Trevor Hoffman gets bases-loaded strikeout for 598th save

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John Axford has done a tremendous job since taking over for Trevor Hoffman as the Brewers’ closer in mid-May, going 7-1 while converting 18-of-20 saves with a 2.76 ERA and 50/20 K/BB ratio in 42.2 innings.
This afternoon, however, the 27-year-old rookie ran into trouble trying to close out a 3-0 lead over the Cardinals. So with the bases loaded, two outs, and the Brewers clinging to a 3-2 lead manager Ken Macha summoned Hoffman from the bullpen … and the all-time saves leader struck out Brendan Ryan on three pitches for his 598th career save.
Hoffman is highly unlikely to reclaim ninth-inning duties down the stretch, but since losing the gig to Axford he has a 3.46 ERA and .235 opponents’ batting average in 26 innings. He’s pitching well enough to at least make retiring or not his choice and my guess is that Macha will give Hoffman a shot to get the two more saves necessary to reach 600.

Christian Yelich homers to bring the National League one run closer in the eighth

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We entered the bottom of the eighth with the Americans leading the Nationals 5-2, and Charlie Morton on the hill. He got Joe Votto to ground out to second but he wasn’t so lucky when the Brewers’ Christian Yelich came to the plate: Yelich homered, again to left field, to bring the National League one run closer, 5-3.

After that Morton got both Charlie Blackmon and Lorenzo Cain to strike out, ending the inning.

We head to the top of the ninth, the American League still in the lead.