Hoffman on Rivera's 500th save

Mariano Rivera joined Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman in the 500-save club last night. Hoffman offered his congratulations.

“He’s had a great body of work,” Hoffman said. “It’s been a strong career from day one for him and I’m sure he’s very proud of his accomplishments.”

Hoffman, like Rivera, has always relied on one exceptional pitch — his a changeup, rather than a cut fastball. And Hoffman, like Rivera, has hardly diminished with age.

Playing in the National League his entire career, Hoffman only saw Rivera up close during All-Star Games and the 1998 World Series, in which Rivera saved three games. But despite saving his 500th game two years ago, Hoffman remains as impressed as anyone in baseball.

“With us being in National League [and Rivera in the] American League, two separate coasts, there’s a mutual admiration from afar, but I haven’t had the opportunities really to touch base with him like we would if we were in the same division,” Hoffman said. “I’ve had conversations with him when we’ve gone through New York and the last trip there I had a nice chat with him and just congratulated him on his career, and vice versa. It’s a mutual respect.

Rivera has pitched 12 times against the Brewers, with three saves, one blown save, a 3.60 ERA and a .196 average against.

Hoffman said he would wait a few days before calling Rivera to offer his congratulations.

“I’m a fan of the game, and I’m in awe of what he’s been able to do,” Hoffman said.

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