BrewCap: Another Friday Night Heartbreak
A national columnist wrote an article on Thursday outlining Milwaukee Brewers success to start the year. In the piece, Brewers manager Craig Counsell mentions ‘We’re 4-7 (Now 4-8) in one-run game and have blown four saves (Now five), we could be much better.’ For the second straight Friday night, Brewers fans go home disappointed after a marvelous outing by Jimmy Nelson who outdueled Clatyon Kershaw.
Player of the Game (Brewers): Jimmy Nelson – We have to start thinking about Jimmy Nelson differently. I thought he could have a good start given he faced off against a lefty-heavy team as Nelson has been great against lefties this season. He did just that with 11 strikeouts through eight innings with five hits allowed. In a month, Nelson brought his ERA down from 5.34 to 3.36 and striking out eight plus in four of his last five outings.
(Not) Player of the Game (Brewers): Jesus Aguliar – There were many bad days at the plate, but no one had it worse than Jesus Aguliar with four strikeouts and an error. Not a good day for him, and he’s been struggling since Brewers put him in a more elevated role. I’d like to see Domingo Santana moved up in the order and hit in that three spot starting this afternoon.
Player of the Game (Dodgers): Clayton Kershaw – Sure, we could reward Yasmani Grandal or Cody Bellinger for winning the game yesterday, but it’s all about Kershaw. He finished with 7 innings with 14 strikeouts and only two hits allowed. Kershaw made one mistake last night, and that was it. He pitched great in a true bounceback start for him.
Positive: Just how good is Jimmy? – So this is something developing for Brewers this season, they have two pretty good pitchers with Junior Guerra and Jimmy Nelson. Neither are aces, but on Friday, Nelson looked the part. Chase Anderson is there and pitching well yet that can fall apart whenever. Brandon Woodruff could save Brewers from Garza, and they have a great rotation.
Negative: Could Nelson have went complete? – Look this is pure hindsight but Nelson was only at 101 pitches through eight. I get that Corey Knebel has been on absolute fire, but Dodgers had no answers for Nelson at that juncture. He pitched 108 in his last start and could have at least been trotted out for the first couple batters.
Next up: Interesting game this afternoon with Matt Garza going for Brewers and Rich Hill for Dodgers. Hill found his mojo again in St. Louis with a strong outing, although I feel like this is a prime spot for Brewers with just seeing a lefty last night. They hit lefties well, and I think this could be a good spot for them. Problem is the offense will have to keep up with Garza’s ineptitude in what might be his last start.