By Mike Miller
The Ojai Valley’s favorite major league baseball player is quietly in the midst of putting together the finest season of his young professional career. Noah Lowry is currently 5-4 with an impressive 2.69 ERA over nine starts this season. Lowry has recovered after a tumultuous season last year that saw him battle through injury after injury to become one of the leaders on the San Francisco Giants pitching staff early in the 2007 season. Last season Lowry went 7-10 with a 4.74 ERA after spending a month on the disabled list. He focused on a new and improved strength and conditioning program in the off-season and by the looks of his first nine starts, it is paying dividends.
When asked about the injuries last year, Lowry told the OVN Tuesday, “When you get hurt and battle through injuries, your mechanics are out of whack because you are overcompensating. I was forced to change my pitching motion which made me to use muscles that I typically did not use, and that resulted in some injuries. My strength program addressed those weak areas and my body is feeling really good right now. I am confident that I will be ready to go every fifth day now.” Lowry is best known for his wicked off-speed pitches and according to his peers, has one of the best breaking balls in all of the major leagues. “Consistency has been the key (to his fast start), I have had a mix of good control and I have been able to throw my off-speed stuff at any point in the count with a lot of confidence. When I have command of my breaking ball and I can pinpoint my fastball, I will be effective,” said Lowry. The word is getting out that the Giants hurler is becoming a force in the National League. The Houston Astro’s team leader and future Hall of Famer Craig Biggio was recently quoted by CBS Sportsline.com as saying, “He (Lowry) doesn’t miss. He’s put it together. He pitches us tough.”
The 2005 Roberto Clemente Award recipient has also undergone a change in managers this season with the arrival of Bruce Bochy in San Francisco. “Bochy is a great manager. He is a good communicator and he really does a great job with the pitching staff,” added Lowry. A key moment between pitcher and manager occurred on May 16, when the Giants were playing the Astros. “It was late in the game and I had just walked Brad Ausmus. Bochy came out and could have pulled me, but he stuck with me. That means a lot to me and shows that he has confidence in me. He wants us all to be successful as players and guys like that,” said Lowry.
The Giants will return to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers July 31 for a three-game set. Check the OVN Sports Section to get a weekly update on Lowry’s progress.