The Brewers’ bullpen has had a rough season in the 2012 campaign, to say the least. There haven’t been any reliable options for Ron Roenicke to go to at really any point this season. Right now, the only reliever with an ERA under 4.00 in the ‘pen is Kameron Loe, who has been on a hot streak lately (although it’s worth noting his ERA was sky-high for a few weeks as well).
John Axford hasn’t been spared from this, either. After April of 2011, this guy was one of the premier closers in the game. He broke Francisco Cordero’s previous Brewers save record of 44 by notching 46 saves, which was tied for the National League lead with Craig Kimbrel of the Braves. Axford also boasted a stellar 1.95 ERA in 2011. He even appeared on the Cy Young Award and MVP ballots, placing ninth and 17th, respectively.
But it’s been a completely different season for Axford this year. Every so often, you’ll see a closer with a high ERA, but sometimes it’s deceptive because he has a better ERA in save situations. But that isn’t the case with Axford; his 5.08 ERA tells you every bit how bad he’s been in the closer’s role, as do his league-leading eight blown saves.