Over the entire year Zach Duke has been more bad than he has been good and tonight was no different. Duke was very pedestrian again when he only went 3.1 for eight runs, seven earned on nine hits. I mean anymore Duke has been pretty much just batting practice for opposing hitters. After the game it was reported by DK and a few others that Duke will most likely be out of the starting rotation, per John Russell. I am not shocked at all, I would actually be pretty surprised if Duke was back next year as he is due a raise and he is certainly not pitching like it.
Other than Dukes terrible performance the offense wasn't much better. The Pirates only had five hits over the nine innings they took to the plate and the starters only accounted for three of those hits. It was just that kinda night for the offense. Most of the starters were yanked for replacements in the latter half of the game and that was about all she wrote. Not a bad idea to give guys some rest because guys like McCutchen, Tabata, Walker and company get very few days off.
All told the Pirates moved to 48-96 in this dismal season and only have 15 wins on the road. 15 wins on the road. Most teams have more wins in a month than we have had on the road ALL SEASON. Like I said many many many times before if this is not rock bottom I don't want to see what is. This is becoming very hard to watch.
The Pirates are now seven games "up" on Seattle for the top spot (for the #1 pick that is). While typing this the Mariners were playing so that could go up by a half game or down by a half game. Before the Seattle game ended the magic number is 11. That means all that has to happen is the number of Pirates losses/Seattle wins (if they stay in second to last) equal 11 will clinch the Pirates the number one pick next summer. So if the Pirates lose 6 more games and the Mariners (or whoever else) wins five games then the Pirates clinch. Hope that makes sense.
As bad as all of that sounds it could be worse. The youngsters are playing really well and Neal Huntington has done a hell of a job bringing guys in (McDonald, Resop) in the trade deadline. It looks like things (talent) wise are getting there. We won't be there next year but the steps are being taken in the right direction and I am happy.
Lets Go Bucs.