Macha To Talk With Suppan: "See What's Going On In His Head"
By By Jay Sorgi
Next game: Tuesday, April 14th vs. Cincinnati
Brewers manager Ken Macha doesn't have to grab another look at the statistics of Opening Day pitcher Jeff Suppan to see his failures.
6.2 innings, 11 runs allowed, seven walks, three with the bases loaded, a 12.91 ERA and - most importantly - an 0-2 record.
Today, though, Macha will try to understand the reasons why in a discussion with the Brewers' veteran pitcher.
"I want to see how he feels about himself, said Macha on 620WTMJ's "Brewers 360."
"That's the most important thing, to see what's going on in his head, what he feels is going to be the direction he wants to go in order to get him out of this things."
Macha reminded fans that he's only two games into the season, but that the toll on the Brewers' bullpen has already been much greater because of, along with other starters, Suppan's failures.
"When you're going to the bullpen five or six innings every night, it really becomes a bigger problem for the team overall.
"You've got to get the ball down, and keep the ball down. In San Francisco, he kept the ball up, (and) it hurt him pretty bad. Ishikawa hit a bases-clearing triple against him, and Rowand hit a two-run home run. He got into a little bit of a jam the other day (Sunday vs. the Cubs). He's just trying to get the ball down, and he kept missing down. He kept missing down."
Is it a mechanical or mental issue? Macha wants to find out, too.
"That's probably the main question that's going to be asked. Is he doing something mechanically, or is it something in his head that we need to get cleared out?"
Salary Won't Matter In Terms of Macha's Decisions on Suppan
The theory goes, if a guy is making a ton of money, he has to have the chance to earn his keep.
Often, going by that theory means a much longer leash on someone performing like Suppan has this year.
Macha says he doesn't go by such a theory.
"I can't look at how much people make," explains Macha.
"I can't do that. I just have to see how they're pitching for the team and how they affect the team.
"Jeff, regardless of what the salary is, his history is that he puts up innings and he has the team in the game. That hasn't happened.
"What we need to do, regardless of the salary, is to get him pitching like he has in the past. Hopefully, we're going to be able to do that.
"With these off days coming up, I want to see what's going on in his head. Maybe we can use those off days to get some work for him in various ways, so he can get back on track."