Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hoffman is key to Padres' playoff hopes

Trevor Hoffman has been so taken for granted that Padres’ fans may finally find out this season just how good he was.

Hoffman, the all-time Major League Baseball saves leader, could be counted on about 90 percent of the time to hold any lead in the ninth inning.

He proved human in his final two appearances of 2007.

First, there was the triple by Milwaukee’s Tony Gwynn Jr. off Hoffman that prevented the Padres from clinching a playoff berth.

Then, there was Hoffman giving up three runs to the Colorado Rockies in another game that could have propelled the Padres into the playoffs.

Either these were two blips on Hoffman’s great career, or they were a sign of things to come.

When Hoffman blew consecutive saves in potential playoff-clinching games, San Diego fans got a taste of what people in many others cities throughout baseball experience.

Nowadays, the hardest thing for a pitcher to do is record the final three outs.

Nobody has been better at that than Hoffman.

But if he slips at all from his personal high standards in 2008, the Padres’ chances of making the postseason are very minimal.

1 comment:

kareem said...

A lot of the success or failure of the Padres' season will certainly rest on his shoulders and of course his pitching arm. If he has a great year the Padres could have an interesting run. If not, it could be a long, boring season for us Padre fans.