It wasn’t exactly easy, but Trevor Hoffman finally notched career save No. 594.
Hoffman worked through a wild, wind-blown ninth inning at Wrigley Field on Thursday but came away with his third save this season when Aramis Ramirez hit a dangerously deep fly out to end an 8-6 Brewers win over the Cubs. Hoffman essentially recorded six outs; right fielder Corey Hart lost one fly ball in the sun and couldn’t close on another that dropped between Hart and Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks.
“In Corey’s defense, I’ve played right field here,” Brewers manager Ken Macha said. “I held my breath the whole game. That’s a terrible sun field out there, so it’s tough.”
Hoffman finally retired Ramirez, who represented the tying run, on his 29th pitch of the afternoon. It’s been that kind of a stretch for the all-time saves leader, who suffered consecutive blown saves against the Cardinals on Friday and Sunday while allowing three home runs.
Those games were at climate-controlled Miller Park. Thursday’s game against the Cubs was at Wrigley Field, with an 18 mph breeze blowing out to right field.
“You just have to battle a little bit harder,” Hoffman said. “The guys are playing their butts off out there, and things happen. Balls found a little spot to land. … It’s not necessarily, ‘Oh, no!’ You just have to continue to make pitches.”