PHILADELPHIA — Zach Duke is 2-3 with a 4.17 ERA in five career starts against the Phillies. Those numbers don’t tell the whole story of how well he has pitched at times against them.
Tonight, Duke checked the Phils to one run through six innings, yielding six hits and two walks and netting five strikeouts.
Last July, Duke tossed a complete-game, five-hitter at Citizens Bank Park. Although Duke lost, 3-2, the outing impressed Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who two days later selected Duke for the National League All-Star squad.
On July 7, 2005, Duke threw seven shutout innings in a 2-1 victory at PNC Park. He allowed six hits and struck out eight.
“I’ve been fortunate to have some pretty good games against the Phillies in my career,” Duke said. “For whatever reason, I feel comfortable against them. They do have a pretty good lineup, but if I’m on my game I match up pretty well against them.”
— The game’s defensive gem belonged to center fielder Andrew McCutchen, who gunned down Jayson Werth at the plate in the fifth.
Manuel gave McCutchen some kudos: “To me, I thought (Werth) took a wide turn to third. He kind of lost his timing. But at the same time, the guy made a pretty good throw and the ball beat him by pretty much.”
— Garrett Jones on his approach at the plate against righty Roy Halladay: “Every pitch of his is pretty good and he’s always around the plate. So, you pick a location on the plate, look at that spot, and if you get a pitch there don’t miss it. I was just trying to stay short, I choked up, and stayed up the middle against him.” Jones’ one-out single in the sixth scored Lastings Milledge with the winning run.
— You know things are going bad if light-hitting Gorkys Hernandez provides your offensive highlight in a game. Hernandez, who went into tonight’s game with a minuscule .272 OBP, had the only hit in Double-A Altoona’s 2-0 loss against Akron.
Justin Wilson (1-4) started for Altoona and allowed two runs on five hits in 5.2 innings. He has thrown 17.2 innings over his past three starts and given up a total of four runs — but the Curve did not score in any of those games.