Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 8/25/12
Mlb-brewers-cubs-june
While one Milwaukee Brewers pitcher spent Friday night's game getting back on track, another Brewers pitcher found himself going off the rails. Milwaukee's Friday matchup with Pittsburgh was an important game for both Mike Fiers and John Axford, as Fiers' recent struggles had put to question whether his early-season dominance was legitimate. Axford, on the other hand, had just recently hit the reset button on his tough season, looking similar to the lights-out closer of last season in his previous few appearances. But on Friday, those roles were reversed, as Fiers burned through the Pittsburgh lineup, tying a career-high with 10 strikeouts and allowing five hits and three earned runs in 6.2 innings. The performance came on the heels of two less-than-stellar starts in which he allowed 12 earned runs in seven innings in that span. That bounce-back has a lot to do with Fiers again finding his command on Friday, as his breaking balls were nearly unhittable. "When I've got great command on my pitches, it makes it a lot easier than me," Fiers said. "Pitching against a team like Pittsburgh, you can't make too many mistakes." With Fiers' good start, however, came some unwanted ninth-inning drama from Axford, who had allowed just two earned runs in eight games combined since August 6. After struggling with his command, unable to find the strike zone before that, Axford had walked just two batters in that span. But in the Brewers' narrow win over the Pirates on Friday, Axford matched those two marks in just 0.2 innings. To begin his final inning campaign, Axford walked two batters to start the ninthhis kryptonite all season longand a single from Neil Walker scored the first, reducing the Brewers lead to two, 6-4. Axford briefly bounced back after that, striking out the next two batters, but after pinch hitter Michael McKenry slapped a single up the middle scoring one, giving the Brewers just a one-run lead, Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke approached the mound to replace his much-maligned closer after 35 pitches. The tough outing comes right on the heels of Roenicke essentially giving Axford the reins on the position during the team's series against Chicago earlier this week. Afterwards, Roenicke had little explanation as to why Axford continues to struggle with his command when in a pressurized, ninth-inning role. "I don't know if it's overthrowing," Roenicke said. "There's something there; either he's not finishing the pitch, or it's something that allows it to stay up so high. He's trying to throw it downhill; he's trying to throw low strikes. "I don't know. I expect him to come back tomorrow night and get that downhill angle going again." Follow Ryan Kartje on Twitter.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

U.S. Soccer hands Solo six month suspension for Olympic comments

Report: Josh Gordon will be restricted free agent after 2016

Chargers release statement on Joey Bosa situation

Yoenis Cespedes says he will not opt out of Mets contract

Zach Johnson unloads on Olympic golf

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Drew Brees says players do not trust league office, Goodell

Lawsuit over Hall of Fame Game refiled after McAfee comments

Report: Griffin plans to re-sign with Clippers, won't be traded

Report: Wentz unlikely to see any playing time this season

Minnesota Wild names Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ official goal song

Gabby Douglas joining judges for Miss America pageant

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron's 'Cleveland Hustles'

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

Revisiting the 10 biggest mistakes of the NFL offseason

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

Why people just can't get behind the Washington Nationals

Washington's Josh Norman speaks candidly about multiple NFL talking points

Derrick Rose: Knicks have chance to win every game

Ranking the MLB divisional races

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron James' 'Cleveland Hustles'

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

24 quintessential moments of Kobe Bryant's career

One Gotta Go: NFL legends (and Jose Canseco!) have no love for Captain America

Four WNBA teams to pay attention to post-Olympic break

Madden 17 shows how vital a fresh coat of paint can be

Why people just can't get behind the Washington Nationals

QUIZ: Name every player to win a championship with Kobe Bryant

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker