Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Pirates 8, Rockies 1
2005-07-22 11:37
by Mark T.R. Donohue

The big young lefty duel never materialized as the Buccos batted around in the first off Jeff Francis. Zach Duke looks pretty good. I can see why he draws comparisons to Barry Zito seeing as he's a medium-sized lefty with a low-'90s-ish "deceptive" fastball and a big blooper of a curve. In what I've seen of his starts, though, Duke likes to throw his curve low and away, as a chase pitch, while Barry starts his breaking ball above batters' heads and has it plunge down into the strike zone at the last minute. Francis as I've noted before is more like a lefty Greg Maddux, throwing nearly all average-speed fastballs and depending on precise placement to get guys out. When Zito doesn't have it, he can't throw the curve for strikes, when Francis gets tagged like he did last night, he throws the fastball for strikes that are too good.

I plan on going down to Colorado Springs tonight to the see the SkySox tangle with Tacoma. I've picked this of all games to go to as my first-ever minor league contest because when I was little, my dad used to loudly yell at guys on the Cubs and White Sox he didn't like (which was most of them), "Send 'em to Tacoma!" I always thought that was hilarious. I have done some research and plan on heckling some Rainiers players with "Send 'em to Inland Empire!" Unfortunately Felix Hernandez pitched yesterday and won't go again until Monday night, and he'll be on a pitch count then. I guess if I have a really good time tonight I could go back.

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