MILWAUKEE -- In the game of baseball, struggles are inevitable.
The game requires players to learn from their miscues, but also to have an ability to let go of the past and forget about it.
Nobody knows this better than a closer. With his team so close to winning when he appears in the game, failures are magnified tenfold.
Brewers closer John Axford knows this better than anyone. Coming off one of the best seasons by a reliever in team history in 2011, Axford had a roller coaster of a yearin 2012. After a few early season struggles, he bounced back in May, only to have the coaster hit a downward spiral in June, July and August, causing him to lose his job as Milwaukee's closer.
When nobody else could fill the role adequately, Axford stepped up and asked manager Ron Roenicke for his job back. The skipper obliged and Axford didn't let him down, saving 17 of his 18 chances in September and October.
The late run helped Axford lower his season ERA to 4.67, still drastically higher than t...