Having made a headline-grabbing deal when the Dodgers acquired Manny Machado right after the All-Star break, the Dodgers trade for right-handed reliever John Axford was almost the opposite kind of deal.
Axford had pitched in 45 games with the Toronto Blue Jays prior to being traded to the Dodgers. In those games, he had thrown 51 innings with 50 strikeouts and 20 walks. His ERA was 4.41.
After his acquisition by the Dodgers, he pitched three games and then was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right fibula fracture on August 14th.
Axford would be activated from the disabled list on September 17th and he would pitch in two more games.
What went right
About the only thing that Axford has been able to do consistently is get strikeouts over his career. Axford struck out 54 in 54⅔ innings pitched in both Toronto and Los Angeles in 2018.
What went wrong
Besides striking out batters, everything else continued to go not as well for Axford. He gave up 52 hits, 35 runs (32 earned) and six home runs in 54⅔ innings pitched with both the Blue Jays and the Dodgers.
Axford had an inauspicious start to his short Dodger career. On August 4th, he was brought in to pitch against the Houston Astros with the Dodgers already trailing 5-0. He proceeds to give up three of five runs charged to him while recording one out. Two of the runs charged to Axford scored on a Josh Reddick home run that Zac Rosscup gave up.
Stats: With the Dodgers, five games, 3⅔ innings pitched, 8 hits, 8 runs (7 earned), 2 walks and 4 strikeouts
Game of the year
Axford had back-to-back scoreless outings at Colorado for the Dodgers prior to going on the 10-day disabled list.
On August 10th, he pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts and then on August 12th, Axford went two innings where he allowed no runs and struck out two.
John Axford elected to become a free agent on October 29, 2018.