Nelson was enjoying the best season of his career; he's 12-6 on the season with a 3.49 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 199 strikeouts in 175.1 innings pitched.
Nelson will miss the remainder of the season with a right rotator cuff strain and partial anterior labrum tear. With so many pitchers on rosters in the final month of the season, a competing team can mix-and-match as much as they'd like throughout the game in order to secure a victory.
Nelson left Friday's game against the Chicago Cubs after five innings, with the injury cutting short an effort in which he allowed just four hits.
The Milwaukee Brewers sit just four games back in the NL Central and three back of the Colorado Rockies for the second Wild Card spot entering play on Saturday.
The Cubs now hold a four game lead over the Cardinals with 23 games remaining in the regular season.
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The Milwaukee Brewers were swept in three games by the last place Cincinnati Reds, dropping the series finale 7-1 on Wednesday at Great American Ball Park.
There's some talent and experience in that group, but losing Nelson really tightens that rotation up.
When you pick apart the Brewers and study their shortcomings - far too many strikeouts, a maddening inability to manufacture runs, long stretches when RISP might as well be RIP, bullpen flameouts, Matt Garza - you conclude they can't possibly contend for the postseason.
That's the reality from a talent standpoint. Their confidence and resilience has been strong all season, and there's no reason to believe that will change any time soon.
"I'm pretty sore now", Nelson said after Saturday's game.
The Chicago Cubs will look to salvage a win and avoid the sweep when they take the field on Sunday.