From Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com comes word that the Diamondbacks have acquired left-hander Zach Duke from the Pirates for a player to be named later.
Duke had a bit of major league success in 2005 as a 22-year-old, posting a 1.81 ERA and 1.21 WHIP over 84.2 innings. But he really hasn’t been effective since and wouldn’t have lasted long in a system other than Pittsburgh’s.
The D’Backs will hope that he can find a little consistency in a different setting. It seems unlikely in the hitting-friendly confines of Chase Field, but it’s not exactly unheard of.
Duke, 27, finished the 2010 season with an 8-15 record, 5.72 ERA and 1.65 WHIP in 29 starts. He is likely to act as Arizona’s fifth starter in 2011.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.