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Matchup/Diary Game # 115 vs. Pirates

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Zach Duke   Roy Oswalt
5 - 0, 1.54    14 - 9, 2.46

On the face of it, we haven't a chance. Not because Zach Duke is 5 - 0 with a 1.54, or even because the many instances of close proximity the words "dead arm" and "Oswalt" have taken in the media over the last five days.

No, the real reason I think things look so bleak tonight is simply coz the Astros have never seen Duke before. Whether he's the reincarnation of Deacon Phillippe or just another rotisserie flash in the pan, given the Astros' awful history against those pitchers in their first go-round against Houston, it might be best to mentally concede this one, and look forward to Saturday and Sunday, when we should take the series.

That said, I look forward to watching Duke, and seeing for myself what the hype is about. He'd be about the most hyped Pirate pitcher since Wakefield, just about, no?