Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell wasn’t worried after Friday night’s game about the injury pitcher Jimmy Nelson sustained in the fifth inning. It turns out he should have been.
The Brewers announced Saturday afternoon that Nelson would miss the rest of the season with a right rotator cuff strain and a partial anterior labrum tear.
It’s a significant hit to Milwaukee’s playoff chances, as Nelson was having a career year in 2017. He’d already set personal bests with 12 wins and 199 strikeouts, while posting the lowest ERA of his career at 3.49 ERA.
Nelson is just the latest of the Brewers starters to end up on the disabled list this season, joining Junior Guerra, Matt Garza and Chase Anderson as those that have missed time.
Heading into Saturday’s game in Chicago, Milwaukee was tied with St. Louis for second in the NL Central, four games back of the Cubs, while also being three games behind Colorado for the second wild card spot in the National League.
Neil Walker drilled a solo home run in the first inning, and it turned out to be all the offense Milwaukee would need Friday night in a 1-0 win over the Washington Nationals.
Starter Jimmy Nelson was masterful in keeping the NL East-leading Nationals off the scoreboard, going seven innings, giving up just three hits and striking out 11. The bullpen backed him up, with Josh Hader and Corey Knebel striking out all six batters they faced. It gave Nelson win No. 11 on the year, tying a career-high for him, while Knebel picked up save No. 32.
On the other side, Washington’s Tanner Roark was nearly as good. Outside of the mistake to Walker, he shut Milwaukee down, going seven innings and allowing five hits while striking out 10. Centerfielder Jonathan Villar was the only Brewers batter to have more than one hit on the night.
Outfielder Ryan Braun was tossed from the game in the fourth inning for arguing balls and strikes. It was the sixth time in his career he’s been ejected from a game.
With the win, and a loss by Colorado, Milwaukee moved to within 1 1/2 games of the Rockies for the final wild card spot in the National League. The Crew remains 3 1/2 games back of Chicago in the NL Central.
It’ll be Washington and the Brewers once again Saturday night at Miller Park. First pitch is set for 6:10 p.m.
LOS ANGELES — The Milwaukee Brewers accomplished a rare feat Sunday afternoon, handing the Los Angeles Dodgers a 3-2 loss at Dodger Stadium and a series loss for the first time since June 5-7.
Left fielder Hernan Pérez gave the Brewers a solo home run in the third inning to give run support to Jimmy Nelson, who didn’t allow a hit through his first five innings. He finished with 6.2 innings of work, giving up two runs on four hits.
The day before, Milwaukee had beaten Los Angeles 3-0 behind a solid performance from Zach Davies. Nelson says the Dodgers series puts the Brewers back on track after a disappointing series loss last week to San Francisco.
“We proved to ourselves that we’re right there with the best teams,” Nelson said.
Though idle on Monday, the Brewers had climbed back to 2.0 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central standings with 31 games to play.
Sunday’s win was a chance for Milwaukee to show it was still a contender in the division with the season winding down. In the seventh inning, Eric Sogard made a defensive play which spoke to that mindset. With two outs and a runner on first, Yasiel Puig drove a liner up the middle which was stopped with a diving effort from Sogard, who then quickly got up and scorched a throw to Neil Walker for the out.
“It was great to kill that rally,” Sogard said. “He’s a good runner, and so I just tried to get my feet under me as quick as I could and get enough on the throw, and it worked out great.”
Corey Knebel came to the mound for Milwaukee for the final inning, notching his 29th save of the season.
Down 3-2 in the seventh, Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw delivered his 81st RBI of the season to put Milwaukee on top for good. It started with a Neil Walker double that put Eric Thames on first base, finished off with a Ryan Braun sacrifice fly. Shaw’s liner resulted in a double and another run across the plate.
“We didn’t do it with a homer tonight. But you string together hits,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That got the job done. You have to string together consecutive at-bats, I think, in this park. Four guys put together good at-bats.”
Milwaukee has hit 184 home runs this season while opponents have totaled 154 long balls against the Crew.
Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson had a respectable outing, but was pulled after 5.0 innings after walking three batters. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits while striking out six.
“I think [Nelson] had good stuff tonight,” Counsell recalled. “There were some times he lost some pitches, kind of gave them some free pitches…It certainly was a night where Jimmy had to battle through things.”
Milwaukee and San Francisco finish off the series Wednesday afternoon at 2:45 p.m. CT.
Milwaukee’s offense showed signs of life, but it wasn’t enough for the Brewers to avoid an 11-10 loss to Cincinnati on Friday night at Miller Park.
The Reds lit-up starter Jimmy Nelson, tagging him for a season-high 10 runs on 11 hits in just 3 2/3rds innings. It was the second-shortest outing of the year for Nelson, who is having the best season of his career.
On the other side, Homer Bailey, who had given up 10 runs in his last start, kept the Brewers bats at bay, going five innings and allowing just two runs on five hits. But the bullpen had a night to forget, especially Blake Wood. He gave up five runs without recording an out in the sixth inning, including a three-run homer by Eric Thames. He was replaced by Michael Lorenzen, who would give up two more runs in what turned into a 7-run sixth inning for Milwaukee.
The Crew trailed 10-9 heading into the seventh, when the Reds got one of the runs back courtesy of a Tucker Barnhardt home run off reliever Carlos Torres. The run proved to be the game-winner as Milwaukee got a homer from Jonathan Villar in the ninth but nothing else.
Milwaukee’s 10 runs were the most its scored since putting up 11 against Chicago on July 6, and the first time in 14 games it scored more than four runs.
The loss was the sixth straight for Milwaukee, who fell into a tie with Pittsburgh for third place in the NL Central. Both teams trail St. Louis by two games and Chicago by three.
The Brewers and Reds will matchup once again Saturday night in Milwaukee.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays avoided a series sweep Sunday afternoon, taking down the Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 on a walk-off home run from Steven Souza, Jr.
After eight quality innings from Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson, Jacob Barnes allowed the one hit that made the difference in the contest, breaking the 1-1 deadlock. Nelson allowed six hits while fanning nine.
Opposing starter Chris Archer exited the game after six innings and an Orlando Arcia solo home run, Milwaukee’s only scoring offense of the game. Archer was given a no-decision while extending his streak of six innings to 15 consecutive starts.
While the Rays end their 21-inning scoreless drought, the Brewers took a momentary step back in the National League Central standings. Milwaukee now trails Chicago by a full game, with the Cubs and Nationals finishing up Sunday evening.
In his previous 10 attempts, Nelson held a 0-8 record and 7.01 ERA against the Cardinals. He bucked that trend by throwing six innings of two-run ball, in which he struck out seven St. Louis batters. The bullpen came in to aid Nelson’s performance, shutting out the Cardinals over the final three frames.
“The Cardinals are always in it, no matter how many games they are back,” Nelson said. “Those guys always battle. They have a good core of guys over there, and they have a good team.”
In addition to Nelson’s personal success, Milwaukee was able to end a drought as a team. They had previously gone 0-for-31 with runners in scoring position — a trend that ended in the first inning thanks to a Domingo Santana RBI single. Ryan Braun and Manny Piña drove in the other two Brewers runs.
“The streak’s over,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell joked. “It ended up being a big hit, got Manny up there, and we got another one. It was a big part of the win, for sure.”
Tuesday’s win helps the Brewers’ chances of winning the series — an area in which they’ve struggled against the Cardinals. St. Louis has won the previous 13 series in Milwaukee, dating back to 2012.
Another tough night for the Milwaukee bullpen helped Washington get past the Brewers 8-5 on Wednesday night.
Starter Jimmy Nelson was relieved following a four-pitch walk to open the eighth inning, exiting with a 2-1 lead after seven strong innings of work where he allowed just one run on four hits and struck out 10. But a pair of hits, including a two-run double by Ryan Zimmerman off Jacob Barnes, cost the Crew the lead. After Josh Hader came on to strikeout Bryce Harper, manager Craig Counsell went to Jared Hughes, who proceeded to give up four runs before getting the final out.
“Jacob did a nice job. He got two ground balls. Jacob’s been our eighth-inning guy, and to me, he did his job tonight,” Counsell said. “Unfortunately, [the ground balls] found holes. Josh did his job. I thought we had it setup kind of the way we wanted to with [with Hughes] and some matchups. It just didn’t work.”
Milwaukee nearly got the tying run to the plate in the top of the ninth thanks to a two-run homer from Lewis Brinson, the organization’s top prospect who had been called up earlier in the day. Hernan Perez also had a run scoring double in the frame.
The loss dropped Milwaukee out of first place, and they are now ½ game back of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.
The Brewers and Nationals will play their rubber match on Thursday, with first pitch coming at 11:05 a.m.
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MILWAUKEE — On a night where the Milwaukee Brewers were honoring a team known for hitting home runs, Travis Shaw helped salute them with a big home run of his own.
The Brewers third baseman launched an eighth-inning solo shot to give Milwaukee a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies Saturday night. The evening began with an on-field celebration of the 1982 club that won an American League pennant, while also representing the Brewers’ last trip to the World Series.
It was Shaw’s only hit of the night, in which Aaron Nola gave the Phillies six innings of two-run ball. But Milwaukee was supported by its own impressive starter, Jimmy Nelson. He struck out nine while pitching into the seventh inning. The Brewers only allowed four hits all night.
“We had a lot of momentum going into the break, and for us to be able to take a few days off then come back and continue that momentum is huge, especially for a younger team,” Nelson said. “We’re playing with a lot of energy, and who knows what can happen? Who knows what we can do?”
The Brewers are now 2-0 in games since the All Star break, maintaining their 5 ½ lead in the National League Central. Much of that has to do with the recent success in the bullpen, with Corey Knebel leading the way after earning his 16th save of the year.
The Brewers and Phillies will finish off the series Sunday at 1:10 p.m. from Miller Park.
The Milwaukee Brewers will resume play this weekend with a three game home stand against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies are the worst team in baseball entering Friday’s game with a 29-58 record, the Brewers on the other hand are in first place in the National League Central with a 50-41 record. Each day during the series, the Brewers will be commemorating the 1982 AL Championship team with different giveaways and ceremonies.
The match-up on Friday night will feature Zach Davies (10-4) on the hill for the Brewers while Nick Pivetta (2-4)will pitch for the Phillies. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. CST. The Brewers will be continuing their free T-Shirt Friday. The first 20,000 fans in attendance will receive a 1982 powder blue Paul Molitor replica jersey. It is also a Miller Lite Beerpen promotional night, so fans 21+ can sit in the Miller Lite Beerpen in right field and receive a free Brewers trucker hat. Friday is also student night, so high school and college students will receive discounts on ticket and food prices.
The pitching match-up on Saturday night will be Jimmy Nelson (8-4) on the mound for the Brewers versus Aaron Nola (6-6) for the Phillies. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. CST. Before the game, the Brewers will host a reunion of the 1982 American League Championship team, featuring a special on-field ceremony. Jerry Augustine, Cecil Cooper, Jim Gantner, Ben Oglivie, Jim Slaton, Gorman Thomas, Pete Vuckovich, Robin Yount and Bud Selig are just some of the guys who are confirmed to attend. The players will also hold a 45 minute autograph session for fans before the game. This game will also be the season seat holder appreciation day. Season seat holders will receive 25% off concessions and merchandise. They will also be allowed early entry into Miller Park for batting practice. The first 25,000 fans 18+ will receive a Brewers coupon book.
Probable pitchers for Sunday’s match-up is Matt Garza (4-4) on the bump for the Brewers and Jeremy Hellickson (5-5) for the Phillies. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. CST. The giveaways continue, as all fans in attendance will receive a 1982 AL Championship replica ring. All children 14 and under will receive a free lunch voucher. The voucher includes a hot dog, bottled water, applesauce, and an ice cream snack. After the conclusion of the game, all fans 16 years old and under can run the bases at Miller Park.