Another day, another rough outing for the Milwaukee Brewers‘ bullpen. The Brewers were at Wrigley Field to take on the Chicago Cubs on Monday and barely escaped with a 7-4 victory. The team handed a five-run lead to the bullpen in the ninth inning and they did everything in their power to give that lead away.
Brandon Kintzler was given the ball to begin the inning and he promptly gave up three consecutive singles. Jim Henderson was next and he quickly let up a single of his own. The Cubs would load the bases on an error by Martin Maldonado and had two chances with the winning run at the plate, but failed to come through. Although Henderson was eventually able to get the job, it wasn’t before he took Brewers fans on a 30-pitch odyssey.
All this drama took place without an appearance from John Axford, who blew a save and picked up a loss Sunday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He has pitched in three games so far this season and has allowed at least one home run in each of them. His earned run average now stands at 20.25.
If the Brewers choose to replace Axford as closer it wouldn’t be the first he has lost that job. Last July he was replaced by Francisco Rodriguez. It may be time for the Brewers to cut bait and keep Axford out of the ninth inning. The team might want to see if can swap relievers with another team. A change of scenery for Axford would probably be a good thing for both parties involved.