On a beautiful Sunday afternoon for baseball (you know, if you were inside the enclosed confines of Miller Park) the Brewers did what no team has done since September 16th of last year: they beat Dallas Keuchel.
Jimmy Nelson outdueled last year’s American League Cy Young winner, striking out nine over six strong innings to lead Milwaukee to a 3-2 victory and a series win over the AL West favorites. The win brought the Brewers back to a .500 record and gives them a chance to have a winning record for the first time since the 2014 season with a win over the
Baby Eaters Cardinals on Monday night.
The game started poorly for Nelson when he surrendered a lead-off home run to Astros second baseman Jose Altuve. However, the Milwaukee offense had Nelson’s back, taking the lead back in the bottom half of the inning. Keuchel loaded the bases with one out for Aaron Hill, who lined a single to right to score Domingo Santana and Ryan Braun and give the Brewers the lead for good.
Nelson settled down after the lead off homer, not allowing another runner to reach third base until Preston Tucker (never trust a man with two first names) led off the fifth inning with a solo shot. Tucker’s bomb brought the Astros within a run, but it wouldn’t be enough — it was the last run scored today.
Middle infield prospect Yadiel Rivera earned his first start of the season and acquitted himself well after his first plate appearance of the year on Saturday resulted in a double. He reached base twice and scored in place of Scooter Gennett, who sat against the lefty Keuchel. Rivera’s start might give us some insight as to how Counsell plans to handle the second base platoon: Colin Walsh played but only as a pinch hitter.
Jeremy Jeffress came in to lock down the ninth with a clean inning which sealed the deal for Milwaukee. Saves aren’t real, but Jeffress seems like he’s head and shoulders above the rest of the Brewers bullpen in the pecking order at the back of the bullpen, turning in his fourth clean appearance of the season and collecting his third save.
Up next, the Brewers will travel to St. Louis for the Cadinals home opener for the second consecutive season. The 1-5 Brewers stole the Cardinals home opener last season — here’s hoping they can do so against tomorrow and climb back over .500.