Axford baseball's best closer?

Aug. 1, 2011
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ESPN's Steve Berthiaume seems to think so.

Axford has already notched 31 saves this season and would seem to be on pace to break Francisco Cordero's season record of 44 saves, which he did in 2007.

Axford had a rough April and his ERA was near 9. He blew 2 of 5 saves early and things were looking pretty bleak.

Since then, he's set a team record of 27 straight saves and lowered his ERA to about 2.50.

Berthiaume points out "since becoming Milwaukee's closer last May, Axford is 54-for-59 in save opportunities -- a percentage that ranks second in the majors behind only Heath Bell."

Axford throws a two-seam and four-seam fastball and has done so consistently, but this year his curveball has been the game-changer. From Berthiaume: "the rate at which opposing hitters are swinging and missing his curve has doubled from 20 percent last season to 41 percent this year."

He also points out that Axford has given up just three home runs in his career.

If you're like me, you've been defending Axford to some of the less informed masses this season. This article is chock full of information to prove that Axford hasn't been the bust so many seem to think he has been. Yes, he had a rough start, but he's come roaring back.


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