Found April 05, 2013 on
Fox Sports Wisconsin:
MILWAUKEE -- Searching for any clue as to why his velocity has dipped in his first two outings of the season, Brewers closer John Axford went to the video tape.
He pulled up side-by-side video from this season and successful outings from 2012 and 2011.
"Nothing looks different," Axford said. "It's the same. The arm slot is the same going back to 2011, same leg lift, same separation, same arm path front and backside, everything is the same. Release point is the same."
Right now Axford isn't concerned that his velocity is down. Wednesday night against Colorado, Axford's fastball was in the 91-93 mph range, a big difference from his usual 96-98 mph.
"That's not anything too different from where I've been before," Axford said. "I know last year my velocity was up a little bit more. But at the beginning of the year I think it was more 95-96 mph. As the year progresses that's where my velocity generally starts coming in. I started hitting those 98s around May."
A pitch at 97 mph could be a swing and a miss, while a 92 mph fastball could be hit. Axford insisted he feels fine physically, saying his arm sometimes takes a bit of time to get used to the season, but also conceded that a drop to 91-93 is "definitely a big difference."
"A couple of those pitches weren't bad pitches," Axford said of Wednesday's outing in which he gave up three runs on five hits while recording just two outs. "A few of them obviously were. The first pitch of the inning wasn't a bad pitch. It was a low and away fastball, lower part of the knees and he got his bat out there and got it up for a hit. First pitch slider, my last pitch of the inning, wasn't a terrible pitch, it was a strike-pitch slider but he got the barrel out."
There was a difference in Axford's preparation this season as he ramped up earlier than usual in order to pitch in the World Baseball Classic. While Brewers manager Ron Roenicke expressed concern from the start of spring training about his pitchers participating, there's no hard evidence to suggest it's played a role or created a "dead arm" period.
"My velocity was up in those games," Axford said of the WBC. "It could potentially be but we won't really know for sure until we get going more. It's kind of tough after just two outings."
While it would be easy for Axford to experiment and try something different during his next appearance, he's not going to change a thing for the time being.
"Two days ago if I get three outs and I'm throwing 91-92, it's would be like 'Your velocity is down but it looked like it worked out for you.' And then people say 'Maybe that's what you need to do. You need to throw slower.'"
As he's doing with all of his pitchers that have had struggles at the beginning of the season, Roenicke is not making a big deal about it. He feels it's too early, and too many comments could mess with pitchers' heads after just three games.
"If something went on for a lot of outings in a row I'd be concerned about it but right now, we're just starting up," Roenicke said. "The mental part of this and getting in your rhythm at the start of the season, when there's so much that comes up, I don't want to look too much into it."
Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
John Axford has already allowed 3 home runs this season, 2 to Dexter Fowler. If you own the Milwaukee Brewers closer, like I do in some leagues, don't wait to long to move on! Axford might help you pick up some strike outs, but his 21.60 ERA and 3.60 WHIP will kill you. His facial hair might be cool, but it can't help your fantasy team. Maybe Ryan Braun should ask...
MILWAUKEE -- John Axford sat at his locker and even cracked a joke to lighten the mood.
What he couldn't do is explain what just happened. With Thursday off, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke gave Axford work in the ninth inning with Milwaukee trailing 4-3.
The Brewers' closer gave up three runs on five hits - including two home runs - while recording just two outs in Milwaukee...
MILWAUKEE -- The news could have been a lot worse, but Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a sprained left knee after an MRI revealed no tears.
To take his place on the roster, the team recalled utility man Josh Prince from Triple-A Nashville. Though Ramirez may not need the full 15 days to recover, the Brewers couldn...
MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez left Friday's game against Arizona with a left knee sprain.
Ramirez was injured in the bottom of the fourth inning when he awkwardly slid into second base trying to stretch a single into a double.
Off the bat it appeared to be an easy double, but the ball caromed off the wall and rolled right to Diamondbacks left fielder...
MILWAUKEE -- After a one-day hiatus, Milwaukee's starting pitching struggles continued Saturday night.
In the rotation with a short leash, Mike Fiers put the Brewers in another early hole, allowing six runs in five innings as Milwaukee fell, 9-2, to the Diamondbacks, its fourth straight loss since a win on Opening Day.
It was simply a performance Fiers couldn't have. After...
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was scratched from
last night’s lineup due to neck spasms, according to Tom Haudricourt of The
#Brewers scratch Ryan Braun with neck spasms that began during batting practice. Kris Davis gets first major league start.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) April 5, 2013
Braun began experiencing the spasms during batting...
Third baseman Aramis Ramirez has been placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Milwaukee Brewers.
The move was made Saturday after an MRI confirmed the two-time All-Star sprained his left knee sliding into second base Friday night during Milwaukee's 3-1 loss to Arizona.
Ramirez, who was 5 for 13 with three doubles in the first four games of the season, sustained a similar...
Last the the Milwaukee Brewers started the game without Ryan Braun, due to neck spasms, and ended the game without Aramis Ramirez who left the game after injuring his knee.Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez was forced to leave Friday's game against the Diamondbacks after re-aggravating a knee injury from spring training, and he seems to think it is a serious issue. Ramirez...
Well, I guess that’s too late to figure out now. I traded him for Steven Strasburg. Sure, Braun was named the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player. However,Strasburg was named the Nationals’ Opening Day starter. Sure, he may (or may not) have a pitch count but Ryan Braun was … connected to the Biogenesis scandal. I did not want to hedge my bets.
You are talking to the...
After their least productive day at the plate this season, the Brewers are hoping that Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez will be available to help them bounce back. The statuses of the two injured sluggers are unknown for Saturday night's game against the visiting Diamondbacks.
After producing a combined 12 runs and 26 hits over the first three games, Milwaukee (1-3) got only six...
If it wasn't for the fact that everyone's favorite racing meat, the Milwaukee Brewer's Racing Sausages, are featured in this version of the Harlem Shake I wouldn't bother with this one. But hey--who can resist a dancing Sausage, right?
In the top of the sixth inning during last night's Rockies-Brewers game, Milwaukee center fielder Carlos Gomez made an amazing leaping catch at the center field wall to rob Colorado left fielder Carlos Gonzalez of a home run. It was an awesome catch that kept the Brewers' deficit at two runs for the timebeing, but ended up not meaning much in the grand scheme of things as...
If the Diamondbacks are to record their first-ever series sweep of the Brewers, they likely must find a way to finally get the best of Yovani Gallardo.
The visiting D-backs look to accomplish both while trying for a fourth consecutive victory Sunday against the injury-depleted Brewers, who hope to avoid a fifth straight defeat.
These teams have previously played 33 series in the...
After taking two of three games at home against the Cardinals, including a marathon 16-inning game Wednesday, the D-backs stay within the NL Central, this time taking on the Brewers for three games in Milwaukee. The Brewers scuffled in their opening series, dropping two of three games to the Rockies behind shaky pitching. Former Cardinal Kyle Lohse, who sat out all of spring training...
Each Thursday preceding Brewers weekend home stands, Tyler Maas will help prepare fans for all elements of the upcoming series with the Homestander. Tyler prints Wisconsin-themed shirts at Forward Fabrics and contributes to such fine publications as Milwaukee Magazine and The A.V. Club Milwaukee. All views, naughty words and weirdo sentiments are his own. Follow him at @TylerJamesMaas...