The Pirates may be the Pirates — add “the same overeager young player getting thrown out trying to stretch a two-out double twice in one game” to the list of things I'd never seen in baseball — but every fifth day from here on out, I want no part of them. Zach Duke is awesome, man. Evil curveballs, good heat, excellent location, fearless. And tricky — he unveiled a slider in the fourth inning of a no-hit bid that left Cliff Floyd shaking his head somewhere between admiration and anger, like he best beware or in the seventh young Mr. Duke might find a knuckleball in his apparently bottomless bag of tricks.
At least this wasn't the usual script of a shaking-in-his-boots rookie bringing in an ERA north of 5 and then beating us like rented mules. The kid was just good. He even looks like a lot like a young Paul Wilson, though I hope that's no harbinger of his future.
On our side, well, just tip your cap. Victor was bad — he's alternated good starts and bad starts for nearly a month now, which has got to stop — but even good wasn't going to get it done tonight. Which left it a night for scoreboard-watching. Marlins won, Phillies and Nats obediently split their doubleheader, and our good friends the Brewers overcome the Astros (with the Antichrist on the mound, no less). Could've been worse.
Three out. Forty-two to play. That's doable, ain't it?