Win: Jeremy Guthrie (5-4)
Loss: Jimmy Nelson (3-8)
Save: Derek Holland (12)
Take solace! The game could have gone worse. The Royals got to Jimmy Nelson early, getting two runs in the first and one in the second. But that was all they could manage off the young Brewers pitcher. But he did give up seven baserunners over the next three innings, which isn't exactly great.
It's one of those things where you could look and say it's encouraging despite the baserunners because at least Nelson maintained his composure and got out of a few jams. But I'm not so sure that's true in this particular case. Nelson was saved in the third inning when the third out came on a play at the plate where Alex Gordon was called out to end the inning. Jonathan Lucroy accounted for two outs in the fourth, catching Omar Infante stealing and picking off Alcides Escobar.
Nelson did do a nice job getting out of the fifth despite two walks and a single. He got a double play and a ground out to keep Kansas City off the board and give the Brewers a chance, at least.
But other than that fifth inning, Nelson did not look great at all. And in the four starts before Thursday, he'd allowed 17 runs in 22 innings while allowing batters to hit .304/.371/.500 against him. Those stats include six shutout innings against the Pirates.
Nelson didn't have the best spring, but came out strong at the beginning of the year. He's really been struggling recently, however. Fortunately (?), the Brewers are in a position where they can keep him in the rotation and let him hopefully work through whatever issues he has and get some good experience. Nelson is having a bumpy ride early in his career, but he's a talented pitcher with a solid chance of evening out sooner than later. We'll just have a few starts like tonight on the way.
Hector Perez, Gerardo Parra and Jonathan Lucroy led the way for Milwaukee offensively, picking up two hits apiece to account for 6 of the Brewers eight hits. Parra and Lucroy both had an RBI in the fifth, when Milwaukee scored their only runs of the game.
So the ride to the 2016 MLB draft continues. Next stop: Colorado. First pitch against the Rockies tomorrow is set for 7:40 CT.