Game #135: Suppan, Cameron Bop Bucs

PNC Park | 7:05 | Maholm vs. Jeff Suppan | Box
I’m posting this before it is over. The Brewers just tacked on three in the 9th to make it 11-3.
Jeff Suppan went seven innings and allowed just three hits. One of those hits was a two run dinger from Brandon Moss.
Paul Maholm’s day was ruined by a five run fifth in which Milwaukee batted around. Mike Cameron popped a three run homer for the big blow in that frame.
I’m not really sure what I expected. With Jason Bay and Xavier Nady gone, everyone and their Geico cavemen knew the Pirates offense would struggle. But this has been truly ugly. Both Adam LaRoche and Nate McLouth are hitting less than .250 for the month. The only thign to look forward to is to see what happens when the rosters expand on 9/1.

Pre-Game Thoughts
If Paul Maholm allows more than one run tonight, he will not get the win. With the Pirates offense continuing to flounder win the wake of losing 2/3 of the starting outfield, no hurler has suffered more than Maholm. In five starts since the trading deadline he is 1-1 with a 2.91 ERA. His last start was no decision against Milwaukee on August 24. In three outings against Milwaukee in 2008, he is 0-1 with a 3.10 ERA in 20-1/3 IP.
He is 2-3 with a 3.63 ERA in his career against the Brewers over eight starts. He has not beaten them since 2006. He hasn’t been fooling too many of the Beer Maker batters. They are collectively hitting .329. Bill Hall is 13-20 with three doubles, two homers and seven RBI. Mike Cameron is 9-12 with two homers. Prince Fielderis just 1-16.
Remember when the Pirates were in the running for Jeff Suppan when he was a free agent? They ultimately passed and acquired Matt Morris instead. I liked the Morris deal when it happened and thought he’d be better than Suppan. Wrong again.
Suppan is where he always is: right around .500 and right around a league average ERA. He is 9-7 with an ERA+ of 94 in 2008. He has pitched well and benefited from solid run support in August. He is 4-0 in five starts and has lowered his ERA by a half a run. That includes a win on August 23 against Pittsburgh.
In 20 career starts, he is 11-3 with a 4.29 ERA against Pittsburgh. Nate McLouth is 6-12 with three doubles and two homers and Adam LaRoche is 8-18 with two homers off of Suppan. The Pirates overall are hitting .307 against Suppan.
Anyone else notice that Josh Phelps is back in the show with St. Louis? He had 31 homers in AAA this year and got a hit in his first trip up to the plate.

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