Bucs rally not enough as Duke struggles in final start
I imagine Zach Duke’s final start of the 2010 season Thursday night against the Fish, sealed his fate with the Pirates organization. The Pirates lost 11-9 to the Marlins.
Duke allowed nine runs –four earned– on eight hits through four innings. He walked three and struck one needing 89 pitches.
He finishes the season 8-15 with a 5.72 ERA –career high ERA– with a .305 opponent batting average. A horrible walk-to-strikeout ratio of 51/96. Five years earlier, as a rookie, Duke was 8-2 with a 1.81 ERA in 14 starts.
“I don’t know what to say,” Duke said of his season. “It’s obviously been frustrating. I’ve obviously got work to do.”
“It was a tough year,” added manager John Russell.
“I’ve performed at a level that could merit firing,” Duke said when asked if it he thought about this potentially being his final start in black and gold. “If that happens, it’s out of my control. If it happens, it happens.”
Would Duke like to stay in Pittsburgh?
“Of course,” he said. “I enjoy these guys and I enjoy the city of Pittsburgh. But it’s not my choice to make.”
The Marlins scored four runs in the first inning on four hits. Duke allowed two walks and nine men came to the plate.
Ronny Cedeno made his fifth error –in his past six games– in the second inning allowing the fifth run to score.
Pedro Alvarez made an error in the fourth inning –the next pitch, Mike Stanton hit a three run home run. The Marlins ahead 9-2.
“I’ve got to make those plays at third,” said Alvarez, who has committed 16 errors in his first 93 Major League games. “If I make those plays, it might have been a different story, a different outcome.”
“It wasn’t good tonight,” Duke said. “Just erratic command, honestly. That’s all it was.”
In the seventh, Ronny Cedeno hit his seventh home run on the season bringing the game a little closer. 10-3.
The Pirates scored three more in the eighth inning. With the bases loaded, Alex Presley struck out, Jason Jaramillo flied to left and Delwyn Young flied out to center; ending the rally.
Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run home run in the ninth inning, but unfortunately it was not enough as the Pirates lose 11-9.
Thursday’s loss guarantees the Pirates to finish the season with fewer than 20 road wins.