How I thought Jeff Suppan killed the Padres playoff hopes in 2010
I woke up today thinking two things:
It’s time to fire up the blog for Spring Training (daily reports, newsy stuff, things for Spring Training) and how I was almost entirely certain that new Padres pitcher Jeff Suppan (cue dramatic music here) torpedoed the Padres playoff chances in September of 2010.
It turns out I was wrong, though Suppan — who if you didn’t click on the link above, has signed a Minor League deal with the Padres — appeared to be well on his way to beating the Padres on a start at Busch Stadium on September 18 of that season, with the Padres still clinging to the smallest of leads in the National League West over the Giants.
Well, we all know how that turned out.
But back to that warm night in St. Louis (as if there are any other kind).
So Suppan gets a spot start for Jaime Garcia, who the Cardinals had already shut down after throwing 163 1/3 innings a year after Tommy John surgery. Suppan had only made two appearances from September 1 up until this game against the Padres, throwing only 2 2/3 innings.
Well, Suppan goes out and allows one earned run on five hits over five innings as the Cardinals are clinging to a 2-1 lead. The Padres, coming off three consecutive losses — including a 14-4 trouncing the night bef0re — were on the verge of losing their lead in the NL West because of Suppan.
It might have turned out that way had the Padres not scored three times in the seventh inning and four more times in the ninth for a 8-4 victory — a win aided by ninth-inning home runs by Ryan Ludwick against his former team and Matt “Swing Like You Live” Stairs.
The victory allowed the Padres to main a half-game lead over the Giants. It was an important victory and clearly one of their best in a month where wins were terribly difficult to come by.
Oddly enough, Suppan made three more appearances during the final month of 2010 with the Cardinals. He hasn’t appeared in the Major Leagues since, as he pitched the entire 2011 with the Royals’ Triple-A affiliate in Omaha.
Anyway, thanks for following along with that long-winded, two-year old memory based on a premise that turned out to be completely wrong. I promise posts moving forward will be centered more on timely (and factual) topics.
Corey Brock, MLB.com