Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 5/13/12
MILWAUKEE As Brewers closer John Axford walked off the mound on Friday having blown his first save in 50 attempts, ending the fourth-longest saves streak in baseball history, he trudged back angrily to the clubhouse. But as it would turn out, Axford's frustration didn't linger for long. Once he got to the locker room, clubhouse manager Tony Migliaccio told Axford that his wife was waiting for him outside and wanted to talk to him. Eight months pregnant and due in late June, Nicole Axford had gone into early contractions during the game and needed to go to the hospital. Almost immediately, thoughts of losing his save streak had drifted away. "My attitude changed immediately," Axford said, "and I realized there's more to life than what just happened out there on the field." Nicole had gone into early contractions for the Axford's first child as well and spent five days in the hospital. So Axford quickly showed and got dressed. But having made himself available to the media on so many other occasions, he wanted to leave some kind of comment about his saves streak, not only out of respect for the media, but to cheer himself up a bit as well. Not long after the marathon 13-inning game on Friday had ended and the media found a note addressed to them on Axford's chair, word of the note began to sweep across the Internet. Axford said on Sunday that he had no idea the note would get so much attention. But his Twitter was "blowing up" about it after he got home from the hospital. The closer got word this weekend that Nicole will return from the hospital sometime on Sunday after her contractions had slowed and ended. The Axfords will have to wait a little longer for their newest baby, Jameson, but it'll be a much longer wait -- if ever -- for Axford to get another chance at the consecutive saves record. "Kind of like I put in my note, the luck just hasn't been there the last few times," Axford said. "Seems like the baseball gods are upset at me that somehow I weaseled my way out of the one in St. Louis somehow (when the Cardinals had runners at first and third with no outs in a one-run game) and now they're making me pay for it." Gomez on his way back:After injuring his hamstring last Sunday rounding first base, center fielder Carlos Gomez is expected to begin a rehab stint with Class-A Wisconsin on May 16. Gomez will be in Appleton to work out with the team Monday and Tuesday, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told reporters on Sunday. Gomez was put on the 15-day DL following the left hamstring injury, and he's expected it to be reactivated against Minnesota next weekend when his 15 days are complete, barring any setbacks. The center fielder said on Sunday afternoon that he's starting to feel like he's back to normal. "I feel really good," Gomez said. "Throwing is fine. Hitting is normal. The only thing left to do is run." Gomez said he felt like he could go at 100 percent, but the team had him tone it down a bit in hopes of not aggravating the injury. Pitchers picking it up:The Brewers pitching staff has gotten its fair share of criticism early on this season, as its team ERA didn't quite reflect the talent in the rotation or the bullpen. That criticism was especially frustrating to Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who knows how much potential the team's pitching staff brings to the table. "I take it very personally," Lucroy said on Friday. "I'm back there, I'm not throwing the ball, but I'm contributing to the pitch-calling. ... I feel like I should take a lot of responsibility for what's going on. It's a tough thing when you know we have a great pitching staff. ... We're just not showing it. We're a lot better than our numbers look, I know we are." That's certainly been the case in the Brewers' first two games of their series against Chicago, as Randy Wolf and Shaun Marcum both pitched one-run gems. And in the last game of the Cincinnati series, Zach Greinke allowed just two hits and no runs and struck out 11 in eight innings of action. Those performances caused the team ERA to drop, now coming in at 4.62. So judging by the Brewers last three performances on the mound, the rotation could be on its way back to fulfilling its sky-high expectations. Follow Ryan Kartje on Twitter.
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