Afternoon Baseball

Common-sense ruminations on baseball and culture.

I wish I had bet on Hoffman blowing the save tonight. His (limited) track record, for all 524 saves, speaks to this.

1996 NLDS: Game 2 -- Padres tie the game in the top of the 8th. Hoffman relieves with runners on 2nd and 3rd, one out. (Admittedly, awful situation). Allows RBI groundout, Padres lose.
Game 3 -- Padres tie the game in the bottom of the 8th. Hoffman gives up one-out, two-run HR. Padres lose.

1998: Hoffman dominates until the World Series (1 run, 7.1 IP, 3 saves, 1 win).
WS: Game 3 -- Padres leading 3-2, top 8th. Hoffman enters with man on first, none out. Flyball, walk, three-run homer. Padres lose after Mariano Rivera closes out game.

2006 All-Star Game: NL leading 2-1, top of the ninth. Hoffman enters, gets two groundouts, then gives up single, double, triple. NL loses after Rivera closes out game.

2007, Game 161: Padres need a win to clinch playoff spot. Hoffman enters with 3-2 lead in the 9th, alternates strikeouts with a double and a triple (by Tony Gwynn Jr., of all people) to blow lead. Padres lose.

Fair to rip on him? Not at all. But please, let's rest this idea of Hoffman being a better closer than Mariano Rivera. Games 1-162? Perhaps. But not past that. And let's not forget, Hoffman has been in the playoffs four times. He's had chances.

How about the Rockies? Nine games under .500 on May 21, with an eight-game losing streak a month later, and pull off a 21-9 mark (14 of their last 15) to make it. All done with one superstar (Matt Holliday), two pitchers with 10 wins and two closers splitting 39 saves.

1 Responses to “I've seen this Trevor Hoffman before”

  1. # Blogger Anthony

    Add last night's game to it. Any comparison to Rivera should stop right now. Yeah, Rivera has blown a few big games, but it seems that EVERY time Hoffman comes up in a big game, he chokes. That changeup of his won't work when your fastball is only 84 mph.  

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