Sunday, July 27, 2008

Suppan's Implosion Highlights Rocky Weekend

Sort of a roller-coaster weekend, I'd say. After an eight game winning streak, seven of those on the road, the Brewers returned home to Miller Park for a three game set against the Houston Astros. I, along with the majority of Brewers fans, were a little nervous coming into this series as we hoped the team wouldn't look past the last place Astros.

Which, it appears they did.

On Friday night, Manny Parra pitched well for six innings before he ran out of gas in the 7th, as the Brewers lost 3-1. Their comeback magic had run out, and their offense was never really able to get anything going. We'll give our player of the game this night to Mike Cameron, for at least getting the Brewers on the board with an RBI double in the 2nd.

Saturday, the Brewers returned to form, once again relying on the comeback. Bush pitched alright, giving up four runs in five innings. I think he was hurt by the missed start last week, as the platoon between him and McClung continues. More on that shortly. The story though was once again the offense, lead by Ryan Braun's homer and 4 RBI's. Hall once again stayed hot, knocking in the game winning RBI. Ray Durham had a nice start, going 2 for 3 with 3 runs. The bullpen was able to do it's job and the Crew won 6-4. It was a great effort, and the player of the game goes to Ryan Braun.

Sunday's game was a little tougher to take, as the Brewers were pounded by Houston 11-6. The majority of the blame should, and will, fall on Jeff Suppan. The Brewers pitcher gave up 7 runs in the 5th inning. His performance may have awoken some of the "Fire Yost" chants, as Yost decided to keep Suppan even when he clearly didn't have his stuff.

The biggest problem facing this team right now, I think, has to be the situation regarding Jeff Suppan. He's our 6th best starting pitcher right now, yet he's got a guaranteed spot in the rotation. Actually, I'd put him at 7th best, I'd be more comfortable with Carlos Villanueva out there right now, for sure. Are we sure we can't just stash him on the DL again and keep Bush and McClung in the rotation?

The BushClung platoon will not last, as McClung struggled today in his return to the bullpen, and Bush struggled in his start Saturday. Yost has to pick one of those guys and stick with him. Platooning pitchers may seem like a good idea, and it was worth the effort, but it's just too much of an inconvenience for the pitcher's routine.

Of course, the problem is that realistically, McClung and Bush are both better than Suppan. However, because of his lofty contract, Suppan is almost guaranteed a spot in the rotation. Sure, he may figure his stuff out later in the season, but right now he is not doing much to help us win games.

My buddy Shep says "Suppan should retire from baseball and focus on his restaurant full-time". My brother, reader b2, says the Suppan signing was the wrong person at the wrong time in terms of what they'll contribute on the field, but also acknowledges it sort of jump-started the Brewers desire to actually spend money in an effort to win.

Jeff Suppan made Randy Wolf look incredible today. Sidenote, why in the hell did Houston trade for him? Since when is a last place team in the NL Central buyers at the trade deadline? Either way, I'd take Wolf over Suppan right now.

Thankfully, he'll miss the Cubs series, as we're throwing CC, Sheeter, Parra, and Bush. It's going to be one hell of a series, and currently the Brewers sit one game back. We'll need to go 3-1 to get back on top of the division, which I think is very attainable. The rotation was set up for us to win the first two games, so hopefully our aces can deliver.

The player of the game in Sunday's contest is another nod to Ryan Braun.

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)


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