Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Plight Of Trevor Hoffman

Is age catching up to Trevor Hoffman?

There is no doubt things are looking ugly for Trevor Hoffman and the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers (15-24) have lost 8 in a row and are sicking fast. At 42, Hoffman is having a nightmare of a season and his struggles are a mystery.

In 13 innings, Hoffman already has 5 blown saves, allowed 19 earned runs, 21 hits, and has a 13.15 ERA. Ouch!

As a team, the Brewers have blown 8 saves (Hoffman-5, LaTroy Hawkins-2 and Chris Narveson-1). They have 5 saves in 13 save chances, a 38% clip. And at 38%, the Brewers ship (or any one's ship) will sink to the bottom of the ocean quickly.

With those closer numbers, its amazing they are not in last place. Only 3 other teams are as bad as the Brewers in closing games-- the Arizona Diamondbacks (9 blown saves); the Kansas City Royals (9 blown saves) and the Seattle Mariners (8 blown saves). And all 3 are dead last in their divisions.

Let's face it, blown saves are demoralizing for any team. Think about it-- you work your tail off all game long and then you just give it away in the last inning. That's tough on anyone. Sooner or later it starts affecting everyone on the team.

Ironically, the Houston Astros, who are standing in the way of the Brewers being in the basement of the NL Central, have one of the best bullpens in the major leagues. The 'stros are 9 out of 10 in save opportunities, but their problem is, they can't hit for beans, so the pen doesn't get too many opportunities to close games.

I mean, the Astros anemic hitting is in a class by itself.

A look at the Astros hitting:

.227 AVG - last in the major leagues
115 Runs - last in the major leagues
289 Hits - last in the major leagues
20 HR - last in the major leagues
51 doubles - last in the major leagues
111 RBIs - last in the major leagues

With that kind of hitting its a shame they have such a good bullpen. Matt Lindstrom is a perfect 9 for 9 in save chances. Their only blown save was by Brandon Lyon, who's usually a middle reliever. In Lyon's defense, he is tied for the team lead in holds with 4. But unfortunately for the pen, the Astros hitters are still on vacation.


As for Hoffman, who is arguably the second best closer in major league history, things look pretty dim right now. If the all-time saves leader (596 career saves) doesn't find his groove quickly, the entire Brew Crew is going down with the ship.

No doubt!

Photo courtesy of Getty Images


  1. I would have to agree he probably is the second best all-time as of right now. Pappelbon could one day be the second best. My top five closers would be 1. Rivera, 2. Hoffman, 3. John Franco, 4. Lee Smith, and 5. Rollie Fingers.

  2. Excellent choices, Charley. Hard to argue with that list. Maybe Eckersley could be squeezed in, but those 5 definitely make the cut.

  3. I thought about Eckersley, but he really only had a 5 year stretch as a dominant closer, but fortunate for him it was when the A's were the peak of baseball.