Top 50 Sox Seasons #50: Derek Lowe, 2000

74 G, 2.56/1.266/.259, 91.1 IP, 64 GF, 42 SV, 79 K, 3.6 K/BB, 198 ERA+
All-Star

One year after breaking out as the Red Sox’ most reliable member of the bullpen, the 27-year-old sinkerballer – already turning the 1997 trade of Heathcliff Slocumb for Lowe and Jason Varitek into a steal for the Sox  — was installed as the team’s closer, and he excelled, delivering one of the best seasons by any Boston closer to date.

Lowe led the league in saves and games finished and finished second among all relievers with at least 50 innings in ERA, blowing the lead in just five of his 47 save opportunities and none of his final 23.

Key game: Aug. 1. Lowe does his part to keep the Red Sox tied with Seattle for the ninth, 10th and 11th innings of what ends up being a 19-inning marathon that the Sox lose, 5-4. Lowe strikes out five of the 11 batters he faces and throws 60 pitches, the most of any of the 11 relievers to appear in the game for either side.

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