Thanks for the input guys. I am kicking myself for not getting a rebuilt starter from the dealer. Wife needed the car the next day and I was desperate and went to McParts with its `lifetime` warranty. The thing is, it`s not the first starter I got from them. The first one sounded worse and also grinded on the ring gear so I swapped (not a fun job) it out with this latest one. This one has the same symptoms, but only with continuous cranking. They were/are both Bosch starters but as you guys have indicated there are degrees to their rebuilding. Maybe this was a $175 lesson I needed to learn.
I will get the battery load tested and double check the cables to be safe. The battery took a bit of abuse in the previous weeks trying to diagnois a vacuum leak/fuel problem. I put a charge on it last night and it initially takes only 3 amps and drops pretty quickly to an amp.