Wednesday, September 8, 2010

600 for Trevor

Congratulations to Trevor Hoffman, who became the first pitcher in Major League history to collect his 600th save in a 4-2 win against the Cardinals last night. The Brewers grabbed the lead in the 5th off of Kyle Lohse, and manager Ken Macha's ejection in the 2nd all but sealed the deal that Trevor would get his 14th save opportunity, as he did not have the chance to blow the game with middle relief as he always does. Instead, bench coach Willie Randolph allowed Chris Narveson to twirl a 9-strikeout, 7-inning gem. John Axford was the setup man in the 8th, and Trevor got his 3 outs in the 9th on a double play ball to second, and a harmless grounder to the sure-handed Craig Counsell at short. The crowd stuck around for a standing ovation, his family embraced him on the field, and he was eventually carried off by team leaders Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun. He never wanted any of the pomp and circumstance associated with his quest for 600, but there could not be a more deserving man of all the adoration in all of baseball than Trevor Hoffman. As humble as he is, he even addressed the team with a motivational speech about the value of hard work following his monumental acheivement, in lieu of a celebration.
The save has only been a major league statistic for about 40 years, and Trevor Hoffman has dominated the closer's role for over half of those years throughout his Hall of Fame career. He got 552 of his 600 saves with the San Diego Padres, 1 with the Marlins early in his career, and the remainder with the Brewers, including 9 this season. Although he lost his closer's role early in May to Axford, he was always the consumate professional, and handled his new undefined role with dignity and determination. After amassing a sub-3 ERA following his demotion from the closers role, Hoffman slowly started getting more save opportunities to achieve the unthinkable milestone of 600. I was lucky enough to see save #599 on the Brewers' previous homestand, and hopefully now with the Brewers out of playoff contention, maybe Trevor will get a few more save opportunities and I can see #601 on Friday against the reeling Cubs.
Brewers 65-74, -14.0 (3 v. Cubs, 3 @ Astros, 3 @ Giants)
Reds 79-60, +6.0 (3 v. Pirates, 4 v. Diamondbacks, 3 @ Astros)
Twins 83-57,
+5.5 (3 @ Indians, 3 @ White Sox, 3 v. Athletics)

Erik - 20
Peter - 49

No comments: