Milwaukee Brewers fans know that the starting rotation is prone to having their moments in the spotlight. Tonight was no exception as Jimmy Nelson was tasked with toeing the rubber against the greatest pitcher in the last 30 years, Clayton Kershaw.
The last three games have been dominated by the Milwaukee Brewers starting pitching. Junior Guerra outdueled Mets ace Jacob Degrom in New York, the next day Chase Anderson continued his dominance from his last near no-hitter against the Diamondbacks as he beat Zach Wheeler the following day.
The surging Brewers needed yet another great outing by Jimmy Nelson in the series opener against the Dodgers.
The team could not have asked for more out of Nelson. He threw the game of his life. Friday night’s effort was easily the most efficient he has pitched in a Major League game. Nelson would tally eight scoreless innings and sit down 11 Dodgers via the K. Every at-bat seemed to make this potent Dodgers offense look more lost as they continued to see Nelson’s filthy off-speed pitches graze the corners.
The only jam Nelson found himself in was in the 8th inning when second basemen Jonathan Villar botched a ground ball of a would-be inning-ending double play.
It would not matter as Nelson would execute his electric sinker and force an inning-ending double play to the next batter.
Nelson walked off the mound screaming into his glove as he was extremely fired up.
On the other side of things, the Brewers task was to face the ace of baseball in Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw did his usual thing. He struck out five of the first six batters he faced.
Kershawcame into the game with 1,996 career strikeouts, only needing four to reach the milestone of 2,000 strikeouts. He appeared to require little effort to reach the milestone.
Even though Mr. 2000 K’s had 14 punchouts, Nelson was the better pitcher on Friday. Kershaw, unlike Nelson, gave up a run on a booming home run to the Brewers right fielder, Domingo Santana, late in the game.
How Did The Brewers Lose This Game?
This game seemed to have ‘Milwaukee Brewers thrilling win’ written all over it until Corey Knebel came in for the save in the ninth inning. He quickly surrendered a solo home run to Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal.
If anyone should be forgiven, it’s Knebel. He has been one of the best closers and relievers in baseball this season. He is on pace for 150 strikeouts as a reliever/ closer and converted his first four saves easily before Friday.
However, someone who indeed needs to get it together is $5 million man Neftali Feliz. He still continues to struggle even in non-save situations. Feliz would end up surrendering this amazing game in the 12th inning on a home run from Dodgers red hot prospect / rookie of the month Cody Bellinger.
Hopefully, the bullpen gets its act together and we can start rewarding our starters with the wins they rightfully deserve. We know wins do not matter, but our guys deserve the recognition they work so hard to achieve.