So here's something I thought I'd never say: Can Jeff Suppan pitch again today? After throwing seven scoreless innings yesterday, Suppan now has a 2.92 ERA against the Cardinals in 12 starts, easily his best ERA against any team.
Today, he would have faced Todd Wellemeyer, who comes into the game carrying a 3-3 record despite posting a 5.80 ERA in seven starts. He got shelled by the Pirates his last time out, allowing seven runs on nine hits in 4.1 innings en route to his third loss. In his career he's struggled against Ryan Braun: Braun is 6-for-8 in his career against Wellemeyer with two walks and a home run.
Instead, the Brewers will send Manny Parra to the mound. Parra (2-4 overall) is coming off back to back wins and has lowered his ERA from 8.16 to 4.12 in his last four starts. He's still among the top ten in the NL in walks (8th) and losses (6th), but he's also striking out 8.7 batters per nine innings. Parra has not factored in the decision in any of his six appearances (five starts) against the Cardinals, but has posted a 3.77 ERA in 28.2 innings. Albert Pujols is 5-for-11 in his career against Parra with three walks, and three of those five hits have been for extra bases.
Craig Counsell is back in the lineup today, according to the JS:
2B Rickie Weeks
3B Craig Counsell
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
CF Mike Cameron
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Corey Hart
C Jason Kendall
LHP Manny Parra
Here's a look at the bullpen's status:
Trevor Hoffman pitched yesterday, and four straight games (over five days).
Mark DiFelice pitched yesterday, and two straight games (over three days).
Mitch Stetter pitched yesterday.
Carlos Villanueva has not pitched since Wednesday.
Todd Coffey has not pitched since Wednesday.
Seth McClung has not pitched since last Saturday.
Jorge Julio has not pitched since last Saturday.