Zach Duke looked up at the National League standings and saw the Philadelphia Phillies on top. Choking back the vomit, it was all he needed to see. For the
third straight outing, Duke allowed four earned runs. For the third straight outing, Duke allowed at least eight baserunners. Last night it took Duke just one inning to put up those horrific numbers it was the shortest outing of Duke’s career. The Braves had been in first place since May 30. Not anymore Bravos.
Pirates Manager John Russell would use seven relievers before this one was over. The Braves drilled the Bucs 9-3. It was 8-0 Atlanta after two and a half innings.
It was a must win for the Braves, but it wasn’t like the Phillies needed the Bucs assistance last night.
“This was a must win-here. We needed this win.”—Braves 1B Derrek Lee.
The highlight for the Bucs was Neil Walker extending his hitting streak to 15 games. He trails only Rennie Stennett for the rookie record. Rennie had 18 in 1971.
It was also cool to see some lightly regarded call ups getting their first hacks and hits in the Majors. Pedro Ciriaco had RBI double in the ninthinning. It was his first major league at-bat. Another rookie was Alex Presley who lead all Pirates minor leaguers in hits. Presley would beat out an infield hit for his first MLB single.
It was a shame the Bucs played so awful. Because each player wore the beltless knit unis and mustard gold hats like those the Pirates wore in 1970. It was done to honor Roberto Clemente Day. Gotta think Roberto was rolling over on this one.