Saturday, August 15, 2009

Duke Denied Again

Ya know, it's amazing that Zach Duke hasn't taken a bat to the water cooler yet - or his team mates, for that matter. He's been the only consistent performer for the Bucs in the past three weeks, and a lotta good it's done him.

The Zachster went down again, 3-1, to the Cubs today. It was his eleventh loss; the Pirates have scored a total of 14 runs behind him in those defeats. He's been trying for his tenth win since his July 24th victory over Arizona.

Losing to Gorzo has to be doubly galling, especially as he drove in the eventual winning run with a two out single in the second inning.

Gorzelanny may have earned the win, but he wasn't pitching any better than he was at Pittsburgh. The difference is that he was pitching against the Pirates instead of for them.

He gave up a run on three hits and struck out eight in five innings. Gorzelanny had no fastball command, his bugaboo here, but it made no difference to the undisciplined Bucco batters.

Every one of his strikeouts was on a pitch out of the zone that was swung at and missed. During the day, 13 Pirates struck out; eleven were on swings and misses of balls off the dish.

The Pirates had a chance to make a game of it. In the fifth, they loaded the bases with no one out. Andrew McCutchen flew out to the track in center to bring home a run, but Lastings Milledge struck out on four pitches; only one was a strike. Garrett Jones roped one to the ivy in right with two away, but Milton Bradley got there for the catch.

The Baby Bucs better figure out the strike zone. It's way past the point of crediting the opponents' pitching; the answer is in the mirror.

-- The deck keeps on getting shuffled. Brian Bixler, who's been tearing it up again at Indy, is in, along with *ouch* Denny Bautista (2-3-1, 4.88 ERA). Jose Ascanio was placed on the 15-day DL with tendinitis while Jeff Salazar of the .043 batting average was DFA'ed, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Post Gazette.

BB, who's been groomed as a utility guy at Indy, becomes the new reserve center fielder. Our guess on Bautista is that he's Phil Dumatrait's placeholder for a few days and will be considered no great loss when he's lopped off the 40-man roster again.

-- Matt Pouliot of Circling The Bases has been checking out what a team's current lineup would look like with nothing but active home-grown talent. Pittsburgh's collection ranked #23; decent pitching, punchless batting order.

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