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News » Milwaukee Brewers Inside Pitch 2009-04-11

Milwaukee Brewers Inside Pitch 2009-04-11

Milwaukee Brewers Inside Pitch 2009-04-11
General manager Doug Melvin on Friday defended veteran right-hander Jeff Suppan, who was tagged for six runs in four innings on opening day in San Francisco and has been the target of disgruntled fans.

"When we signed Jeff, the things that highlighted us about Jeff were that he was never on the disabled list, he was a durable guy," said Melvin, who signed Suppan to a four-year, $42 million deal on Christmas Eve 2006.

"He'll go out there and win in double figures. He's great in the clubhouse. He's a veteran guy that players respect. We didn't expect an 18-game winner, a 20-game winner. Jeff has never been that."

Suppan, 34, went 12-12 with a 4.62 ERA in 34 starts for the Brewers in 2007 and followed that with a 10-10 mark and 4.96 ERA in 31 starts last season.

After going 5-0 with a 3.00 ERA last August, he went 0-3 with an 8.44 ERA in September, then was hit hard (five runs, three home runs in three innings) in the NLDS-eliminating loss to Philadelphia.

"He does have moments, like some pitchers do when they're in slumps," said Melvin. "They'll have good games and bad games. It's almost similar to what hitters go through. But when you're a pitcher, it seems to stand out more and people notice it more.

"But I know without Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan going 9-0 (combined) in the month of August last year, we probably wouldn't have the postseason appearance. Jeff has given us what we hoped for, what we expected."

BREWERS 4, CUBS 3: After going hitless since the fourth inning, the Brewers rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to pull out an exhilarating victory over their chief rival in their home opener. Second baseman Rickie Weeks, who also made two defensive gems that helped keep the Brewers in the game, doubled in the tying run off Chicago closer Kevin Gregg with one down and later beat the throw home on Ryan Braun's groundball to shortstop Ryan Theriot.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 11, 2009

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