Cardinals vs. Brewers: And Here Comes John Axford

We've said it before, but it's worth saying again now, as the Cardinals try to score at least two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning ...

John Axford is really, really good.

After blowing a save in the middle of April, Axford went the whole rest of the season without a blown save, 43 for 43, and posted a 1.34 ERA all the while. In 67 innings, he struck out 80 hitters, walked 19, and gave up three home runs.

With all due respect to Mariano Rivera, Craig Kimbrel, and Delivery Man of the Year Jose Valverde, it's possible that no closer was more effective than Axford from May through the end of the season.

Axford hasn't been quite as dominant in the postseason ... but five innings, seven strikeouts, three hits and two walks? You'll take that, even with the blown save against the Diamondbacks in Game 5 of their Division Series.

With Yadier Molina making the last out in the bottom of the eighth, the bottom of the ninth will feature the bottom of the Cardinals' batting order. With the caveat that Lance Berkman still lurks, available at Tony La Russa's whim. The trick will be getting somebody on base ahead of him.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.