Zach Duke was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for the infamous player to be named later. Some believe Duke will be hard to replace on the Pirates staff. We don’t. The left hander is just too hittable.
As a Pirates fan, we have come to appreciate a Pirates pitcher imploding. A Pirates pitcher that once seemed like a quality pitcher becoming a BP arm is usual practice. A once talented arm become a player to be named later. So pardon the headline, it’s just a tad bit enjoyable today to see a player that caused so much frustration be gone. Let the bodies hit the floor. Just wipe the slate clean.
For a player that started out with such dominance and confidence, he became a shell of that in 2010. The video interview that Dejan did with Duke at the bottom of this story is simply mind blowing. Duke obviously lacked the dominance he once had, and with very little defensive support, the combination was lethal. His confidence was shot. He was done long before he hung it up for the season. We trust he does well with Arizona. He certainly did a great deal of charity work in the community. For Duke’s sake, we trust his wife will support him more with the Diamondbacks too.
But it’s impossible to forget some of the pain Duke caused Pirates fans this season.
We didn’t even attempt to bring up his worst outing of the 2010 season. It was awful, the Braves owned Duke. So after throwing out the worst drubbing, we focused in on a few others.
Against the Brewers on April 21, Duke went five innings and allowed seven hits, four walks and six earned runs. Five days later, JR sent Duke to the mound for another beating. Duke went four innings and allowed nine hits, four walks, and eight earned runs.
About a month later against the Braves on May 28, Duke lasted 5.1 innings, gave up twelve hits, two walks and seven earned runs. God the Braves love hitting off Duke.
When the Beermakers rolled back into town August 28, Duke went 5.1 innings. He allowed nine hits, four earned runs and two homers.
Against the Mets on September 14, the Duke season hit the meltdown point. He lasted just 3.1 innings capping a four start stretch that saw Duke allow 20 runs over 14.2 innings. The Mets feasted on Duke (7-14) who allowed eight runs including multiple monster bombs to sluggers Carlos Beltran, his fourth of the season, and Nick Evans, his first.
People have proven that Duke would be much better with a better defense. This game was proof of that with blunders from Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen and Ryan Doumit. But nobody can deny that Duke gets hit hard, good luck DBacks defenders, be sure to keep your head down on those lasers.
See ya Zach.
FWIW: Tweet tonight after the deal was complete. @nickpiecoro The PTBNL isn’t one of the Dbacks better prospects. Can’t name him now because rosters are frozen pre-Rule 5 draft.
You don’t even need sound for this video. Duke had very few answers in 2010. His body language told the tale on most occassions.