In the last game in a two-game series against Cleveland, the Brewers were hoping to avoid the “sweep.” Despite putting seven hits on the board, the offense limped through nine innings as Milwaukee only mustered two runs across the plate. Unfortunately, Jimmy Nelson was just as dull as the offense. His line for the evening was 3.1 innings pitched, 83 pitches thrown, four strikeouts, and eight walks.
Although the Brewers drew first blood in the top of the second, the Indians capitalized on Nelson’s struggles in the bottom half of the inning. After seeing their first two batters go down, the Indians saw Abraham Almonte, Jerry Sands, and Jose Ramirez reach base; the latter two were both walked to load the bases. Jason Kipnis, who eats right-handed pitching for breakfast, smacked a double to left which brought home Almonte and Sands. And thanks to a throwing error by Khris Davis, Ramirez also scored, putting the Indians ahead 3-1.
Nelson continued to struggle in the bottom of the third. Again, the right-hander was able to get two early outs to start the inning. In between the first two outs, Lonnie Chrisenhall hit a double to center and advanced after Yan Gomes grounded out to third. A wild pitch would bring Chrisenhall home. Nelson followed up the wild pitch with a walk to Almonte and Sands. He eventually got out of the inning by getting Ramirez to fly out to left.
An uncharacteristic lack of command plagued Nelson from the start, but it was the second and third innings that were the turning point of the game. Nelson slogged through the first – throwing nineteen pitches – but he was able to get through without allowing a run. It was in the second and third in which he truly labored.
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It took 50 pitches for him to get through both innings. Only eight of those pitches were called for a strike. Regardless of the pitch thrown, he struggled to find the strike zone.
Nelson had only given up four hits through this point in the game. However, each hit either preceded or was followed by walks that were unfortunately timed.
TWO THINGS TO WATCH
When looking at the pitches made by Nelson tonight, there was a difference in release points when compared to his previous four starts. This might explain his poor command.
Compared to his previous four starts, Nelson’s release point in tonight’s game is noticeably lower and to the right of the catcher. When looking at where his pitches were landing in relation to the strikezone, pitches were ending up on the lower right corner of the plate. According to Brewers beat writer Adam McCalvy, Nelson knew something was off all night.
Nelson frustrated he couldn’t get on top of pitches. “As far as things that I can control, that’s the worst game I’ve had in a long time.”
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) August 27, 2015
We will have to wait for his next start to see if this was the case and if any adjustments have been made.
The Brew Crew will have the day off tomorrow before they host the Reds at home for a three-game series over the weekend. Starting Friday, Brewers fans will have the pleasure of seeing Taylor Jungmann on the hill. In 84.2 innings pitched, Jungmann is posting a 2.66 ERA, 2.99 FIP, and 3.05 DRA. Cincinnati and Milwaukee are firmly planted in the NL Central cellar. With Raisel Iglesias on the mound for the Reds, the Brewers have the advantage if the game comes down to a pitcher’s duel.
First pitch on Friday is 7:10 PM CT.