Milwaukee (5-4) at St. Louis (5-4)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: St. Louis, MO, US
Temp: 78° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Sat Apr 14, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Jeff Suppan was a major component behind the St. Louis Cardinals’ championship run last season, and he’ll make his Busch Stadium season debut on Saturday—this time for the opposition.

Suppan and the Milwaukee Brewers (5-4) hope to face the Cardinals (5-4) after Friday’s series opener was rained out.

The right-hander was named NL championship series MVP after going 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA in two starts against the New York Mets. In the decisive Game 7, he allowed just one run and two hits in seven innings of the Cardinals’ 3-1 win at Shea Stadium.

He pitched well but did not factor in his only World Series appearance, as he gave up three runs in six innings of St. Louis’ 5-4 victory over Detroit in Game 4. Before Friday’s postponement, Suppan said there were no hard feelings over his signing a $42 million, four-year contract with a division rival.

“I realized they had to do what they had to do and I had to do what I felt I had to do,” Suppan said. “I concentrated on being professional, seeing what was out there and being open to whatever offers there were.”

Suppan, though, has gotten off to a slow start with his new team. He allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings in Monday’s 5-3 loss to Florida, and has not lost three straight starts since April 27-May 8, 2003 while with Pittsburgh.

He’ll try and get back on track at Busch Stadium, where he went 7-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 17 starts for the Cardinals last season.

The Cardinals counter with a new member of their revamped pitching staff. Kip Wells (1-1, 1.38) has been solid in his first two starts, allowing just two earned runs and six hits while striking out 14 in 13 innings.

Wells is coming off seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball in Sunday’s 10-1 win over Houston in which he retired the last 16 batters he faced.

Last season with Pittsburgh and Texas, the right-hander was just 2-5 with a 6.50 ERA due largely to foot and shoulder injuries that limited him to only nine starts.

“I felt like I’ve been relatively right for basically since I came back last year,” Wells told the team’s official Web site. “Obviously, experience-wise and repetition-wise, you need those outings, but for the most part for me, it’s not overthrowing, it’s staying in the strike zone and staying in a rhythm.”

Wells, who signed a one-year deal with the reigning World Champions, hasn’t faced the Brewers since 2005 while pitching for the Pirates, and is 6-6 with a 3.97 ERA in 17 starts against them.

Friday’s series opener between St. Louis and Milwaukee was postponed by rain, and this game was pushed back to 7:10 p.m. EDT to account for a dismal forecast.

“There’s a chance (a storm) will be around a good part of (Saturday),” Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. “We should be able to play. It will be a little uncomfortable.”

No makeup date was announced for Friday’s game. St. Louis was 9-7 against Milwaukee in 2006, with six of the wins coming at home.

The Cardinals are coming off a three-game sweep at Pittsburgh, capped by Wednesday’s 3-2 victory. The Brewers beat Florida 3-2 in 13 innings Wednesday in the completion of a suspended game before posting a 5-2 win in the regularly scheduled contest.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Suppan SD vs. K. Wells LAA
12-12 Record 7-17
4.62 ERA 5.70
114 K 122
68 BB 78
1.50 WHIP 1.62


Saturday, Apr 14