggling late in games any more than he has early in games, so maybe this is mere coincidence. But the Braves have had issues overworking other pitchers this year, so it is possible that Lowe is suffering from the same problems. What do you guys think?