Duke, Dumatrait carry the load


Probably the biggest letdown of the Pirates’ season so far is the starting rotation.

Over the past week or so, the two most reliable members of the rotation have been a guy who until Tuesday hadn’t won a game in nearly a year (Zach Duke) and a guy who owns exactly one victory in the majors (Phil Dumatrait).

Tom Gorzelanny has a sore back, which he probably hurt while lugging around his 6.91 ERA. Ian Snell is healthy, but hasn’t been much better. Paul Maholm, who’s pitching against the Giants as I type this, has been inconsistent.

Hey, at least Matt Morris is gone.

The expectations for Duke and Dumatrait were modest coming into this season, and deservedly so. Duke was awful last season and Dumatrait was a punching bag during his brief stint with the Reds last summer.

However, the two lefties are carrying the rotation at the moment. Good thing, because pitching coach Jeff Andrews only has so many fingers to plug holes in the dike. If Duke and Dumatrait can stay the course a while longer, it will buy time for Snell, Gorzelanny (who probably would benefit most from a trip to the DL) and Maholm to turn it around.