Two All-Stars will be squaring off when the Brewers host the Cardinals in the second round of a three-game series Saturday afternoon at Miller Park.
Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals' starter will be a part of Tuesday's Midsummer Classic in Minnesota.
His Saturday counterpart, Jimmy Nelson, had been slated to start the Triple-A All-Star Game the next night in Durham, N.C. The Brewers' top prospect will have to settle for his third big league stint of the season.
"I mean, it is an honor to be named to that," Nelson said. "I was looking forward to seeing the International League and the kind of talent they had, but your ultimate prize and your ultimate goal is to be here."
This will be Nelson's second start of the season and his third big league start. On May 25, he pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings to earn his first Major League victory.
At Triple-A Nashville, Nelson was 10-2 with a 1.46 ERA. The Pacific Coast League's overall ERA entering Friday's games was 4.60.
His manager, Ron Roenicke, said the experience he has gained pitching in the Majors should help him Saturday.
"I think last year coming up in the bullpen ... and the one start he got last year, the one start this year, all of that helps to be more comfortable with the surroundings here," Roenicke said. "And he's been throwing his bullpen sessions in Triple-A with Major League balls to get him used to the feel of the ball. All that helps."
Wainwright is 9-6 with a 2.17 ERA in his career against the Brewers. At Miller Park, he's 4-4 with a 3.03 ERA in 14 games, including 10 starts.
His last start showed up as a gem -- seven scoreless innings -- but he was pitching in and out of jams all game.
Afterward, he said he had "the command of an A-ball pitcher."
"He showed his ability and his resilience to continue to make pitches out of the stretch and not let us cross the plate," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who opposed him in that game. "We did everything we wanted to do on offense except touch home."
Cardinals: Roster move coming to make room for Kottaras
With Yadier Molina out with an injury, St. Louis' move to claim catcher George Kottaras off waivers from Cleveland was made out of necessity.
Kottaras is expected to be added to the 25-man roster before Saturday's game, which would require a corresponding move be made.
"Obviously, the ability to do something quick was something that was definitely driving this," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. "Also, the fact that he's a left-handed hitter was helpful. For us, we were trying to explore what our options might be and what they looked like. Clearly there were a couple of players that were [designated for assignment] the same day that injury happened to Yadi. I think we were just fortuitous in the sense of the timing. But, now it gives us a little bit of a timeout to keep exploring other things should we need to."
The left-handed hitting Kottaras, 31, has a .216 career average in 305 games with 32 home runs and 100 RBIs.
Brewers: Despite slipping lead, Cards weekend is just another series, says Roenicke
Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke has watched his club's NL Central lead drop precipitously to one game, but he isn't treating this series against St. Louis any different than any other. That's not to say, however, that he doesn't realize its importance.
"It's another series is what it is," he said before Friday's loss. "We need to turn this around. I thought the last series [a four-game Phillies sweep] was important to turn it around, and we didn't. So this series is important to turn it around."
The Brewers dropped their sixth straight game in Friday's 7-6 loss.
"We have to win games. We're not playing against one team; we're playing against the whole league. And we have to win more games. We have to win more games than they do. We have to win more games than Pittsburgh does, Cincinnati and the Cubs. That's what we have to do."
The four home runs hit by the Cardinals on Friday were the most they have hit in a game this season.