Jeff Suppan and Poetic Justice

Jeff Suppan started his ninth game of the season for the St. Louis Cardinals yesterday. The 35-year-old starter, acquired after the Brewers released him and his albatross contract, pitched five innings against the Astros, allowing four earned runs on four walks, three hits, and one home run while striking out only one batter. With this start in the books, Suppan has now struck out 19 batters, walked 19 batters, and allowed eight home runs in his 46.1 innings pitched for St. Louis. Prior to tonight’s start, Suppan had a 5.53 FIP and a 5.14 xFIP as a Cardinal, both numbers which will only climb after yesterday’s poor start.

And yet, despite how utterly horribly Suppan has pitched, he comes out of that start against Houston with merely a 4.47 ERA. Suppan has stranded a ridiculous 82.8% of baserunners allowed, and for that reason he has managed to get away relatively unscathed despite no other mark suggesting anything even resembling major league talent. It’s not even as if Suppan has been good at preventing hits, either- he has allowed 57 hits in 47.1 innings now and a BABIP of .323. Either it’s a fantastically wily veteran wherewithal on the mound or Suppan has been incredibly lucky with runners on base, and it shouldn’t be hard to guess which side of the issue on which I fall.

And yet, despite the fact that Suppan has allowed only slightly more runs than the average, Suppan has a 1-5 record as a Cardinal and the club is 3-6 in games started by him, with one win ranking as the Cardinals most fantastic comeback win of the season. The universe has corrected itself through the paltry run support the Cardinals have given Suppan. In his nine starts, the Cardinals have given him 3, 1, 0, 1, 1, 0, 0, 3, and 2 runs in support, respectively, and Suppan simply isn’t good enough or lucky enough to win with so little offense behind him.

Somehow, Suppan has managed to avoid giving up loads of runs, but the Cardinals haven’t managed to take advantage of it and win. The fact that Jeff Suppan has already received nine starts is a big reason why the Cardinals are now eight games back. If he’s not the worst starting pitcher in the National League, he’s close, and it’s simply poetic justice that his teammates aren’t putting up runs behind his lucky performances to date. The Cardinals shouldn’t expect an ERA below 5.00 as Suppan racks up the innings, and they certainly shouldn’t expect to win with him on the mound down the stretch either.




Print This Post



If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to Jack's new project, The Sports Desk on Beacon Reader. Jack also writes for Sports On Earth, The Classical, and has written for Disciples of Uecker and The Score, among others. Follow him on Twitter at @jh_moore.

41 Responses to “Jeff Suppan and Poetic Justice”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. bill says:

    Link doesn’t work.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Piccamo says:

    Suppan looks like a pitcher to me. He has great heart and a strong desire. He has a winning attitude. He is awesome in the club house and really gets the other guys going. Suppan is a team leader and can log a lot of innings. He knows this ball club and can pitch in the NL. Why wouldn’t you want Suppan on your team?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Anon21 says:

      Your eyesight is good. He certainly has none of the external characteristics of, for example, a shortstop. When he’s in the game, he’s generally on the mound and throwing the baseball towards the plate. He certainly does look like a pitcher.

      +9 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • johng says:

      Actually, Poetic Justice would be for Suppan to get Parkinson’s, and a whole slew of celebrities made commercials denouncing him for wanting a cure.

      Suppan does not have heart, winning desire, nor a good attitude. He is a fetid stew of hate, as a person.

      That is why one wouldn’t want Suppan as a teammate.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bill says:

        Poetic justice would be for scientists to find that dead, B-List actors could potentially be used to cure cancer. I had forgotten why I like Sup as a person. He’s got balls to stand up for something he believes in even at the risk of being demonized by the press.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Anon21 says:

        But that something which he believes is catastrophically stupid: that individual cells or small clusters of cells with no will, volition, or consciousness have equal moral worth to actual human beings.

        Hey, you know who stood up for what he believed in, even at the risk of being demonized by the press? James Lee, that crazy dude who took all those hostages at the Discovery Channel yesterday! Put HIM in, coach.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • johng says:

        I do find it funny that there are people who will cheer for a celebrity with the credibility and likability of a child molester, just because they make liberals mad.

        When the guy’s getting a cortisone shot, I wonder if he ponders how God wanted him to have a blown out shoulder, or if he ignores his political stances? Does he ever wonder if God wants him to STFU and quit baseball?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jaybow says:

        Fuck you, faggit.

        -8 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Doug Melvin says:

        So Bill likes Suppan for actively and willingly attempting to harm society. Bill, you are a terrible person.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jason B says:

      “He has great heart and a strong desire. He has a winning attitude. He is awesome in the club house and really gets the other guys going. Suppan is a team leader.”

      Is LaRussa drinking and posting again?

      He may have desire, guts, presence, etc etc. What he does NOT have is a major-league caliber arm or repetoire. No amount of ‘winning attitude’ can cover the fact that the guy just plain ol’ stinks. :-/

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CFIC says:

      because Suppan really really sucks. bad.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Matty says:

    I don’t discount him as a person but i don’t want him anywhere near our clubhouse i was destroyed when i heard we picked him up…again. it didn’t work the first time and that’s why we let him go.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Matty says:

    haha @Pitchers Hit Eigth i’m lovin the name

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. vj says:

    “The fact that Jeff Suppan has already received nine starts is a big reason why the Cardinals are now eight games back.”

    I am not sure I understand this. Given the run support in the games started by Suppan, they’d have hardly done better with a Cy Young candidate on the mound.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • 51 says:

      I agree. As I read through this, that sentence jumped out at me. It does not flow logically from the rest of the post.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • southsidecardsfan says:

      vj has it right; the author is missing the boat: The biggest reason that the Cards are eight games back is because they can’t score runs on a consistent basis. They have 4 or 5 automatic outs in the lineup on a nightly basis.

      Without running the numbers, I suspect most teams, including those on the peripheries of the pennant race have given 9 or more starts to pitchers as bad as Suppan.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jason B says:

      “The biggest reason that the Cards are eight games back is because they can’t score runs on a consistent basis. They have 4 or 5 automatic outs in the lineup on a nightly basis.”

      So very true. Which makes (a) trading Ludwick for Westbrook inexplicable; (b) sitting Rasmus for two weeks for no apparent reason inexplicable; (c) trading for Pedro Feliz inexplicable.

      Welcome to Tony’s summer of…inexplicableness? Inexplicality?

      Let’s go with…summer of nonsense.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • southsidecardsfan says:

        Well, to be fair, Jon Jay and Ryan Ludwick have performed about the same after the trade, Rasmus was reportedly hurt, and Pedro Feliz is not markedly worse offensively than the Cards’ other internal options (save maybe Tyler Greene, who was also injured at the time of the pick-up).

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • WY says:

        Jason B: Rasmus was dealing with a calf injury for two weeks. I think it would have been good to look into that before saying he was sat down “for two weeks for no apparent reason.” The reason was reported on and updated regularly for two weeks.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Jason B says:

        “reportedly” hurt, indeed. If he *really* is hurt, DL him and free up a roster spot.

        That Feliz hasn’t improved on any of the other options doesn’t make the trade defensible. Why not trade for someone that can…you know…help? If you’ve got putrid options A-C, why add putrid option “D” to the mix?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • WY says:

        ““reportedly” hurt, indeed. If he *really* is hurt, DL him and free up a roster spot.”

        No, he was really hurt. Go read the Post-Dispatch archives from the last two weeks. Clearly, it was a situation where the injury lingered a lot longer than they initially expected it to. With hindsight, it would have been nice to have DL’d him right away, but they didn’t have that knowledge at the time. Also, there weren’t exactly a lot of sterling candidates waiting to be called up.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • WY says:

      Well put, VJ. If someone else had given up the exact same amount of runs with a better FIP or whatever to support it, they still would have lost the games due to their putrid offense. The Cardinals are eight games back because of their poor hitting and because the Reds keep winning.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      I made a post similar to this, but it’s lost. Shrugs*

      The comments in the article refute each other. The cardinals are losing because of Suppan. Suppan is losing because the offense doesn’t score any runs. Hmm … interesting.

      If an author wants to rant, they should rant. I like a good rant.

      If an author wants to piss and moan and be negative prick, I’m fine with that. It’s not my preference, but I’m a big fan of freedom. Knock yourself out.

      Just don’t call it analysis when two adjacent comments/conclusions counter each other.

      If you wanna say Jeff Suppan sucks, then just say Jeff Suppan sucks. Just don’t blame him for why the Cards are losing. A lot of guys are struggling at the same time.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. rickie weeks says:

    Spoken like a true Brewer fan. Go away, Suppan. MLB will be better without you.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. phoenix says:

    yea how about the yankees giving starts to– wait for it– BURNETT AND VASQUEZ. yes the best record in the mlb and two of the shittiest guys on the mound… no not career-wise or even potential-wise the worst but turning in terrible performances for the year. i mean ERAs over 5 and losing records with a team that can score that many runs is just terrible. Burnett is now 10-12 on the season and if he continues in this way, he will be the first yankees starter with a losing record in 10 years… yes that bad.

    in conclusion: suppan is assuredly bad, but you can’t ask even halladay or josh johnson or jimenez or screw it even cy young himself to win when your team gives you 0 runs in 3 of your 9 starts and 1 run in another 3 of them.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Pat says:

    Also, another thing about Suppan this year is that he isn’t going very far into games so he isn’t likely to receive a lot of support when only pitching 4-5 innings, and that further decreases his value because you need to empty your pen every day he pitches.

    I did get the pleasure (not really) to watch him pitch vs the Pirates, and he was actually on his game, racking up a lot of strikeouts, which everyone does vs the Pirates, but they pulled him after 5 innings and around less than 80 pitches. I don’t know if he has stamina problems or their “genius” manager just doesn’t like to keep him in games any longer.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. WY says:

    What a bitter, negative post.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jack Moore says:

      Damn, you figured me out.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Doug Melvin says:

      Was there any point in it you disagreed with? Was the evidence wrong?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • WY says:

        Yes. See some of the comments above. It includes some illogical arguments that others have also pointed out. But beyond that, the tone strikes me as unnecessarily bitter and negative, which is sort of a common thread with this writer. Not the most becoming trait for a writer to have.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Doug Melvin says:

        “The fact that Jeff Suppan has already received nine starts is a big reason why the Cardinals are now eight games back.”

        I have no idea why people have had a problem with this. If a team has to start Jeff Suppan, their rotation sucks, and having a sucky rotation is big reason they are eight games back. Need more than just 1-2-3.

        So, do you have anything original to add to this thread, or are you content to regurgitate? Would you like we fawn over Suppan’s horrendeously dangerous and idiotic stem cell hatred?

        Jeff Suppan is an awful pitcher and an even worse human being, and I hope he just goes and fucks himself. Ditto anyone who has attempted to derail some of the most important science in the history of mankind.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • WY says:

        “’The fact that Jeff Suppan has already received nine starts is a big reason why the Cardinals are now eight games back.’

        I have no idea why people have had a problem with this. If a team has to start Jeff Suppan, their rotation sucks, and having a sucky rotation is big reason they are eight games back. Need more than just 1-2-3.”

        As several commenters have pointed out, it is not Suppan’s performance in the games he has started — at least not in terms of runs allowed — that has pushed them out of contention. It has been, for the most part, the ability to score consistently. Even though his peripherals are obviously not good, the fact is that he has kept the team in pretty much every game. Had another pitcher allowed the same amount of runs with better peripherals while the offense failed to score enough runs to win, they’d be in the exact same boat. That is the point that the Suppan haters seem to be missing.

        In other words, it’s an angry, bitter, negative, nasty post by Jack Moore (nothing new there), but it is also based on a flawed, self-contradicting line of reasoning in terms of what constitutes “poetic justice.” It also overlooks the fact that the Cardinals biggest weakness of late has been their poor hitting as well as the fact that a number of contending teams have had to give more starts than they would like to sub-par pitchers (e.g., the Phillies and Joe Blanton).

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. CFIC says:

    Jeff Suppan is a horrible pitcher at this point of his career. 4 years ago or so when he was younger, he was mediocre. now he is just plain awful, perhaps the worst starter in baseball (or tied for worst?)

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. CircleChange11 says:

    Re: Suppan’s views on SCR … If someone at our work was against it would we tell them they were a worthless human being or to go F himself?

    It’s a case of an athlete’s performance affecting our response. Kurt Warner says the same thing and he’s a future Hall of Famer that “sticks up for his morals”, and is viewed as one of the “good guys” in sports.

    There are some that promote the act of “obtaining stem cells” as helping others rather than it be ending a fetus. Many people have difficulty separating the two because it is a huge grey, emotional, issue.

    Suppan is a poor pitcher (great mechanics though), but we should all lighten up on a man who is voicing an opinion on what he feels is right thing to do.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. CircleChange11 says:

    How many teams have a rotation that is more than just 1-2-3?

    How many of those teams have 4-5 out with injury?

    I’m not sure StL has a lot of options. I’d prefer to see Boggs in the rotation and Suppan be a one inning guy.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Matthew Cornwell says:

    Obviously the LOB% is unsustainable. But before we dismiss it as 100% luck, lets look at his career LOB% numbers. Maybe some of it is under his control -we know that LOB% does stabilize for credibility after a certain number of PA’s…

    Looking at his career, 83% is certainly an extreme outlier from the rest of his career, so luck does look like the largest culprit by far.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. WY says:

    “Suppan’s earned-run average was 7.84 when he was let go by Milwaukee in June. Reunited with pitching coach Dave Duncan, who could see that Suppan had been tipping his pitches, Suppan went 3-6 with the Cardinals but with an ERA of 3.68.”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *