Parra gets his chance to finish strong

Parra gets his chance to finish strong

MILWAUKEE -- Considering that he missed three starts with a neck injury, Brewers left-hander Manny Parra will likely be on a shorter leash when he returns to action on Friday night against the Phillies.

"I would think so, yeah," said Brewers manager Ken Macha, when asked whether Parra would be on a pitch count. "We've got plenty of arms in the bullpen right now."

Parra hasn't pitched since Sept. 8, when he exited a start against the Cardinals after one inning because of a stiff neck. He got no relief for more than a week, and when the condition persisted, the Brewers ordered an MRI scan to make sure the problem was not more serious than initially thought.

It was not, and Parra began feeling better late last week. Instead of rushing him back to the rotation, Brewers pitching coach Chris Bosio observed Parra in several bullpen sessions before declaring him ready to return.

"Hopefully, I'll finish strong," Parra said. "That was my goal before I hurt my neck, but now I'm happy to get the opportunity to be able to do that. Without pitching, I wasn't going to be able to do that."

Assuming he makes it through Friday's game with no setbacks, Parra would pitch again on Thursday in Colorado.

Parra is third on the team with 10 wins despite a 6.42 ERA, the highest mark in the National League for a pitcher with at least 70 innings. In the Majors, only Cleveland's Fausto Carmona (6.81 ERA) and Tampa Bay's Andy Sonnanstine (6.82 ERA) have been hit harder.

Pitching matchup
MIL: LHP Manny Parra (10-10, 6.42 ERA)
Parra has notched seven of his wins since returning from a midseason demotion to Triple-A Nashville, but he's 0-3 with a 17.05 ERA in three career appearances against the Phillies, including two starts. He surrendered five runs in four innings of an 11-4 Brewers loss at Citizens Bank Park in April.

PHI: LHP Cliff Lee (14-11, 2.99 ERA)
Lee pitched just four innings Sunday against the Braves at Turner Field, but only because of a one hour, 51 minute rain delay. He had allowed five hits and one run to that point. Lee wanted to run back out there, but the Phillies told him it wasn't worth the risk. It made sense. Although it would have been nice to have Lee pitch a few more innings, they want to make sure he is healthy for the postseason. He is 7-2 with a 2.65 ERA since he joined the Phillies on July 29.

Macha announced that lefty Chris Narveson would indeed stay on schedule to start Tuesday's series opener in Colorado. That means Narveson will also line up for the team's season finale in St. Louis. "It's a little bit of an opportunity," Narveson said. "I need to take it and use it." ... Brewers general manager Doug Melvin was surprised to learn that with Yovani Gallardo and Braden Looper, the Brewers have multiple pitchers with at least 13 wins for the first time since 1992, when they had three with at least that many in Jamie Navarro (17 wins), Chris Bosio (16) and Bill Wegman (13). That same trio also won at least 13 games apiece in 1991. ... The Brewers handed out placards on Friday to promote Prince Fielder as a National League MVP candidate and Casey McGehee as an NL Rookie of the Year pick. The side pumping-up McGehee read: "Casey for Rook-hee of the Year." Fielder's side promoted "MVPrince."

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Up next
• Saturday: Brewers (Braden Looper, 13-7, 5.12) vs. Phillies (Pedro Martinez, 5-1, 3.32), 6:05 p.m. CT
• Sunday: Brewers (Dave Bush, 5-8, 6.22) vs. Phillies (Joe Blanton, 11-7, 3.82), 1:05 p.m. CT
• Monday: Off-day

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.