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Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh, 15 April 2006

Williams, Duke (

7:05 PM, KDKA

Jerome Williams (0-0, 3.60) vs. Zach Duke (0-1, 6.55).

Williams' name doesn't usually turn up in any lists of top young pitchers, and he had to fight or a rotation job this year even after injuries to Mark Prior and Kerry Wood, but Williams is still only 24, has thrown nearly 400 big league innings, and has a career ERA below 4. He has, however, fought elbow trouble, and he doesn't throw very hard or have a good third pitch.

Box Score: Ryan Doumit still isn't in the starting lineup. Other than that, it's what you'd expect. Craig Wilson bats fifth.

...Zach Duke looked very good in the first inning. He got ahead of all four batters he faced. Derrek Lee singled off him, but it was on a pitch that Duke put exactly where he was supposed to put it. Duke made Juan Pierre look silly on a strike-three breaking ball and then used the breaking ball again to strike out Aramis Ramirez.

...The Cubs' announcers described Sean Casey's injury in some detail; they think he'll be out longer than 6-8 weeks.

...Stolen base for Craig Wilson! That's weird, especially since he almost got picked off after taking a lead of about three feet about a minute before.

...Great start for Zach Duke! The Bucs needed that.

...Four-pitch save for Mike Gonzalez; the Bucs win, 2-1.