Jimmy Nelson shut the Pirates down in Milwaukee on April 11th. He scattered only two hits and two walks over seven innings while striking out nine batters.

In that first start, Nelson showed command of four pitches the Pirates did not expect to see. Notably, a curveball and slider combination that devastated Pittsburgh throughout.

Of his 88 pitches, FanGraphs PITCH f/x recorded 35.3 percent as breaking pitches -- 27.3% curveballs and 8% sliders.

The curveball was particularly devastating, as the Pirates did not record a single hit on any of the 24 Nelson threw. Four of his strikeouts that day were finished with the curve as Pittsburgh whiffed on 83.3% of swings taken at Nelson’s curveball, and every one the Pirates contacted was hit on the ground.

Overall, the Pirates didn’t hi...

To celebrate the upcoming MLB draft, we’re offering a big subscription discount of 18% off from now through the draft , so that you can follow all of our updates and coverage.To get the discount, use the code MLBDRAFT for an Annual subscription, or MLBDRAFT3 for a Top Prospect Plan.

To continue reading the rest of this article, subscribe to Pirates Prospects. Subscribers get access to every article on the site, along with all of our exclusive live coverage of the Pirates' minor league system, all for a very low monthly or yearly rate.

If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail help@piratesprospects.com.