Duke Dominate as Bucs Beat Friars

Is it wrong to get excited when Zach Duke pitches like I did in 2005? He went 8-1/3 inning, allowing just one run, five singles, a triple and a pair of walks. He picked up his third win and dropped his ERA to 2.65.

The Pirates strung together a bunch of hits against starter Shawn Hill (who left with an arm injury) and reliever Josh Geer. The Pirate hitters tallied 14 knocks with Craig Monroe (three hits and three RBI) and Freddy Sanchez (three hits and three runs scored) pacing a balanced attack.

The Good

Duke. I keep waiting for the wheels to fall off.

Sanchez stroked his league leading ninth double.

Monroe has nine RBIs in 23 ABs. If you extrapolate that to a 500 AB season, that is almost 200 RBI. Not too shabby.

The Bad

Injuries. Both Jack Wilson (finger) and Nate McLouth (oblique) were out. Plus Ryan Doumit has had surgery. Craig Hansen was put on the DL with neck troubles, prompting the promotion of Evan Meek to the Show. Meek mopped up for Duke in the 9th.

The Rest

Both LaRoches grounded into double plays. Not something you see too often.

The Padres wore throwback 1969 uniforms. Very sweet.

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