The Axford Report: May 24, 2011
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • May 24, 2011 @ 10:44am
According to our records (and by “records” I mean our search bar), it’s been three weeks since we’ve checked in with wily former Canisius College pitcher John Axford, who currently plies his trade as closer of the Milwaukee Brewers.
We haven’t conveniently lost track of him because he’s struggling, though; that would be both cruel AND heartless. It’s actually quite the opposite. Axford has registered a save in seven of his last nine appearances, allowing only two earned runs in the process.
The “Moustachax” slammed the metaphorical door on lowly San Diego three times, Colorado twice and the middling Dodgers (woe is Ben K.!) and Pirates once. In the meantime, his earned run average has plummeted to 4.22; remember when it was over 7 on April 23? While I’m sure the 6’5 beanpole reliever would prefer to see his ERA drop below 3, his recent consistency must be encouraging after a shaky start.
A major reason for Brew-Crew closer’s success is cutting his walk rate; after handing out six free passes in his first seven outings, he’s walked only two batters in 15 innings since. With a dozen saves now, Axford ranks 8th among NL closers in that category. The Brewers sit at 25-23, tied for second in the NL Central with the Cincinnati Reds; the St. Louis Cardinals hold a 3.5 game advantage over both.