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Game Thread #96: Braves (49-47) at Brewers (48-47)

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Current Series

3 game series vs Braves @ Miller Park

Atlanta Braves
@ Milwaukee Brewers

Friday, Jul 24, 2009, 7:05 PM CDT
Miller Park

Javier Vazquez vs Manny Parra

Partly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing from right to left field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 75.

Complete Coverage >

Sat 07/25 6:05 PM CDT
Sun 07/26 1:05 PM CDT

Fresh off a full 48 hours off, the Brewers open a three game series tonight, as Manny Parra and the Crew host Javier Vazquez and the Braves to open up a very important homestand.

Follow the jump for tonight's starting pitching matchup and conversation on tonight's game!

At age 32, Javier Vazquez might be having the best season of his career, posting a 7-7 record with a 2.86 ERA in 126 innings of work. He's among the top ten in the NL in both ERA and WHIP, and his 10.07 strikeouts per nine innings is the NL's second highest total. He's 3-1 in his last five starts and has allowed just five earned runs over 33.2 innings, striking out 29 and walking six in that time. The Brewers were able to beat him on June 6, and have fared pretty well against him in his career: He's 5-7 with a 4.87 ERA in 15 career starts.

Hopefully Manna Parra can continue his bounce back from demotion earlier this season. Since returning to the big leagues, Parra has allowed just one earned run in thirteen innings, walked four and struck out 13. He allowed five runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings his last time out against the Braves on June 7 en route to a no decision. Hopefully fatigue won't be a factor for him tonight: He needed 124 pitches to get through six innings against the Reds on Saturday, but has had an extra day of rest since then.

Felipe Lopez is still out tonight, so Jason Kendall gets the leadoff spot again (h/t JS):

C Jason Kendall
2B Craig Counsell
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
3B Casey McGehee
CF Mike Cameron
RF Corey Hart
SS J.J. Hardy
LHP Manny Parra

The off day came at a good time for the bullpen:

Todd Coffey pitched two innings (29 pitches) Wednesday.Seth McClung pitched 1.2 innings (36 pitches) Wednesday.Mark DiFelice pitched .2 innings (eight pitches) Wednesday, and also pitched on Tuesday.Mitch Stetter pitched .1 innings (17 pitches) Wednesday, and also pitched on Tuesday.
Trevor Hoffman
last pitched on Tuesday.
Carlos Villanueva
last pitched on Monday.
Chris Smith last pitched on Monday.

Enjoy the game!