A couple years ago when the Cardinals won the World Series and Jeff Suppan won a few starts on their march to the title, some of the baseball writers were trying to act like he was some special pitcher. He was so special, the Cardinals traded him away the next spring.
When he go traded to Milwaukee, some of those same baseball writers on television tried to make a big deal of it, like the brewers had acquired a great pitcher. If consistently keeping the other team from racking up 9 runs before the third inning makes him a great pitcher, then Suppan rocks.
David Eckstein won the MVP of that World Series in 2006, but we don't call him an amazing short stop. Just as Eckstein can be depended on to give his all and play smart, determined baseball, so can Suppan. If you expect Suppan to shut down the Red Sox lineup tomorrow night, however, you are asking way too much of him. If he keeps the Red Sox under six runs through five innings, he will have done a great job.
Suppan's counterpart on the mound is Daisuke Matsuzaka. Matsuzaka seems to be getting better and better the longer he resides in the U.S. He seems to be turning into the true ace of the Red Sox staff. It is still early in the season, but his 6-0 record and 2.45 ERA are super impressive.
Don't expect the Brewers to score many runs and don't expect to see them win this game on Friday night. The Red Sox have lost four games in a row, and a team that good doesn't lose five in a row very often, especially with their best pitcher on the mound.
The money line is -200 for the straight up win by the Red Sox and, barring the unforseen, they should get the win with ease.
A quick note on the Atlanta Braves: After my last post in which I praised the Braves heavily, it was announced that Chipper Jones had hurt his groin and was not going to play against the Phillies Thursday night. I wouldn't bet on the Braves if Chipper is not in the lineup. They looked full of confidence, but Chipper is the primary source of that confidence. Take him out of the lineup and the Braves are just an average baseball team. So, if Chipper is playing, they are a great bet to win a lot of their upcoming games. They will probably win the NL East.
P.S. is anyone else bored with all these easy home victories in the NBA?