DENVER -- After not pitching in a six-game stretch that spanned nine days, left-handed reliever John Grabow is champing at the bit to get in a game.

"I don't like sitting around," Grabow said on Friday, noting how hard it had been for him to be shut down for the final five games before the All-Star break. "I very rarely get two or three days off, let alone eight or nine. So I'm itching to get out there."

As much as he'd lobbied to pitch through the discomfort he was experiencing, Grabow appreciates how much better he feels since his prolonged hiatus.

"My arm feels fresh now," he said, emphasizing what the nine days of rest provided him. "You get to the point where it was getting a little more sore than usual. My mechanics were starting to change a little bit, and I was getting a little wild. So they thought it was best for me to take a few days off and make sure it doesn't get any worse."

Grabow threw a side session before Thursday's series opener with the Rockies, and he bounced back fine on Friday, proclaiming himself good to go.

"Everything feels good," Grabow said before the game. "They wanted to give me a break and let my arm bounce back a little bit -- just a little bit of dead arm, a little bit of soreness. Everything feels good, so I'll be ready to go today."

Grabow has been a rock in relief for the Pirates, posting a 5-2 record and a 3.35 ERA in 42 appearances. His availability on Friday gave the Pirates a full bullpen for the remainder of the series in Colorado, where pitching always is at a premium.