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Soup pitched great ... against the Brewers

On Wednesday, we looked at Brewer Killers at the plate. Now let's talk about the jerks who dominated Milwaukee from the bump.

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Jeff Suppan represents an interesting case study into the mind of a baseball fan. You see, there was a time when Suppan was a solidly below average starting pitcher, having compiled a 4.60 ERA through his first 12 seasons in the big leagues. And yet, the Red Sox, Diamondbacks Royals, Pirates and Cardinals continued to roll him out there: he started 30 games each year from 1999 to 2009, despite recording a sub-4.00 ERA just once.

Jeff Suppan was Capital-B Bad, generally. Except, of course, when he faced Milwaukee. Suppan carried a stellar 13-2 record (don't ever talk about pitcher wins except when they support your argument in which case go for it), a 3.20 ERA -- easily his best than against any other team --  and struck out more Brewers than he did any other team despite playing for them for four years.

And oh yes, you'll be hard pressed to find a Brewers fan anywhere who won't launch into an expletive-laced rant at the mere mention of Suppan's name. But they've fogotten about his total and complete dominance of the Brewers, despite his general inability to retire batters with any regularity otherwise. After becoming the highest paid pitcher in Milwaukee Brewers history at the time with a four year, $44 million contract in 2007, Suppan was a massive disappointment, putting up a 4.92 ERA in his first season with the Brewers and getting worse every year, a run that ended with him being released in June of 2010 with a 8.42 ERA.

Perhaps most galling of all, Suppan caught back on with the Cardinals after being released by Milwaukee and put together what would have been the best season of his career stretched out over a full year, putting up a 3.84 ERA in 15 appearances and 13 starts. So while Suppan may be one of the worst Brewer Killer pitchers in recent memory, there are just so, so many other reasons to hate him.

Ryan Dempster

Career vs. Milwaukee: 16-6, 2.65 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 10 SV, 186 K, 200.1 IP

Oh my GOOOOOOD I hate Ryan Dempster. Part of that is, of course, his general dominance of the Brewers: his ERA against Milwaukee is a almost two full runs better than his career average (4.35 in 16 seasons), and he collected five more wins against Milwaukee than against any other team (pitcher wins are a Bad stat to use when evaluating a pitcher's true worth, but they're perfect for this exercise, which measures which pitchers were the most annoyingly successful). Honestly though, that all pales in comparison to the true reason to detest Dempster:

Oh my god WHY!? Just pitch don't be dancing around with your glove. Get bent Ryan Dempster.

Wade Miller

Career vs. Milwaukee: 11-2, 2.98 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 96 K, 102.2 IP

Miller spent most of his career with the Astros at the beginning of the century. He had a two year run in 2001-02 when he was a serviceable mid-rotation starter, but outside that he was mostly okay to terrible: he finished his career with a 4.10 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. Against the Brewers, however, he shoved over and over again; despite a career K/9 of just 7.5, Miller recorded double digit strikeouts four times against the Brewers, including a three-hit complete game in 2001 when he struck out 12 men. He struck out at least 10 men only three other times in his nine year career.

Woody Williams

Career vs. Milwaukee: 12-6, 3.03 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 104 K, 148.2 IP

Woody Williams spent the first six years of his career in Toronto, where he started his dominance over Milwaukee. When the Brewers popped over to the National League, Williams followed them, signing the the Padres, where he continued to harass them. Deciding finally that it wasn't enough to simply be in the same league, Williams pushed for a trade to St. Louis, where he did the worst of his damage to the Brewers. Williams pitched against Milwaukee more often than against any other team, winning at a 67% clip with an ERA more than a run lower than his career average (4.19).

Bronson Arroyo

Career vs. Miwaukee: 16-10, 3.54 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 148 K, 203.1 IP

Arroyo, who is apparently nicknamed "Saturn Nuts" (nope, not goggling that, nice try Baseball Reference), has maintained a regular streak of uncharacteristic competence against Milwaukee. Of his 30 starts, he allowed two runs or less in 17 of the, and was only really tagged once in a nine-run, one inning start in 2009 that I specifically remember and thoroughly enjoyed. Excepting that game, his ERA against Milwaukee is an even nastier 3.15, and more than a full run less than his 4.19 career mark.