Hoffman could still close for Brewers

MILWAUKEE — With the way Trevor Hoffman has been pitching lately, the possibility of the all-time saves leader closing for the Brewers again is still there, manager Ken Macha said Tuesday.

 

Hoffman’s last outing, a scoreless eighth inning in a 1-1 ballgame Sunday in Colorado that earned him the win in the Brewers’ eventual 6-1 victory, was the fifth in a row for Hoffman in which he has not allowed a run.

Since giving up three runs and taking the loss on June 1 in Florida, Hoffman has tossed five scoreless innings, allowing just three hits.

“After that outing, I’d feel pretty good about him coming in now,” Macha said. “I thought the other day was his best outing. … He certainly threw the ball well enough to close the game.”

Macha was quick to point out the decision was not an easy one to make, especially considering the criticism that would come along with replacing current closer John Axford, who has not yet blown a save.

“It puts you out on the plank,” Macha said. “But I think he’s done real well, so let’s just see. I’ve got that amongst the other pressures that are placed on me when I come to the ballpark every day.”

As for if or when he would remove Axford from the role, Macha said it would “work itself out.”

At the same time, however, Macha recognizes what it would mean for Hoffman to get the four saves he needs to reach the 600-save mark.

“I certainly would like Trevor to reach his goal,” Macha said. “If that’s getting 600, I’d like to get that done for him. Or 610 or whatever he wants.

“He hasn’t given up an earned run since June 1. The game was on the line the other day, we had a tie game with the heart of their order coming up. It’s a good inning for him.”

– Jordan Schelling, Associate Reporter

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