On a sunny Sunday afternoon in June, Jimmy Nelson took to the mound against the San Diego Padres. He turned in a performance that few expected when they walked into the ballpark that day.
In what ended up being the only complete game of the season, Jimmy Nelson gave Milwaukee Brewers fans a very special Father’s Day moment. The game was a complete pitcher’s duel on both sides but Nelson was able to win out after Hernan Perez and Manny Pina go yard in the sixth inning to give the Brewers the lead.
It was a lead Jimmy Nelson would not relinquish. After Nelson ended the top half of the eighth inning, Brewers fan gave him a standing ovation for a masterful performance thinking that Corey Knebel would finish the game in the ninth. But when it was time for the top of the ninth to begin, the bullpen doors did not open, and Jimmy Nelson walked towards the mound.
Craig Counsell has shown he normally does not care about trivial things like complete games and would rather go to his bullpen too early rather than too late. It’s hard to blame him for that philosophy. But Counsell would have an easier time mixing oil and water than trying to take Nelson out of this game.
The pure emotion that Nelson brings to the field is electric. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he is finally reaching his full potential. He had an up and down first few seasons of his career, but 2017 was the year he was able to put it all together and turn into the dominant frontline starter the Milwaukee Brewers always thought he could be.
Nelson scattered six hits over nine innings while striking out ten Padres. Nelson had the single most dominant pitching performance for the Milwaukee Brewers this season. He proved he is the workhorse of this rotation and he will make for a great one-two punch with Chase Anderson as soon as he gets healthy.
Nelson threw 118 pitches with 81 of them for strikes. There was a lot of concern about Nelson’s ability to throw strikes heading into the season but he silenced those doubts this year and this game played a major role in that.
Once Nelson is back to full health, the Milwaukee Brewers should have every expectation to see more complete games like this from the workhorse of the rotation. But for now, he lands at the third best moment of the 2017 season.