Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/23/12
Mlb-brewers-cubs-june

John Axford realized he was at fault for losing his job as the Milwaukee Brewers' closer earlier in the season. He failed too many times -- he had eight blown saves and seven losses.

But Axford knew he had the talent to do the job and wanted another chance. So he took advantage of manager Ron Roenicke's open-door policy and requested a meeting a week or so ago to discuss the situation.

Axford told Roenicke he thought he was ready to return to closing games, and the manager agreed. Axford was given opportunities to save the last two games of a three-game sweep over the Cubs and was successful both times.

"His fastball was outstanding again; good location on it," said Roenicke, who had made it clear he wanted to get Axford back in the closer's role at some point. "He's in a place where he should be."

Axford said he is grateful that Roenicke agreed it was time to get another chance to close and didn't take the new chance lightly.

"It means a lot, it really does," said Axford. "With the conversations, it was trying to get my confidence back and build things back to where I wanted to be.

"The reaffirming conversation I had with Ron about a week ago, maybe that's exactly what I needed, something myself to say, 'This is me and this is what I want to do, and I should be there.'

"Maybe that was the kind of the confirmation that I needed."

In essence, the Brewers are back to their original setup in the late innings out of the bullpen. Francisco Rodriguez, who also pitched his way out of the eighth-inning role, then later interim closer as Axford's replacement, has recovered his previous form with five consecutive hitless outings.

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