John Axford converted his 25th consecutive save on Tuesday night, nailing down a 3-2 Brewers win over the Cubs. That streak ties the club record held by Doug Jones, who converted 25 straight in 1997.
Of course, they haven’t all been easy, and Tuesday night’s save was no exception — Kosuke Fukudome hit a liner that short-hopped Rickie Weeks with two outs, and pinch-runner Tony Campana was able to steal second as the tying run before Axford got the final out. For the most part, though, Axford has been dominant through his streak.
In those 25 save opportunities:
39 strikeouts — Struck out the side three times, and struck out 2 in 10 other appearances. Only three saves were converted without a single strikeout.
9 walks — 3 of those came in one outing (June 3rd at Florida).
19 hits — 12 of the 25 appearances have been hitless outings. In 9 outings, he didn’t allow a single baserunner.
3 earned runs — No more than 1 ER in any save, meaning 22 scoreless outings. That would be a 1.08 ERA in save situations during the streak.
2.753 WPA (Win Probability Added)
The fact that Jones held the record for so long should probably tell us something, whether it’s how random the record really is or just how inconsistent the relief pitching has been over the past 14 years. Still, it’s remarkable to think Axford hasn’t blown a save since April 18, considering he’s prone to control flare-ups and he’s carrying a .344 BABIP. Strikeout stuff takes you far in that role.