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Milwaukee Rerun: John Axford implodes, Jim Henderson looms

Scott Pianowski
Roto Arcade

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Closing isn't your bag, baby (USAT)

The two prominent pitchers in the Milwaukee bullpen have similar backgrounds. They're both working-class, non-celebrated prospects who made good, right-handed Canadians who are relatively easy to root for.

Of course there is one fundamental difference. Jim Henderson can get major-league batters out right now. John Axford apparently cannot.

The Brewers suffered a stomach-punch loss to Arizona on Sunday, a quirky 11-inning affair that ended with Heath Bell on the mound and Kyle Lohse at the plate (damn that modern roster construction). Axford actually worked a smooth 1-2-3 inning when summoned in the tenth, but he fell apart in the following inning (Cliff Pennington double, Eric Hinske homer). All three of Axford's appearances have been a mess this year (partly due to velocity issues), and he's already given up three home runs. Bad times in Brew City.

Henderson's Sunday appearance came in the top of the ninth, when Milwaukee trailed by two runs. He put the side down in order, striking out a pair. If Axford gets any kind of demotion from closing, temporary or permanent, there's little doubt Henderson (three scoreless innings this year, no walks, four strikeouts) would get the next call.

Henderson is currently free to add in 76 percent of Yahoo! leagues; the hardcore save chasers acted earlier this week. Your last chance to be proactive is right now. Start pointing, start clicking. The hunt for handshakes is a full-time job.

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