Hoffman cranks up volume in first save
In second appearance for Brewers, closer notches No. 555
MILWAUKEE -- A day after he made his first Brewers appearance with a five-run lead, Trevor Hoffman notched his first Brewers save in a 6-5 win over the Pirates on Tuesday.But career save No. 555 wasn't quite perfect. "Still looking for more volume," Hoffman said. That wasn't some reference to his fastball velocity but an actual plea for the Brewers to pump up the volume for his signature "Hells Bells," the AC/DC foot-stomper that has blared for each of Hoffman's save opportunities at home since July 1998. Miller Park's dome was closed on a chilly Monday night, which should have helped hold the decibels in. This might require more hardware. "Mr. [Mark] Attanasio," Hoffman said, referring to the Brewers' principal owner, "might need to get more speakers in here." Hoffman nonetheless worked around a leadoff single in a scoreless ninth inning and extended his record for most career saves. Out in left field, Ryan Braun thought it was just right. "I don't think that will ever get old," said Braun, who drove in two Brewers runs. "Just being a fan of baseball, I appreciate every day, and any time you get a chance to watch somebody who's that good at what they do, it's pretty cool. You kind of become a fan and a spectator." If the volume was the only complaint on Tuesday, it meant Hoffman and the Brewers had another good night. The team rallied from a four-run deficit, and Rickie Weeks' go-ahead home run and perfect innings from three Brewers relievers meant Hoffman took the mound for the ninth with "Hells Bells" tolling and a one-run lead in the balance. He surrendered a leadoff single to Ramon Vazquez, who stayed on one of Hoffman's signature change-ups just long enough to pull a hit through the hole between first and second base. But Hoffman rebounded to strike out Nyjer Morgan on a check-swing, then got the dangerous Freddy Sanchez to hit another change-up for a game-ending double play. It was Hoffman's 555th career save but it was his first as a member of the Brewers, his start to the season delayed by a strained muscle in his rib cage. Hoffman, who signed a $6 million, one-year contract in the offseason, got his feet wet in Monday's series opener against Pittsburgh when he worked a scoreless inning with a five-run lead. Pitching Tuesday in a one-run game, especially after the Brewers had rallied from a 5-1 deficit, was admittedly different. "Yeah, I think so," Hoffman said. "The way the team had played, the way we came back, we needed a shutdown. It was a good way of doing it." Physically, Hoffman said he's feeling fine. He spoke to reporters after getting treatment on his ribs. "It's day-to-day," he said of the action on his pitches. "But with the fluidity of the arm I feel pretty comfortable going back-to-back days right now."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.