MILWAUKEE Just days after John Axford had hit what seemed like rock bottom on Monday, the Brewers former closer got to experience a few things he never had as Milwaukee's ninth inning specialist.
The first man out of the bullpen on Wednesday, Axford relieved starter Tyler Thornburg and threw 1.1 solid innings, giving up just one hit in that span. It was an enlightening experience for the reliever, as he attempts to regain the confidence that made him a dominant closer in 2011.
"I think that's the earliest I've come in since I've been in the big leagues," Axford said. "I got to see the sausage race from the dugout for the first time. It was interesting they actually go a lot faster than you think."
For Axford, the short stint in the fifth and sixth innings was the first step back in what he hopes is a road to closing for the Brewers again.
"I just tried to escape everything that happened before," Axford said. "Obviously short-term memory is the best thing."
With Axford absent ...