Here's the thing:
When your team signs a pitcher to a $12-million-per-year contract, you expect the guy to be a stopper -- to be able to stave off a potential losing streak and, conversely, to be able to get the team kickstarted on a string of wins. It can't happen every time the guy takes the ball, for sure, but when your team really needs the $12-million-per dude -- like, say, when your team hasn't won a series since June, and it's days before the trading deadline, and the worst team (by far) in baseball is coming to town for a critical four-game set -- you'd like him to answer the bell.
Jeff Suppan hasn't done that since ... fuck, I don't know if Jeff Suppan has ever come up big in a crucial spot for the Brewers. Instead, he strolls out to the mound armed with his 86-mph fastball and 84-mph change-up, and, while attempting to "pitch to contact," still manages to walk four guys per nine innings and ultimately -- predictably -- almost laughably -- gets cuffed around the park. He nearly put an end to the Brewers' playoff run last with a miserable September performance, he put an emphatic end to the Brewers' first playoff appearance in 25 years, and, last night, he turned in what can only be described as one of the most unforgivable starts in the history of the franchise -- 10 runs, all earned, in 5.1 innings against a team that's nearly 40 games under .500 with two months left in the season.
Now, because of his albatross contract, the Brewers have no choice but to keep running Suppan out there every fifth day, despite the fact that there's about a ten percent chance he's going to pitch seven innings (a spectacular feat he's accomplished twice in twenty-fucking-one starts), despite the fact that he's walking the tightrope in damn near every inning thanks to his absurd 1.70 WHIP, and, perhaps most damningly of all, despite the fact that his 2009 stats are now nearly the mirror image of Ruben Quevedo's 2002 season. Yes, you read that right -- this year, Jeff Suppan is putting up the same numbers as the namesake of this stupid blog, a guy who is universally recognized as one of the most atrocious pitchers to ever put on a Brewers uniform. He's been that bad.
In fact, that's probably a good place to end this post, since I can propose no answers to this maddening dilemma. Suppan sucks, we're stuck with him for another year, and there's nothing anyone can do about it.
Happy Tuesday, everybody!