Francisco Rodriguez Replaces John Axford As Brewers Closer After Cardinals Comeback

The St. Louis Cardinals' 3-2 Monday night victory over the Milwaukee Brewers could be a turning point in the Cardinals' rocky 2012 season, but it's definitely the start of something different for the Brewers--they'll be replacing snakebitten closer John Axford, who blew the save on Matt Holliday's ground-ball single, with Francisco Rodriguez, according to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com.

For K-Rod, who went from 34 saves with the Mets to the Brewers' set-up man in 2011, it's a chance to return to the pace that gave him a chance to set the all-time saves record; for the Brewers, it's a chance to figure out what ails Axford, who was dominant in 2011 but has struggled with control and command in 2012.

Axford, who saved 46 games last year, has walked 21 batters and allowed six home runs in 37 innings, but his case hasn't been helped by a BAbip of .344. He'll get every chance to work his way back into high leverage innings, but Rodriguez, who's rarely anything less than cromulent as a reliever, will be hard to dislodge if he stabilizes the Brewers' beleaguered bullpen even temporarily.

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