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Lowe aces his routine, sees results

Lowe aces his routine, sees results
Most Braves players find time before games to chill. Derek Lowe? Not so much.

The new ace pitcher is a blur of constant motion. He's either coming from one workout or going to another. When he slows down long enough to grab something from his locker, he's usually glistening.

"I have seen him an awful lot through the first month of the season, dripping wet with sweat," Chipper Jones said.

That's because Lowe, who starts tonight against the Astros, probably just finished some agility work, long tossing or running the stadium steps.

He tackles the lower deck at Turner Field once between starts --- two steps at a time going up, every step coming down, from one end of the stadium to the other. And back.

After 45 minutes outside, Lowe breezes in, Ipod still on, drops a one-liner on whomever he passes, and just as quickly he's gone again. Off to lift weights.

"I don't like to just sit in front of my locker," Lowe said.

Lowe has proved to be one of the most durable pitchers in Baseball. He's one of only three active players along with Brad Ausmus and Livan Hernandez to play 12 or more seasons without going on the disabled list. Now we know why.

"I've never seen anybody do that much work," said manager Bobby Cox, who is often the only one in the clubhouse when Lowe arrives at 1:30 p.m.

In spring training, Matt Diaz said he'd pass Lowe finishing his workout as he showed up to start his --- at 7 a.m.

Lowe, 35, began this routine five years ago with Boston. He was 30 and starting to think about longevity. He let Red Sox trainer Chris Correnti critique his lanky 6-foot-6 frame.

"When we started working out, I was as inflexible as this table," said Lowe, thumping a picnic table in the Braves' clubhouse. "He said if you continue to be this inflexible you're going to have back problems, hamstring problems, especially your hips."

Lowe's workout always starts with stretching. It's followed by agility drills, which he does to mimic short bursts of activity pitchers get. He traces a ladder-shaped grid in the warning track dirt.

Lowe is like Rocky in preparation for Ivan Drago. He likes his workouts outdoors.

"I don't like doing any elliptical machines, I don't like riding a bike," Lowe said. "I get more out of it if I do it high intensity on the field, not in the air conditioning."

He comes inside to lift weights and do core muscle and rotator cuff exercises. Then he heads back to the bullpen to work on mechanics. Every day between starts Lowe is on the mound simulating his motion.

"People think I'm crazy," he said. "But I like to get out there and it's quiet."

Sometimes he's there for an hour. That's the kind of work ethic that makes the Braves feel justified in their four-year, $60 million contract to a 35-year-old pitcher, right up there with Lowe's 2-1 record so far and his 3.10 ERA.

"Doing the work in between for me is more peace of mind," Lowe said. "I can accept a good game or a bad game because I know that I did everything I possibly could before that game."

Next for Braves

Who: vs. Astros

When: 7:30 p.m. today

TV; radio: WPCH; 640 AM, 96.1 FM

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 1, 2009

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