Today In Brewer History: Happy birthday, Jeff Suppan

Jonathan Daniel

One of the Brewers more ill-advised free agent signings turns 39 today.

On this day in 1975 Jeff Suppan was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Red Sox made him their second round pick in the 1993 draft, and he was only 20 when he made his MLB debut in 1995. He pitched 5.2 innings on that day and allowed three runs on nine hits, setting a pretty accurate tone for the rest of his professional career.

Suppan was still only 29 but had been a member of the Red Sox, Diamondbacks, Royals, Pirates and Red Sox again when he caught on with the 2004 Cardinals and became a relatively effective innings-eater. He was with St. Louis from 2004-06 and made 95 starts, posting a 3.95 ERA despite striking out just 5.2 batters per nine innings and also made nine postseason starts over three seasons, including appearances in the 2004 and 2006 World Series. He was the MVP of the 2006 NLCS.

That was enough to convince the Brewers to open their checkbook, and they signed Soup to a four-year, $42 million contract on Christmas Eve of 2006. It turned out to be a poor decision. Suppan posted a 4.62 ERA over 206 innings for the Brewers in 2007, but his numbers declined every season from there. He made 31 regular season starts for the 2008 Wild Card team, but is likely best remembered for an awful performance in Game 4 of the NLDS that effectively ended the Brewers' season.

When the Brewers released Suppan in 2010 he had a 5.08 career ERA in Milwaukee, the franchise's worst ever for a pitcher who started at least 90 games. He eventually caught back on with the Cardinals and made 15 more appearances, posting a 3.84 ERA. After a year away from the majors he added insult to injury against the Brewers on May 2, 2012 when he pitched five shutout innings against Milwaukee as a member of the Padres in one of his final MLB starts.

All told, Suppan pitched in 448 games over 17 MLB seasons with a 4.70 ERA over 2542.2 innings. His 337 career home runs allowed are the 34th most in MLB history.

Suppan turns 39 today.

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