Zach Duke Fired Up for Opening Day; Curveball Was One of Top Five Most Improved in 2009

Zach Duke sparkled today against the Astros.  He allowed just two hits.  The first was a T.J. Steele bat blisttering infield single and the other was a two-out Geoff Blum single that sent Duke to the showers just missing getting seven innings in for the day.  Nevertheless, the five and a half ERA falls to 3.00 after allowing zero runs in Kissimmee.

Duke walked a batter and struck out two.  Duke forced 11 groundball outs versus seven fly ball outs.  He also helped himself with two doubles in two at bats under the overcast skies of Grapefruit League Florida baseball. 

In last season form for Duke and the Bucs, the Pirate bullpen failed to hold the lead.  The Bucs lost in the ninth 6-4.

Duke had one of the most improved curveballs in the majors in 2009.  We were reading an article by Jeremy Greenhouse who has an excellent Most Impvoved PITCHf/x Pitches of 2009 up on his site.  Here is the link to his work. [Baseball Analysts]

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