John Axford didn’t speak to reporters after his club-record streak of 49 straight saves came to an end last night against the Cubs, but he had good reason for it.
After the Brewers topped the Cubs 8-7 on a Corey Hart walkoff single in the 13th inning, Axford hurried out of the ballpark to accompany his pregnant wife to the hospital. The couple is expecting their second child.
Courtesy of Jordan Schelling of MLB.com, the Brewers’ closer was at least nice enough to leave the following note for the media in the clubhouse.
Hilarious, awesome and classy.
Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.
Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.
Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.