|Trevor Hoffman dealing with blown save that ends Padres' season|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 02 October 2007 01:28|
The San Diego reliever didn't duck out or try to escape through a back exit after blowing his second game in three days, costing the Padres a spot in the postseason.
Hoffman gave up three runs in the 13th inning, and San Diego lost to the Colorado Rockies 9-8 in the NL wild-card tiebreaker Monday night.
``You can't point to any other factor than my performance,'' said Hoffman, baseball's leader in saves with 524. ``That's a burden I'm going to have to deal with.''
Hoffman has an entire winter to think about what transpired over the last few days and how San Diego's season unraveled.
On Saturday, the Padres were one strike from clinching a playoff spot when Tony Gwynn Jr. hit a tying triple off Hoffman in a game Milwaukee would win 4-3 in 11 innings.
Then on Monday, it happened again. Staked to a two-run lead, Hoffman gave up doubles to Kaz Matsui and Troy Tulowitzki, a triple to Matt Holliday, an intentional walk to Todd Helton and then a game-winning sacrifice fly to Jamey Carroll.
``It happened so fast,'' said Hoffman, who blew a save for the seventh time in 49 chances. ``I didn't get it done.''
Holliday, who scored the winning run as he slid past catcher Michael Barrett and tapped the plate, said he felt for Hoffman.
``Trevor's a great, great closer - the greatest of all-time - and he's a great guy, somebody I know on a personal level,'' Holliday said. ``They got to go to the postseason the last couple of years and now it's our turn.''
Hoffman (4-5) stood in front of his locker and answered every question with candid responses. Blown saves are just an occupational hazard for closers.
``It's not going to be easy to deal with,'' Hoffman said. ``People don't want to hear that. They want to see execution and their ballclub moving forward. That didn't happen tonight for one glaring reason - that was me.''
Only time will ease the sting, Hoffman said. He also labeled it the toughest loss of his career.
Helton thinks Colorado earned the win - catapulting the Rockies into the playoffs for the first time since 1995 - more than Hoffman lost it.
``He didn't blow that save,'' Helton said. ``Guys just came in and battled their butts off and got us to this point.''
Hoffman has been one of the Padres' steadiest contributors. Same with starting pitcher Jake Peavy, who gave up six runs and 10 hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Peavy, the favorite to win the NL Cy Young award, didn't have his usual overpowering stuff.
``That's baseball,'' manager Bud Black said. ``If it wouldn't have been for those two guys, we wouldn't have been in this position.''
There's no one Adrian Gonzalez would rather have on the mound with the game on the line than Hoffman.
``He's the best,'' Gonzalez said.
Hoffman doesn't know what went wrong. His warmup was good and his pitches felt lively leaving his hand. Colorado just teed off on him.
``I didn't get the job done,'' he said. ``I think you're always trying to strive for consistency,'' Hoffman said. ``You can't have a carry-over effect in this role. I was prepared and ready to go.
``To have it turn out the way it did, that's hard to deal with.''