MILWAUKEE In a season that has been anything but consistent for major league baseball's closers, Brewers closer John Axford had been a perfect picture of consistency.
But with 49 consecutive saves converted a streak good enough for fourth all-time Axford's streak came to an end on Friday night against the Cubs.
After Ian Stewart reached first base on a close throwing error by third baseman Aramis Ramirez, Axford struck out Cubs center fielder Reed Johnson. But after Johnson stole second base, Axford's 3-1 dealing to David DeJesuswho had hit a first-pitch grand slam to give Chicago the lead early in the gametripled to right field, scoring Stewart, and ending one of the longest current streaks in baseball.
To make matters worse, with the game tied, Axford's strikeout of Starlin Castro in the Cubs' next at-bat went awry, as catcher Jonathan Lucroy couldn't control Axford's wild pitch and Axford couldn't flip it to Lucroy in time, allowing DeJesus to score and giving the Cubs the...