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Marlins pummel Parra, Brewers

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McClatchy-Tribune
June 3, 2009
— What exactly do the Milwaukee Brewers have in Manny Parra?

That was the question of the night Tuesday as the erratic left-hander was pummeled in a 10-3 beating by the Florida Marlins at desolate Land Shark Stadium.


With the Brewers in need of a strong start by Parra with the bullpen depleted, this is what he gave them: 4 innings, 11 hits, 10 runs (all earned), 2 walks, 5 strikeouts.


The horrible outing dropped Parra to 3-7 with a 6.75 earned run average through 11 starts. The Brewers are 3-8 when he takes the hill and 27-14 when the other four starters pitch.


Parra’s season got off to a poor start, resulting in a 0-4 record and 6.52 ERA in four outings in April. He then got himself together, going 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA over his next four appearances.


That momentum was completely erased over his past three outings, however. Parra is 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA over that stretch, with 26 hits, 22 runs (21 earned) and 10 walks in 14 innings.


It has gotten to the point where the Brewers have no idea what to expect from Parra, start to start. Worse yet, he has no idea what to expect.


All of which is why the Brewers summoned right-hander Mike Burns from Class AAA Nashville to be on hand should Parra make an early exit. And that’s exactly what happened.


“The hopes are that he develops into what his potential says he’s going to be,” manager Ken Macha said of Parra.


“This is a work in progress. We’re not looking at a polished pitcher.”


The night got off to a sour note for the Brewers when they were unable to push across a run in the first inning despite Florida starter Anibal Sanchez laboring through 40 pitches. They did score a run in the second when Jody Gerut singled, stole second and third, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Parra.


But Parra gave the lead right back when Jorge Cantu led off the bottom of the inning with a single and Dan Uggla blasted a home run over the scoreboard in left-center.


Parra, who appeared primed for a big performance when he struck out all three hitters he faced in the first inning, continued to struggle in the third. Consecutive one-out singles by Hanley Ramirez, Cantu and Uggla produced a run, and a wild pitch by Parra left runners on second and third.


Shortstop J.J. Hardy robbed Cody Ross of a hit with a diving stab, but Cantu scored on the play. Parra then uncorked another wild pitch, allowing Uggla to score and make it 5-1.


When Ronny Paulino followed with a single, Macha came out for a face-to-face discussion.


“I told him we needed a couple more innings,” said Macha, who rarely visits the mound if he’s not making a change. “His focus gets away from him.


“He comes out the first inning and strikes out the side with nasty stuff. Then he comes out in the second inning and loses command. I’m trying to figure him out.”


The Marlins turned the game into a complete rout with five runs in the fourth off Parra. With one down, Emilio Bonifacio, Jeremy Hermida and Ramirez singled, tacking another run onto Florida’s lead.


Parra induced Cantu to pop out but walked Uggla to load the bases. Ross then crushed a changeup for a grand slam deep into the stands in left to give the Marlins a commanding 10-1 lead.


Afterward, a solemn Parra was reluctant to dissect his outing.


“I actually felt good,” he said. “That makes it more frustrating. I’m just not making pitches at times. I’m not making the pitches out of the stretch I need to make.”


Burns pitched four scoreless innings in his Milwaukee debut, but Florida reliever Burke Badenhop was even more impressive in making sure the Brewers did not get back in the game. Taking over after Sanchez needed 71 pitches to get through three innings, Badenhop completely shut down the visitors.


During his five-inning stint, Badenhop allowed just one hit—a one-out single by Mat Gamel in the fourth. The lanky right-hander retired the last nine hitters he faced after walking Frank Catalanotto to open the sixth.


The Brewers finally broke through on Corey Hart’s two-run homer in the ninth.


, but it was merely window dressing at that point.



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