PNC Park | 7:05 | Duke vs. Cha Seung Baek | Box
The real story of the game is that the Pirates traded Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte and pulled them from the field. More on that in another post.
On the field, it wasn’t very pretty. The Pirates had three runners thrown out on the bases. They loaded the bases with no one out in the 8th when trailing by a pair and managed to score just one run.
Zach Duke gave up five runs in six innings. He did manage to strike out five. Two of those runs scored on an Adrian Gonzalez dinger.
Speaking of homers, Adam LaRoche hit a pair of solo shots to help keep the Pirates close. But there wasn’t enough offense as the Pirates were unable to execute. In the third inning Freddy Sanchez was thrown out while trying to score from first on a Ryan Doumit double. In the sixth, the Pirates had scored one run and had runners on the corners with one gone when Chris Gomez stroked a pinch hit single to right. Doug Mientkiewicz attempted to advance to third, but was gunned down. The Padres then threw to second and got Gomez who was trying to move up a base on the throw to third. Instead of first and second with one out, the inning was over. In the 8th, the bases were juiced with none out. But Heath Bell got LaRoche to whiff and induced a line drive out from Mientkiewicz before walking Jose Bautista to force home the run. Jack Wilson popped out to end the threat.
Trevor Hoffman was perfect in the 9th to end the game. Cha Seung Baek was good enough – 5-1/3 and four earnies – for the win.
Sanchez had two more hits, pushing his average to as high as it has been since 5/31.
I could be wrong but I believe that Cha Seung Baek is the first South Korean pitcher signed by an ML team right out of a South Korean high school. Baek was DFA’d by his original team – the Mariners – earlier this season after being a disappointment while spending parts of four years with the big club.
He was picked up by the Padres and has started 8 of the 10 games he has pitched in for SD. He is 2-4 with a 4.66 ERA. He has two hits on the year – a homer and a double. This will be his first start against Pittsburgh. Pirate hitters are collectively 2-11 against him.
Zach Duke hasn’t won in a month and his last three starts were bad. Over those three outings he has given up 19 earned runs in 13-1/3 innings. That was enough to knock his ERA over a rull run higher.
Duke has made two career starts against the Friars. Both were in 2006. He is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA against SD. The Padres are 5-21 against Duke. Khalil Green has a double and three RBI against him.