Two 600 milestones in the same season? Congratulations to Trevor Hoffman on nailing down his career 600th save with a scoreless ninth inning over the Cardinals 4-2 Tuesday night. He’s the only pitcher in ML history with 600 saves. Keep in mind, the save didn’t become a stat until 1969, but it’s still a momentous accomplishment by a player who has been saving games effectively for 18 seasons.

Brewers announcer Bob Uecker said it best: “It’s been a long time coming.” No kidding. Two months ago, I wasn’t sure this moment would ever happen…at least not in Milwaukee. I’m still not sure why the sinking Brewers didn’t give him the chance to get this save say two months ago when they were still out of it and going nowhere. What was the big wait? Sure he struggled mightily early this season, but they had the save counter up at Miller Park all year when it looked like he may never get that chance. Thankfully, the situation worked itself out as he did get that chance in the final month of the season.

So what’s the next move for the 42-year-old closer? He’s currently in the middle of his worst season ever at 2-7 with a 6.09 ERA and nine saves in 47 appearances. He signed a one-year deal with the Brewers in the offseason, and I doubt they will make an effort to bring him back for 2011. And I don’t believe Hoffman would want to come back at this point. He continues to say to the media that he’s playing this season out and will make the decision when the time comes, but something tells me that he will hang it up after this season and go out on top in the 600-save club.

At any rate, Tuesday night was a great moment for baseball and Hoffman that should be remembered for a long time as he will be entering Cooperstown sooner than later. So who’s next for the 600-save club? Mariano Rivera? The 40-year-old Yankees closer sits at 555 saves. So far he’s shown no signs of breaking down at all, so 600 saves for him is definitely a legit possibility.

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