The Long Ball Haunts Brewers' John Axford

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The Long Ball Haunts Brewers' John Axford
Tom Lynn/Getty Images

If your stat line reads four home runs in four games to start the season, that’s good, right? Well, it doesn’t if that stat line is pitcher John Axford’s stats after his first four appearances in the 2013 season.

Axford has lost his closer role after surrendering four home runs and losing two games of the four he pitched in so far this season. Similar to the bump in the road he experienced last season, we’ll see if Axford can regain his stuff and become the effective closer that he was in 2011.

Last season Axford gave up 10 home runs, making him the 20th Brewers pitcher who did not start a game to give up 10 or more home runs in a season (note: the Brewers record for most home runs allowed by a pitcher who did not start a game in a season is 16 by Luis Vizcaino in 2003. Eric Plunk in 1999 and Doug Jones in 1998 each surrendered 15 in a season).

Looking at Axford’s numbers got me thinking about home runs given up by pitchers. We all know that Barry Bonds has the most career home runs with 762. But do we know who holds the career mark for most career home runs given up by a pitcher?

Jamie Moyer tops that list with 522. He is one of only two pitchers who has given up 500 or more career HR’s. The other? Robin Roberts, who allowed 505 four-baggers.

Here’s a look at the pitchers who gave up 400 or more homers in their career.

Brian Kersey/Getty Images

Pitcher, Home Runs allowed

Jamie Moyer, 522
Robin Roberts, 505
Fergie Jenkins, 484
Phil Niekro, 482
Don Sutton, 472
Frank Tanana, 448
Warren Spahn, 434
Bert Blyleven, 430
Tim Wakefield, 418
Steve Carlton, 414
Randy Johnson, 411
David Wells, 407

Mark Buehrle leads the active pitchers with 302 home runs surrendered. Bartolo Colon follows with 296.

Getting back to the Brewers, Jim Slaton holds the franchise record with 192 home runs allowed. He is followed by Bill Wegman (187), Mike Caldwell (161), Ben Sheets (160) and Moose Haas (151). Braden Looper holds the team single-season mark; he surrendered 39 HR in 2009.

While it highly unlikely Axford with jump into the Brewers' career list in home runs allowed (he has given up 19 in his career), he is making his way up the ladder on the list of most career HR allowed by a Brewers pitcher with no starts. As I stated before, Axford has given up 19 home runs. That places his 10th on the list of most HRs allowed by a pitcher with no starts. Vizcaino holds the team mark with 34.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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