Tuesday's grand slam was an absolute bomb, but Wednesday's game-tying blast traveled only the necessary distance down the right-field line.
Unfortunately for Hoffman, his manager doesn't seem to consider shorter home runs to be a sign of progress. This from MLB.com's Adam McCalvy:
Ken Macha suggested that his struggling closer was due at least a one-day break.
"That's two days in a row for him," Macha said. "[On Thursday], if we have a chance to win it, perhaps it will be somebody else at the end of the game."
Just to be clear, this is not an official loss-of-job event ... yet. Macha was only discussing his Thursday plans. McCalvy expects LaTroy Hawkins(notes) to get the save chance if an opportunity arises. Hawkins has been unsteady this year as well, but he's pitched clean innings in three of his last four appearances. Carlos Villanueva(notes) has been undeniably better (0.75 WHIP, 15 Ks in 12.0 IP), as has Manny Parra(notes) (1.20 WHIP, 12 Ks in 11.2 IP).
Meanwhile, Hoffman has blown saves on consecutive days, and he's already up to four this month. He's allowed six home runs in just nine innings, which cannot be attributed to mere bad luck. Take action tonight if you want tomorrow's save.
A pitcher with Hoffman's credentials clearly gets a long leash, but it's worth noting that Macha has been meeting with anyone who might have any insight. It feels like a plan is coming together:
After Tuesday's loss, Macha had chats with pitching coach Rick Peterson and general manager Doug Melvin about the struggling closer. On Wednesday morning, Macha spoke with assistant GM Gord Ash, who thinks the problem is mostly location, and head athletic trainer Roger Caplinger, who assured that Hoffman is in top physical shape, as usual.
Then Macha met with Hoffman himself, behind a closed door in the manager's office about an hour before the Brewers-Pirates series finale.
...and then Doumit got him again.
And tomorrow, Hoffman sits.
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