Brewers closer John Axford just told reporters in the clubhouse that there is no physical reason for his velocity dropping so sharply in his last outing Wednesday night against Colorado. Axford said he also looked at side-by-side videos of that outing vs. last year and 2011, and saw nothing different in his delivery. "Everything looks fine, looks normal," said Axford. "Nothing looks different. Arm slot is the same. Same leg lift, same arm path, front side and back side. Everything was the same, side by side." For whatever reason, Axford was throwing his fastball in the 91-92 mph range in that game instead of the normal 96-97 mph. The Rockies teed off on him, collecting five hits, including two homers, to score three runs and break open a tight game. Axford was removed after recording two outs. "A couple of those pitches weren't bad pitches," said Axford. "A few obviously were. "I really don't know (why his velocity fell). I can't ask my body; my body doesn't know right now. When you're a relief pitcher, you always feel soreness and stiffness on a usual basis. But it's been nothing out of the ordinary. "Even on Day 1 (opening day), I wasn't throwing 98 mph. I was throwing 94-95 mph. So, it was only a couple miles an hour different from that. It's not anything too different from where I've been before. I know last year my velocity was up a little bit more but at the beginning of the year I think it was maybe more 94-95 mph. As the year progresses, that's where my velocity generally starts coming in. I started hitting those 98s around May." Axford conceded that the drop to 91-92 mph "is definitely a big difference." "I feel great. Sometimes it takes your arm to get used to the season." Brewers manager Ron Roenicke has been worried about pitchers who participated in the World Baseball Classic because they had to crank up their arms earlier than usual. Axford, who pitched for Canada, wasn't sure what effect that might have had on him. "My velocity was up in those games," he said. "It could potentially be (a reason). We won't know until it gets going a little bit more. It's kind of tough after just two outings."
John Axford says he feels fine physically
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | Apr 5