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The Questions With Zach Duke
July 31, 2006
Pirates Pitcher
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July 31, 2006

The Questions With Zach Duke

Pirates Pitcher

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What was your welcome to the big leagues moment?

Pitching in Pittsburgh the first time [in '05]. I was coming off the field, and the whole stadium started chanting, "Duuuuuuke!" [after he blanked the Phillies over seven innings]. It was unreal.

Your most embarrassing moment?

Last year I was on second, and there was a line drive to shortstop. I went back to the bag and sprained my ankle. I was safe initially, but I stepped off--I was like, It hurts! Walk it off!--and I got tagged out.

One thing about being a ballplayer that fans don't think about?

When everybody in the stands wants a ball, they say, "Hey, it's my birthday, can I have a ball?" I wish they knew we can't always give them away. We don't really have that many, and we have to use them for BP.

If I were commissioner for a day, I would ...

try not to screw things up.

The 23-year-old lefty improved to 7-8 on the year, beating the Rockies.

Duke is to start against the Giants, to whom he allowed three runs in six innings last month.