Hoffman ties all-time saves record

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Well-Known Member
Dec 17, 2005
San Diego

09/24/2006 2:28 AM ET
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- In his five years as Dodgers manager and now in his first with the Pirates, Jim Tracy said he now dreads the entrance of Padres closer Trevor Hoffman in a tight game.
"I've learned to hate that song 'Hells Bells,'" Tracy said about the AC/DC anthem the Padres always play when Hoffman comes trotting in from the bullpen in the top of the ninth to nail down a home game, whether it was at Qualcomm Stadium in the old days or PETCO Park now. "My boys love to play it and laugh. And I just tell them to turn it off."

So it was more than apropos that the music filled the collective ears of Saturday's sellout crowd -- 43,168 -- on the night the nearly 39-year-old right-hander matched Lee Smith for first place on the all-time list with his 478th save.

The magic moment came in Hoffman's 816th Major League appearance and put the punctuation point on a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh that helped solidify San Diego's lead in the National League West over the Dodgers, who lost to the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium and slipped behind the Phillies by a half-game in the Wild Card race.

"The crowd was really into it tonight," said Bruce Bochy, who took over as manager of the Padres in 1995 and has had Hoffman, when healthy, as his closer ever since. "You could feel the energy."

No wonder. With eight games left to play, the 82-72 Padres head into Sunday's action leading Los Angeles by 1 1/2 games. Equally as important is the fact that the Padres now have an edge on the suddenly floundering 80-73 Central Division-leading Cardinals. If the playoffs began today, the Padres would have home-field advantage in their National League Division Series.

All of that, of course, was more significant to Hoffman than merely matching the 6-foot-6 Smith, who carved his save mark over an 18-year career playing for eight teams.

"I definitely think it makes things a little bit easier to be doing this in a pennant race," Hoffman said afterward. "It could be extremely lonely, in a sense, to go through this process with a team that wouldn't be in it and have all the attention on something that's very individualized. It's a great [storyline] that it's taking place in a pennant race. The top goal and the top topic is how the ballclub is doing and not achieving saves."

Considering the emotional week that was for the Padres, Hoffman's NL-leading 42nd save was relatively easy, accomplished by retiring three straight batters on only 12 pitches.

He was one of three Padres relievers on the firing line Monday night in Los Angeles when the Dodgers came from behind in classic fashion by hitting four consecutive homers in the ninth to tie the score and another in the 10th to win it. Since Hoffman allowed back-to-back homers on successive pitches to blow his fifth opportunity of the season, he's saved three others and the Padres are 4-1 since that devastating loss, including Chris Young's near no-hitter on Friday night in a victory over the Bucs.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, have gone flat and are 2-3 since sending their faithful home after one of the most titillating regular-season victories in franchise history.
"It's been like this the whole month," Bochy said. "I've been proud of the guys. Going back to L.A., it was a tough one. But they've showed how resilient they are."

Hoffman replaced starter Jake Peavy, who worked the opening eight innings, allowing only six hits and the single run, while walking none and striking out 11 Pirates. Hoffman began business by inducing friend and former teammate Xavier Nady to fly out on three pitches. Catcher Ronnie Paulino faced only four pitches before grounding out to second, and Ryan Doumit struck out, wildly swinging on the fifth pitch -- a trademark Hoffman changeup -- to end the long chase.

Hoffman said he was well aware of how much was on the line from a personal and time perspective as he worked through the tense half inning that ended with virtually everyone in the crowd on their feet.

"I guess until you get there in the moment and you're out there on the mound you don't know what you're going to feel," Hoffman said. "You've done it so many times and the routine's there, but you understand the magnitude of the situation. You just try to stay locked into the moment."

Behind Hoffman, Mariano Rivera is the next in line among active relievers in fourth place overall with 413 saves in 717 appearances. But the Yankees closer has missed much of the last month with a sore elbow and right now seems a distant 65 saves short of Hoffman, who will still have many more opportunities and many more times to trot in from the 'pen to the strains of his favorite piece of rock music.

When told how Tracy felt about those few bars that ring each time the bullpen gate swings open and No. 51 comes through, Bochy could only chuckle. "It's obvious I feel a lot differently about it," he said. "It's a beautiful tune. I don't know all the words yet, but one day I hope to listen to the whole thing. It's a song that we're hoping to hear [often] at this stage of the game."


Well-Known Member
Dec 17, 2005
San Diego
It was a privilege and an honor to attend this game. The crowd was humming with electricity the whole night.

When Trevor warmed up in the pen, you could hear the pitch of the crowd hum even louder. It was wonderfully amazing.

I saw Hollywood on the way in, so I know he got to see Trevor do it as well.

I was so excited, I almost forgot to take pictures. But I did, and hopefully I wasnt moving around too much for them to come out.

Trevor Hoffman is THE MAN.:yes:


Well-Known Member
Dec 17, 2005
San Diego
HollywoodLeo said:
gotta love it

going again tomorrow, hopefully he breaks it :D

I havent sat out in right field during the playing of Hells Bells. Holy shite, I still got it rockin in my ears!!!:icon_banana:


Well-Known Member
Dec 17, 2005
San Diego


Article, including VIDEO highlights:


Hoffman ties saves record as Padres keep West lead

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- It was vintage Trevor Hoffman, from the AC/DC blaring from the stadium speakers to a final, nasty changeup dropping toward the dirt and eluding the swing of a helpless batter.

Hoffman never veers from his routines or his signature pitch, and on Saturday night he tied Lee Smith's career saves record with No. 478, helping the NL West-leading San Diego Padres beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 to build a 1½-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

As he has for weeks, Hoffman said the Padres' playoff push is more important that his record pursuit.

"I know I'll be more relieved when we clinch a playoff spot," Hoffman said after pitching a perfect ninth for his NL-best 42nd save in 47 chances. "And I truly mean that. I'm not trying to deflect the attention from what's going on, and there's a lot of pressure involved in a pennant drive and preserving wins, let alone what it means to a major league record."

The 38-year-old closer has never been comfortable talking about himself, so it's been easier on him with the Padres trying to make consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in club history.

"It could be extremely lonely, in a sense, to go through this process with a team that wouldn't be in it and have all the attention on something that's very individualized," he said.

Jake Peavy struck out 11 to match the team record for double-digit strikeout games, and rookie Josh Barfield hit a go-ahead homer leading off the seventh.

With the sellout crowd of 43,168 on its feet, Hoffman jogged in from the bullpen, staring at the ground the whole way, with AC/DC's "Hells Bells" blaring, as it has for each of his home save opportunities since July 25, 1998.

Former teammate Xavier Nady flied out to center, Ronny Paulino grounded out and Hoffman tied Smith's record when he struck out Ryan Doumit struck on his signature pitch, a changeup.

"It was nasty," catcher Rob Bowen said. "It looked like it stopped, then started again after he swung. It just dropped off the table."

Said Hoffman: "I'll get an out any way I can, as long as they don't put it in play and score a run."

The 38-year-old Hoffman has three saves in five games following his blown save in Monday night's wild, 11-10 loss in 10 innings at Los Angeles.

Smith piled up 478 saves from 1980-1997.

All but two of Hoffman's saves have come with San Diego, which obtained him from Florida on June 24, 1993, in a five-player deal that sent Gary Sheffield to the Marlins.

"I feel sorry for teams who don't have what we have," Peavy said about Hoffman.

"It's special," said Bruce Bochy, San Diego's manager since 1995. "We're seeing history. I can't say enough about what he's done for our ballclub, our organization. He's a guy I've been fortunate to have as my closer since I've been manager."

Pittsburgh's Jim Tracy was Hoffman's manager in the minor leagues when he was converted from infielder to reliever.

"It suggests consistency, it suggests resiliency," Tracy said. "That's how you get to the point where he's at."

Tracy was manager of the rival Dodgers the last five seasons.

"I learned to hate the song 'Hells Bells," Tracy said. "I only listen to it when I'm in San Diego."

San Diego has won eight of 11 overall and 13 of its last 15 home games.

Barfield gave San Diego a 2-1 lead when he homered to left on a 2-2 pitch from Zach Duke (10-14) in the seventh. It was the 13th of the season for Barfield, the son of former AL home run champ Jesse Barfield.

Peavy (10-14) held Pittsburgh to one run and six hits in eight innings, walking one. He reached double digits in Ks for the 15th time in his career to tie the franchise mark held by Andy Benes. It was the fifth time this season Peavy has struck out at least 10.

A night after Chris Young came within two outs of San Diego's first no-hitter, the Pirates took a quick lead against Peavy.

Chris Duffy hit a leadoff single, advanced on Jack Wilson's walk and, following a double play started by Peavy, scored on a two-out single by former Padres player Xavier Nady.

San Diego tied it with two outs in the fifth when Brian Giles singled to center and scored when left fielder Jose Bautista misplayed Mike Cameron's fly ball, which bounced off the fence for a double.

Duke allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings, walked five and struck out four.

Game Notes
Pinch-hitter Joe Randa was booed when he was announced leading off the eighth. Randa's pinch-hit, two-run homer with one out in the ninth on Friday night broke up Young's no-hitter


Well-Known Member
Dec 17, 2005
San Diego

Padres RHP Hoffman ties all-time saves record
September 24, 2006
SAN DIEGO (Ticker) - Trevor Hoffman isn't a hard thrower and he certainly isn't flashy, but no pitcher in baseball history has more saves.
Hoffman moved into a tie with Lee Smith atop the all-time saves list Saturday, recording his 478th career save in the San Diego Padres' 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 38-year-old Hoffman pitched a perfect ninth, striking out Ryan Doumit to seal the Padres' third straight win. His final pitch was one of his signature changeups, which Doumit missed badly to end the contest.
I guess until you get into the moment and you're out there on the mound, you aren't really sure what you're going to feel," Hoffman said. "You've done it so many times, and the routine is there, but you understand the magnitude of the situation.

"You're just trying to stay locked into the moment, and preserve a 2-1 win after a great job by (Jake Peavy) and the rest of the guys."
Hoffman sat alone in the Padres' dugout for several moments, eventually sharing a hug with his son. (Actually it was ALL 3 of his sons.)
"It's special," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "With every game meaning so much, that just adds to it. We're seeing history, and I think we're all lucky to be here to watch it. That's a tough ballgame there, and he came in and got it done. He's still throwing as well as he ever has."
It was the NL-leading 42nd save for Hoffman, who owns the major league record with 11 30-save seasons. The righthander has reached the 40-save plateau eight times in his career, including a personal-best 53 in 1998.
Hoffman has converted three straight saves since blowing an opportunity in Monday's 11-10 defeat against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
A five-time All-Star, Hoffman's most infamous moment in the midsummer classic came in July, when he blew the save in a 3-2 defeat to the American League, which consequently will have home-field advantage in the World Series.
But that meltdown was just a small blemish for Hoffman, who is 0-2 with a 1.98 ERA in 61 games this year. He is a big reason the Padres (81-72) sit 1 1/2 games ahead of the Dodgers (80-74) for first place in the National League West Division.
"I think it's really some great story in that it is taking place during a pennant race," Hoffman said. "It's nice to have that kind of story in the forefront to really focus on as I'm going along."
Smith registered 478 career saves with eight teams from 1980-97. He had 10 30-save seasons and three 40-save campaigns, including a career-high 47 with the 1991 St. Louis Cardinals. However, he is not in the Hall of Fame.

Updated on Sunday, Sep 24, 2006 3:15 am EDT


In Disguise
Aug 2, 2006
Out of todays game with the Pirates and the next 3 with the Cardinals including after that 4 with the Diamondbacks I see atleast one save in there to be the sole record holder of the total saves crown.:icon_toast: :icon_banana: :icon_toast:

!Go Trevor Hoffman P #51 San Diego Padres Go!


Well-Known Member
Nov 16, 2005
Ryan Doumit had no chance, poor sumb1tch!!:icon_eek: :no: :icon_mrgreen: :lol: