Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The 600-Saves Club Is Born!

CONGRATS to Milwaukee Brewers reliever Trevor Hoffman on becoming the first player ever to record 600 saves.

Although the milestone is somewhat bittersweet for Hoffman, it is nonetheless, a new frontier in major league baseball.

The only other pitcher who will most likely join the 600-Saves Club, any time soon, is New York Yankees specialist Mariano "Mo" Rivera, who currently has 555 saves. After Rivera, it'll be a LONG while before anyone else joins. In fact, the future 3rd member may not even be in the major leagues yet.

And Rivera actually has a chance to break the 700-saves barrier because, unlike Hoffman, his career is still booming and Mo has said he wants to pitch for a few more years. Even though he's 40, Mo is still the best in the business (29 saves in 31 opportunities, 1.07 ERA, 0.75 WHIP).

Hoffman, who's season began as a nightmare, lost his closer role to John Axford, whom the Brewers desperately went out and got when their season was still salvageable. Since his arrival, Axford has been getting the job done (20 saves in 22 opportunities) but he may have arrived a little too late.

By the time he arrived the self-inflicted wound (largely caused by their inept bullpen) was too deep and the Brewers season collapsed.

So Hoffman, with the season out of hand, has been getting opportunities to reach the milestone and he's been pitching pretty good as of late. But unfortunately it came too little too late. And I'm sure Hoffman would have liked to reach the milestone as the top closer in a pennant race.

But at least, Hoffman got his milestone save and now he can retire in peace.

Next up for Hoffman-- Cooperstown.

Photos courtesy of the AP

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