Last night the Milwaukee Brewers won a game that they haven't won all season. A game that made you feel good about watching and supporting this particular team. A game that made you realize why you had so much optimism for this group at the beginning of the season. A game that makes the Asian groundskeepers in Major League think the Brewers are "not so shitty." Down 3-0 early the team stormed back to take the lead, then they gave up some more runs and it looked like they were going to somehow find a way to lose this thing. It seemed fated that way, only it wasn't. Our starter gave up runs and the bullpen struggled, not only that but we've never been able to beat the Twins with any sort of consistency and - God! - can we ever catch a freakin' break? We've all seen this story unfold a thousand times, this year nearly every single one of the first 40 losses of the season can be told like this, but it wasn't going to be like that on this night. Not if John Axford had anything to do with it.
We haven't written about John Axford in this space yet this season, which is strange because the rest of the blogosphere has (BrewCrewBall even has a shirt), but it makes sense if you know anything about us or this website. You see, we've been burned before. We've become attached and things happened, because things always happen and they inevitably have to happen, and we got our feelings hurt. It didn't feel good. It felt awful. Soul crushing. Last night I was overwhelmed with fear that I'd be hearing that familiar AC/DC song in the ninth and I couldn't take it. The wounds are still too fresh, seeing Trevor Hoffman enter into the game in a save situation would have been like running into your ex-girlfriend while you were on a date with the new girl you're seeing. You still have feelings, but you want it to be over. You know it's wrong. That's me right now. I want this thing with John Axford to work, more than you could ever know, he's what I've been looking for all along. I'm ready to move on. I'm ready for them to take that silly sign down and fully embrace John Axford as my new special someone. (I also think he should be the closer.) Only I wasn't ready to make the move, wasn't ready to commit and the Brewers probably weren't either, but John Axford is not the type of guy to stand idly by and wait for you to make a decision. No, John Axford knows what he wants and he's willing to take it. Last night, John Axford did something that Trevor Hoffman could not have done and he did it with relative ease. He stared down Jim Thome, Nick Punto, Jason Kubel, Denard Span, Orlando Hudson, Joe Mauer, and Justin Morneau and he took care of them. It was positively boner building. Last night, John Axford proved that he belongs, proved that the Brewers no longer have a need for Trevor Hoffman and proved that he is much more than a funny mustache. John Axford is awesome.
Yet, it was only one game. Continue reading