I may have done a horrible thing.
Three weeks ago, I predicted on this site that Trevor Hoffman would record his 600th save in this here month of April. It’s now beyond a mathematical impossibility, and I am here to atone for my pomposity, for it clearly jinxed the Crew.
This, of course, comes after several rather rocky outings for T-Hoff. I thought he could get to 600 in this month following those first two saves against Colorado. There were the back-to-back nightmares against the Cardinals, on Nick Stavinoha’s bit of brillance and a one-two punch from maybe the best three-four combo in baseball. Okay, fine. Stuff happens.
Then the Brewers went down to Chicago, and weren’t in a position to win the first two games. Trevor comes in with a three-run lead in the third game and allows a run. All right, whatever. Doesn’t help his ERA, but it’s a win, and a save.
But then he goes on to not pitch again for nearly an entire week. He gets to pitch in Pittsburgh, at the end of a 20-0 rout, the worst loss in Pirates’ history! He gets mop-up duty again for the sake of getting out there, three days later as the Brewers are losing 12-2 to the Cubs.
Now come the latest blown saves against the Pirates. It’s concerning because they are once again on homers. It’s concerning because the Pirates are decidedly not the defending NL Central Champion Cardinals. The Pirates are the Pirates, who lost 22 games in a row at Miller Park and who the Brewers outscored 52-4 in their first four games this season.
As I look at this, I’m beginning to see evidence why this may not be as concerning as it appears. There’s no way Hoffman can get a routine going when the team is either blowing some poor schmucks out of the water (Pirate pun) or getting it handed to them. Milwaukee is tied for the lead in runs scored by a team in all of MLB at 121. But the team has the fifth worst runs allowed and sixth worst ERA. But those extremes haven’t really lined up together in the same game. The last week leading up to these Pirates debacles has been Loss by 8, Win by 4 (after scoring 10 runs in the first), Win by seven, Win by eight, Win by 20, Loss by seven, Loss by four, Loss by 10, Win by 14.
So basically, it was 12 days and three cities between Trevor’s save opportunities. Not to mention the giant billboard in the outfield advertising that opposing batters have the chance to beat the Greatest Of All-Time, and the new catcher who may be asking for too many fastballs.
Manager Ken Macha said he wasn’t sure who he would bring out if the Brewers found themselves in a save situation on Thursday. I can understand you’d be concerned about Hoffman’s status given the back-to-back blown saves and the cross country flight. But this is Petco Park.
Trevor Hoffman is a humble and gracious man. But if that situation arises and Macha doesn’t stick with him, he should pull the “Do you know who the hell I am?” card. This is Petco Park, where Hoffman made his Hall-of-Fame name for himself for 15 years. Last year, he was perfect against his old team, striking out four in three innings pitched.
But the main reason I’m not concerned is that I’m atoning, right here and now. What I wasn’t saying when I predicted T-Hoff would go on a streak and hit 600 this month, was that I love watching Trevor Hoffman and the memories he’s provided for me. If he never saves another game and is run out of town, I’ll never forget the dread I had when he came out for the Pad’s at Petco, or the fun I had rocking out to “Hell’s Bells” at Miller Park. He’s a winner and he always will be.
Here’s another reason I’m not worried. I’m never wearing my g.d. J.J. Hardy jersey T-shirt again. I hung on to the shirt when J’j was traded to the Twins as a workout shirt, and every single day this season I’ve worn it to the gym, the Brewers have lost in disgusting fashion. I told DramaMamma that she could tailor it into a Brewers shirt for one of her little girls, as long as she cut out Hardy’s name and No. 7. I’m going to Minneapolis for P-House’s 21st birthday next weekend, and a Twins game — maybe I could dump the scraps in the Mississippi River.