It couldn't have been easy for Zach Duke to take the mound the very first time in a regular season game wearing the uniform of his new team. Duke broke his hand during spring training and has been sitting on the sidelines watching the gritty Arizona Diamondbacks put themselves within striking distance of first place in the NL West.
Duke gave us a glimpse of what his left arm can bring to a rotation that could desperately use another solid starter. He gave up just three hits and one walk in his seven scoreless inning debut. To make matters even more interesting, in the fourth inning with his team up 3-0 and two outs, Duke made the Astros pay for walking Gerardo Parra to get to him. With an 0-2 count, he hit a long fly ball to left field that didn't stop until it was over the fence.
From there, the D-backs were in cruise control with only Zach Kroenke giving up three runs in late mop up duty. We can't confirm that this is the first time in major league history that a game was pitched entirely by two "Zachs" but we want to believe that's the case.
The D-backs go for the sweep on Sunday with Josh Collmenter (3-1, 1.99) facing J.A. Happ (3-6, 4.99). The Snakes are just a half game out of first and can come home as the top team in the NL West with a win today and a Giants loss.
Game time on Sunday is 11:05 a.m. PT on Fox Sports Arizona with the live game thread at AZ Snake Pit.
Diamondbacks 11, Astros 3: Duke Nukes 'Em Forever - AZ Snake Pit
All we really wanted was a nice start, something to show us that Duke could hold his own as a fifth starter. Saying he did that would be an understatement. Heck, even saying he did that and a little more would be understating Duke's performance today. His awesomeness knew no bounds; in fact, it even carried over to the plate
Armando Galarraga and the Jewel of Denial - AZ Snake Pit
Well now. That's certainly a horse of a different color than the Armando Galarraga who was so calm and gracious after the blown call during his perfect game last June. Let's take a look at Galarraga's performance with the Diamondbacks, why Kevin Towers traded for him and why in the world we'd want to keep him after those statements. (Hint: we don't...)