04/17/06 10:00 PM ET
Suppan can sew up series win
St. Louis (7-5) at Pittsburgh (4-10), 6:05 p.m. CT
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
St. Louis' Jeff Suppan is a craftsman on the mound, choosing from a wide array of pitches he can throw for strikes. The right-hander is a cerebral hurler who changes locations and speeds consistently, striving at all times to keep hitters off balance.
Pittsburgh's Oliver Perez has dazzling raw stuff, but struggles with consistency. He often has difficulty throwing strikes, which neutralizes the advantage he can have over hitters.
They'll face off on Tuesday evening at PNC Park when the Cardinals go up against the Pirates. Suppan, himself a former Pirate, has pitched well against his old team and he'll be trying to help make it a successful road trip for St. Louis.
The two teams meet again on Wednesday afternoon, which will wrap up the Redbirds' brief three-game road trip. The Cards have an off-day on Thursday before hosting the Cubs at new Busch Stadium on Friday evening.
STL: RHP Jeff Suppan (0-1, 4.09 ERA)
Whether at home or as a visitor, Suppan has enjoyed pitching at PNC Park. His lifetime numbers at the downtown Pittsburgh ballpark are excellent -- he's 8-3 with a 2.87 ERA there. Suppan pitched for the Pirates in 2003 before he was traded to Boston, and then signed with St. Louis.
PIT: LHP Oliver Perez (0-2, 8.10)
Perez, who missed more than two weeks of Spring Training pitching for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic, is still in Spring Training mode, according to pitching coach Jim Colborn. And it's showed. After a dominating Opening Day start, Perez has sputtered. Still working to develop a consistent delivery, Perez has given up 11 runs over eight innings in two consecutive losses.
Player to watch
Gary Bennett has caught Suppan's first two starts, and it won't be a surprise if he gets the third one as well. Bennett is 4-for-8 lifetime against Perez with a double.
Wednesday: Cardinals (Chris Carpenter, 1-1, 2.37 ERA) at Pirates (Victor Santos, 1-2, 7.07 ERA), 11:35 a.m. CT
Friday: Cubs (Jerome Williams, 0-1, 2.45 ERA) at Cardinals (Sidney Ponson, 1-0, 3.97 ERA), 7:10 p.m. CT
Saturday: Cubs (Glendon Rusch, 1-2, 6.60 ERA) at Cardinals (Mark Mulder, 1-0, 4.05 ERA), 1:15 p.m. CT
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.