549 have passed since September 8th, 2017. That is still “officially” the last time that Jimmy Nelson pitched in a Major League Baseball game, since Cactus League exhibition games don’t actually count for anything. But today, for the first time in 549 days, Jimmy took the pitching mound for the Milwaukee Brewers to face another team of MLB players. Beyond how well Nelson pitched, that alone is a notable accomplishment for the player who has spent the better part of 18 months rehabbing from a major shoulder injury.
The first pitch out of Nelson’s hand registered at 93 MPH on the stadium gun, according to Bob Uecker and the radio broadcast. The second pitch out of his hand was sent over the fence in left field by Adam Engel. Nelson would end up allowing four hits and two runs during his single inning of work in the sixth. He did not walk anyone and struck out the side, sitting 91-93 MPH with his fastball. Most importantly, he began and ended the outing with his health intact.
There was some other, less important stuff that occurred today, including the Brewers winning the game against the White Sox. Jhoulys Chacin was the initial out-getter for our boys from Maryvale and he retired the first 11 hitters he faced en route to 4.2 scoreless innings. He struck out three batters against one walk with only one hit allowed. Matt Albers coughed up two runs during a troublesome seventh inning where he recorded only two outs (one of which was a caught-stealing) while yielding three hits. Junior Guerra tossed a scoreless frame, striking out the side while allowing two hits. Taylor Williams allowed an unearned run in the ninth inning after an error and a passed ball.
The offense continued their recent breakout performance, powered today by homers off the bats of Cory Spangenberg and Ryan Braun. Eric Thames, Lucas Erceg, and Manny Pina all had doubles and scored a run. Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich both added two hits, and Troy Stokes, Hernan Perez, and Tuffy Gosewich each had a hit apiece.
The win pushes Milwaukee’s record to 10-8 in Cactus League play, which is 1.5 games back of the league-leading Padres. The Brewers head to Scottsdale tomorrow to play a night game against the Giants, with first pitch set for 9:05 PM central time. The game will be available via MLB.com webcast for those who are subscribers.