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Game Thread #133: Brewers (64-68) at Cardinals (79-55)

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Current Series

Cardinals lead the series 2-0

Tue 09/01 WP: Joel Pineiro (14 - 9)
SV: Ryan Franklin
LP: David Weathers (3 - 5)
6 - 7 loss
Wed 09/02 WP: Chris Carpenter (15 - 3)
LP: Dave Bush (3 - 6)
3 - 10 loss

Milwaukee Brewers
@ St. Louis Cardinals

Thursday, Sep 3, 2009, 1:15 PM CDT
Busch Stadium

Manny Parra vs John Smoltz

Sunny. Winds blowing from right to left field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 80.

Complete Coverage >

Can Manny Parra help the Brewers avoid a sweep?

Follow the jump for today's pitching matchup, lineup and conversation on today's game!

John Smoltz (3-5, 6.71) has been very good since making the move over to the National League a few weeks ago, going 1-0 with an 0.82 ERA in two starts. Smoltz is in his 21st major league season, but is making just his sixth career start against the Brewers: He's 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA and six saves in 44.1 innings against them. He's dominated Felipe Lopez (.182/.250/.182 in 36 PAs) and Mike Cameron (.130/.167/.261 in 24 PAs). Craig Counsell has hit .500/.556/.500 against him in 18 plate appearances, and gets the start at second base today.

Meanwhile, Manny Parra (9-10, 6.66) continues to be everyone's whipping boy. He leads the NL with 91 earned runs allowed despite having spent a month in the minors, and has posted an 8.57 ERA while allowing opposing batters to OPS 1.135 against him in his last four starts. Albert Pujols, Ryan Ludwick and Brendan Ryan have all faced Parra at least ten times and OPS'ed over 1.000 against him. With that said, Parra's pitched relatively well against the Cardinals this season: He's faced them three times and posted a 2.28 ERA over 19.2 innings. He's posted a 7.49 ERA against the rest of baseball.

Felipe Lopez and J.J. Hardy are getting the day off today, so Alcides Escobar and Craig Counsell will man the middle infield: (h/t JS)

2B Craig Counsell
RF Frank Catalanotto
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
3B Casey McGehee
CF Mike Cameron
C Mike Rivera
SS Alcides Escobar
LHP Manny Parra

And in the bullpen:

Chris Narveson pitched 1.2 innings (26 pitches) last night, and also pitched on Tuesday.Chris Smith pitched one inning (25 pitches) last night.Mitch Stetter pitched .2 innings (24 pitches) last night.
Carlos Villanueva pitched one inning (12 pitches) last night.Mark DiFelice pitched .1 innings (1 pitch) last night.
David Weathers pitched .2 innings (13 pitches) Tuesday.
Todd Coffey pitched .1 innings (4 pitches) Tuesday.
Claudio Vargas last pitched on Sunday.
Trevor Hoffman last pitched on Sunday.

Enjoy the game!