Zach Duke’s future with the Pirates is not looking bright
Zach Duke’s start against the Mets on Tuesday was pretty crutial for the left-hander. Duke is arbitration-eligible for the third time this off-season and the way he has pitched all year was not helping his cause.
Tuesday’s night 9-1 loss to the Mets pretty much determined the fate of Zach Duke.
He gave up nine runs –seven earned– on nine hits and allowed two home runs over 3.1 innings.
“I was more aggressive,” Duke said. “The ball was just hittable.”
Was there any positives from his outing?
“I got my butt kicked,” Duke said. ”Tough to take positives from that.”
Duke’s last start against the Braves was even worse –if you can imagine–. He lasted just one inning giving up four runs on six hits and walked two.
This season he is 7-14 with a 5.78 ERA in 26 starts and opposing batters are hitting .326 against him. Duke’s ERA is almost two runs higher than his 4.06 ERA in 2009.
“I obviously have been not good at all these last two starts, and this team has been battling much too hard for me to do that to them,” Duke said. “I have to find a way to be better, and I will.”
His loss sealed his 14th of the season –marking his third straight year in which he has had at least 14 losses.
Duke has said his struggles are not from fatigue or an injury, saying, “[My] stuff is there. [I] just have to figure out a way.”
John Russell was asked about whether Duke was fatigued or injured as well, saying, “No, because everything he does in between starts is really good. He just can’t repeat it when he gets in the game.”
The question is no longer will Zach Duke be in a black and gold uni next season, it is now, will he finish the remainder of the season in the starting rotation?
“We’ll consider what our options are,” Russell said. “We’ll talk about it more over the next couple of days.”