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Hells Bells going silent? Trevor Hoffman blows another save

May 18, 2010, 4:40 PM EST

Trevor Hoffman’s first save opportunity since May 7 did not go well this afternoon. He came in to face the Reds with a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning and this happened:
Paul Janish single.
Scott Rolen homer.
Chris Heisey double.
Brandon Phillips walk.
Joey Votto single.
Game over.
Hoffman now has a hideous 13.15 ERA, allowing 19 earned runs in 13 innings. To put that into some context, he hasn’t allowed more than 19 earned runs in a season since way back in 2002. He’s also blown five saves in 10 opportunities after going 37-for-41 last season.
I’ve been slower than many people to declare Hoffman toast because a) he’s been so great for so long, and b) his mid-80s fastball has led to premature burials in the past. With that said, serving up seven homers and 15 total extra-base hits in 13 innings sure seems to shout that the fastball-changeup combo that has baffled hitters for so long is just no longer fooling anyone.
Obviously the first step is a demotion from closer to middle reliever, perhaps giving Hoffman a chance to get on track in low-leverage situations. However, whether he’s working the ninth inning or the sixth inning a few more ugly outings and the Brewers will have no choice but to start thinking about simply cutting bait.
Much like watching Ken Griffey Jr. flail away in Seattle, it’s sad to see one of the greatest relievers of all time get knocked around like he’s throwing batting practice. Maybe the future first-ballot Hall of Famers can stage a dual retirement at midseason.

  1. Jason @ IIATMS - May 18, 2010 at 4:39 PM

    Enter Villanueva?

  2. Doug - May 18, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    I think this headline has a few words too many. It should read:
    “Hells Bells going silent? Trevor Hoffman blows.”
    Thanks!
    Be here all week! Try the roast beef!

  3. Okobojicat - May 18, 2010 at 4:53 PM

    ” future first-ballot Hall of Famers”
    .
    Haven’t we started to realize how stupid of a phrase this actually is? Either you’re a Hall of Famer or your not. Everyone on this site was ticked how the BBWAA did not put Alomar into the HoF on his first try, even though he obviously deserves to go in; even many writers who voted against him said he deserved to go in. The entire first ballot debate is ridiculous. No one cares, once you’re in, who was a first ballot.
    .
    .
    .
    *Did you know that BBWA stands for “British Bavarian Warmblood Association” which I really want to be member of.

  4. Ryan - May 18, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    John Axford? Bring up Chris Smith from Nashville? Talk Dan Plesac out of retirement?!?

  5. YANKEES1996 - May 18, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    It is truly sad to see one of the games greatest closers struggle this way.

  6. dp - May 18, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    Trevor , IT”S OVER !

  7. Eric W1977 - May 18, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    And let’s not give the red hot Reds any credit here……..come on!!!!

  8. Dai - May 18, 2010 at 5:27 PM

    Ken Macha’s use of Trevor Hoffman over the last month or so has got to be grounds for firing him. Ned Yost was fired for less. It’s sad to watch Trevor end his career this way, but there’s no way keeping him at closer is justified for this team – a team that has as much trouble getting to the closer as any other team in the league.

  9. Bob R. - May 18, 2010 at 5:36 PM

    I don’t think it is a stupid phrase. It is true that once in people do not distinguish whether you were 1st ballot or 15th. Of course once in, it really doesn’t matter if you are inner circle or not either, and the HOF does not make such distinctions itself. But the phrase does make a point that there is a difference between the careers of Babe Ruth and Ross Youngs or Walter Johnson and Jesse Haines and is a useful distinction.
    In the same way when considering future HOFers, there are sure fire 1st ballot and others who are debatable. I think pretty much everyone agrees that Ken Griffey Jr. will get in on the first ballot, a testament to his brilliant career. On the other hand, while there are some who think that Gary Sheffield will eventually get in, noting that he is not a slam dunk 1st ballot selection indicates the questionable nature of his candidacy. Again, if Sheffield gets in, it won’t matter, but while he remains outside, the distinction between 1st ballot and not tells us something about the reputation of a ball player.

  10. Mark - May 18, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    I think the major issue is that Trevor’s favorite fast food fuel is only available on the west coast.

  11. oh Hal - May 19, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    What? Fire Macha for what? When would a rocket scientist such as yourself fill the bullpen with yet another worn out MLBer?

  12. Soundbounder - May 21, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    I’m not so sure he is a HOF’er at all. I think he is a borderline case. Other than his SAVES, his numbers are nothing spectacular. Lee Smith never got many votes either.

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