Suppan gets back on track
Jeff Suppan blanked the Giants on one hit through five solid exceptional innings on Tuesday. Hopefully he saved something for April 7.
Three more Cactus League starts separate Suppan from his likely Opening Day start against the Giants at AT&T Park. Manager Ken Macha does not intend to announce his pitching plans for another week, and Suppan danced around a question about the possibility.
“It’s definitely a big honor, and we’ll wait and see what happens,” said Suppan, who has three Opening Day starts to his credit. “Everyone is very capable of starting that game and they haven’t told us anything. It’s not even a concern of mine. My basic goal is to get ready for the season. Wherever that start falls, it falls.”
He carried a 7.36 Spring Training ERA into Tuesday’s start but no-hit the Giants through the first four innings without a single ball hit out of the infield. Pablo Sandoval broke up the no-hitter with a single leading off the fifth.
“Today I was working on my tempo,” Suppan said. “In other games before I was working on my pitches; fastball, change-up, introducing my slider, introducing the curve ball. Today I really worked on my balance and tempo and getting ahead. That was important today.”
The day was more adventurous at the plate and on the bases. In the third inning, Suppan thought he had struck out after failing to drop a bunt and retreated to the dugout, only to be called back by plate umpire Jim Reynolds because there were only two strikes.
Then, after working a walk in the fifth, Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner showed a great pick-off move that might not have fooled Suppan but certainly fooled first baseman Travis Ishikawa, who had to make a diving/stumbling grab to prevent an overthrow.