Stats & Info: Jeff Suppan

Rapid Reaction: Cubs 5, Cardinals 0

July, 23, 2010
The Chicago Cubs shut out the St. Louis Cardinals for the second time this season (also beat Cardinals 5-0 on May 29) as Randy Wells throws seven scoreless innings for the second straight start. Wells is the first Cubs starter to throw at least 7 scoreless innings in consecutive starts since Rich Hill in 2007. 2010 is the first year the Cubs have shut out the Cardinals twice at Wrigley Field since 1996. Alfonso Soriano hits his 18th HR of the season and 100th for the Cubs. The Cardinals have lost 2 straight following an 8-game winning streak.

Jeff Suppan (6 IP, 10 H, 5 ER) falls to 0-6, matching David Aardsma for most losses by a winless pitcher this season. Suppan has dropped 8 straight decisions dating back to last season.

How Randy Wells shut out the Cardinals:
- Cardinals missed with 31.5% of their swings, including more than half against changeups. Wells got four strikeouts with his change, matching a season high; all were swinging. Wells' 17 swinging strikes also matched a season high.
- Limited damage: Despite four of the five base hits coming to leadoff batters, St Louis went 0-for-12 with runners on base. Wells retired the next two batters after all of those leadoff hits; the Cards got only one runner into scoring position with fewer than two outs.

1st Pitch: Career All-Star snubs

July, 2, 2010
Quick Hits: The All-Star rosters will be unveiled on Sunday. A year ago, Tim Wakefield, then 42, was selected for the first time in his career. With 188 wins at the time, he was the winningest pitcher of the All-Star era never to have made the team. With his selection, that distinction returned to Mike Torrez and his 185 career wins. Let’s look at some other notable active players who have never been selected:
  • With 135 career wins, Jeff Suppan is the winningest active pitcher never to make an All-Star Game.
  • Suppan is followed by Darren Oliver and A.J. Burnett, both of whom have won 106 games. An interesting case can be made for Oliver and his 1.49 ERA, which is third among AL relievers.
  • Of the 74 active pitchers with 1,000 career innings, Burnett has the lowest ERA (3.92) among those never selected.
  • Most notably snubbed in 2002 and 2008, Pat Burrell has the most career home runs (272).
  • Adrian Beltre, who ranks second in the majors in batting average and leads all AL third basemen in OPS, has the second most career home runs (262) among active players without an All-Star bid.
  • A snub in 2009, Huston Street’s 130 saves are the most among active pitchers who have never been.
  • Among those with 3,000 career plate appearances, Nick Markakis (.298) has the highest career batting average. He barely qualifies though. He had his 3,000th career plate appearance last night.
  • Travis Hafner has the highest career OPS (.903) for any player in major league history never selected as an All-Star (among those to play in the All-Star era). With four 100-RBI seasons, he’s the only active player with more than two who has never made it. In 2006, he hit .322 with 25 home runs – including a record 5 grand slams – but didn’t make the team.
Today’s Trivia: Who was the last player to win the Cy Young Award after having not been an All-Star that season?

Today’s Leaderboard: For the first time this season, Tim Wakefield and Jamie Moyer – and their combined 90 years of age - are starting on the same day. On May 7, they both pitched, but Wakefield was in relief. So perhaps it’s fitting that Moyer can make some history (again). First, he could pick up his 10th win of the season. It would be his 16th time reaching that total, but just the second time he’s done it before the break. Moyer is going for his 104th win after turning 40, while Wakefield goes for his 41st. Moyer would tie Jack Quinn for the 2nd-most wins after turning 40.

Key Matchups: The Diamondbacks young trio of Justin Upton, Chris Young and Mark Reynolds have combined to hit .163 against Hiroki Kuroda. In 49 at-bats, they’ve struck out 22 times. Perhaps not the welcome to the ranks of big league managers that Kirk Gibson was hoping for.

Chris Iannetta is 6-for-12 in his career against Tim Lincecum. He’s also walked eight times and twice been hit by a pitch against the two-time Cy Young winner. That gives Iannetta a .727 on-base percentage. He’s managed to reach base in all eight games in which they’ve faced one another.

Trivia Answer: In 2004, Johan Santana was just 7-6 with a 3.78 ERA at the break. He went on to win the Cy Young after going 13-0 with a 1.21 ERA in the second half. Jimmy Rollins in 2007 is the last player to win MVP after not being an All-Star.

One2Watch4: Padres P Clayton Richard

March, 14, 2010
When the Padres traded Jake Peavy – the face of their franchise - in July, the team immediately put pressure on the players it received in return.

The quickest payoff of the deal for the Padres is left-handed pitcher Clayton Richard. The 26-year-old is penciled in as San Diego’s fourth starter this season (behind Chris Young, Kevin Correia and Jon Garland) after a very respectable final two months of 2009.

Richard made 12 appearances for the Padres – all starts – and compiled a 5-2 record and 4.08 ERA. Where Richard excelled the most was PETCO Park, as he posted a 4-0 mark and 2.00 ERA in six starts. Breaking down the numbers further, he held opposing hitters to a paltry .254 slugging percentage at PETCO – good for sixth-lowest among NL pitchers with at least three starts in a specific park.

One of the keys to Richard’s early success is his ability to get ground balls. His career groundball/flyball ratio is 1.00 – significantly better than the MLB average of 0.78 over the past two seasons. Richard’s number even improved a little with the Padres, jumping up to 1.07. Here is where Richard ranked in the category among NL starters 26 or younger with at least 50 IP last season.

Highest Groundball/Flyball Ratio by NL Starters, 2009
26 Years Old or Younger, Min. 50 IP

Age GB/FB ratio
Mitchell Boggs, STL 25 1.25
Burke Badenhop, FLA 26 1.24
Ubaldo Jimenez, COL 25 1.16
John Lannan, WSH 25 1.13
Clayton Richard, SD 25 1.07

That number was better than many pitchers known for their ability to induce grounders – such as Mike Pelfrey (1.06), Adam Wainwright (1.04), Josh Johnson (1.00), Jeff Suppan (0.98) and Zach Duke (0.94).

Here’s one final nugget that Padres fans can get excited about: compares players’ statistics at similar ages throughout the sport’s history. Through the age of 25, who is Clayton Richard’s most similar pitcher? None other than Lefty Grove!

That alone makes Richard One2Watch4 in 2010.