Search the Site

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Axford Saves 25th Straight

When John Axford recorded the third out in the ninth inning last night against the Cubs he matched the club record for consecutive games saved. Axford's run seems all the more impressive considering how his season began. He lost a heart breaker on opening day, allowing a walk off home run to Ramon Hernandez. He then blew his second save within his first five opportunities, bringing back memories of 2010 and Trevor Hoffman's infamous implosion that opened the door for Axford in the first place. Since that second blown save, though, he's been nothing short of remarkable. True, he still puts a runner or two on base more often than we'd like, but you can't argue with the results.

Axford routinely throws a curveball and a fastball that sits in the mid to high 90s, mixing in the occasional slider. He throws his curveball for strikes in the top and bottom of the zone, fooling hitters by blowing a high fastball by them that they just never seem ready for, even if they expect it, and they can't help but swing at it. His speedy high fastball and curveball combo often proves just too much for them to handle, as evident in his success since stepping into the closer's role in May of last year.

Axford's performance means that Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez likely won't see any save opportunities any time soon, exceptions being nights Axford is unavailable. The K-Rod - Axford eighth and ninth inning punch seems almost too good to be true, and on most nights practically shortens the opponent's game to seven innings. The trade for K-Rod is looking pretty good right now, and so long as the Brewers keep winning and Axford keeps dealing, K-Rod will need to be ok being the most famous setup guy in the Majors.

On a related note -- hats off to Kameron Loe, who came in with zero outs and the bases loaded in the sixth inning last night and escaped without allowing a run. He got Alfonso Soriano to ground out to third (force at home) and then induced a double play ball to end the inning. Loe very well might have won the game for the Brewers.

No comments:

Post a Comment