Mike Lowell told reporters that he will “almost certainly” retire at the end of this season, according to Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe.
Lowell, 36, is in the final season of a three-year, $37.5 million contract, so it seems only appropriate. The .280/.343/.468 lifetime hitter has broken down in recent seasons and hasn’t fully recovered from hip surgery in October of 2008. A torn ligament in his right thumb nixed a potential trade to the Rangers over the winter.
Relegated to part-time duty with the presence of new third baseman Adrian Beltre, the Red Sox are still doing their best to unload Lowell, but they’ll likely have to shoulder the majority of his $12 million price tag for this season in order to do so.
Perhaps there are a few who still miss the slope of Tal’s Hill rising from center field, but George Springer isn’t one of them. He lassoed a 403-foot fly ball from Todd Frazier in the seventh inning of Game 6, reaching nearly to the top of the wall to prevent the Yankees from gaining on the Astros’ 3-0 lead.
According to Statcast, a fly ball with an exit velocity of 103.6 MPH and a launch angle of 29 degrees lands for a home run 72% of the time. That wasn’t going to fly with the Astros, who were facing runners on first and second with one out and saw Justin Verlander‘s pitch count rapidly approaching 100.
It wasn’t long before the Yankees tried for another home run, however, and this one sailed far above the heads of all of the Astros’ outfielders. Aaron Judge lofted a 425-foot shot to left field in the eighth inning, destroying a first-pitch fastball from Brad Peacock and finally getting New York on the board.
The Yankees currently trail the Astros 4-1 in the bottom of the eighth.