Good fit for Trevor Hoffman?

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According to a report by Ken Rosenthal, the Milwaukee Brewers have placed closer Trevor Hoffman on waivers.

Mike Cameron, Craig Counsell, Jason Kendall, Braden Looper and Felipe Lopez were reportedly also made available, as the Brewers are in full fishing mode.

The most interesting player up for grabs is, of course, Hoffman. The all-time saves leader has had a resurgent season in Milwaukee after his aging body and slowing fastball convinced the Padres to let him go. This year, at age 41, Hoffman has saved 27 games in 29 tries, walking 10 and striking out 31 in 38 innings. He has his best ERA (1.89) since 1998, when he saved 53 games, blowing only one. So much for being finished.

The financial commitment to Hoffman is minimal, with him being about three-quarters of the way through his one-year, $6 million contract.

A number of playoff contenders could use Hoffman’s services if not as a closer at least to bolster the bullpen. But it seems like one team in particular should come calling. Hellloooo Phillies!

As Aaron detailed earlier today, Brad Lidge somehow hasn’t killed the Phillies yet. They’re cruising along with a 7-game lead in the NL East. But the defending champs don’t want to trust him come playoff time do they? Then again, would they trust Hoffman?

Red Sox look to punch their ticket to the World Series tonight

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Thanks to some amazing defense, some big hits and — to continue to beat this horse, a bad call by Joe West — the Red Sox have a 3-1 lead in the ALCS and look to clinch the AL Pennant tonight down in Houston.

If you believe in momentum, you’d have to say it’s on Boston’s side. If you believe that momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher, however, you’d have to say things favor Houston more than the standing of the series would suggest. All of which makes me wish Game 5 was starting right now, because it figures to be a tense and exciting affair.

ALCS Game 5

Red Sox vs. Astros
Ballpark: Minute Maid Park
Time: 8:09 PM Eastern
TV: TBS
Pitchers: David Price vs. Justin Verlander
Breakdown:

If someone told you that you had to win one baseball game against the Martians to save the human race, you could do far worse than calling on Justin Verlander to be your starting pitcher. Among the pitchers still in the postseason, he’d almost certainly be your choice right now.

Does Verlander himself appreciate the situation? This is what he said about that yesterday:

“I mean, these are all must-win games at this point. Every time you take the mound I don’t think there’s any difference whether it’s 2-2 or 3-1.”

Look, we’re asking him to beat the Martians here, not win the National Math Bee, so let’s let that go. The point is that after all of these years he’s still one of the most dominant pitchers in the game and after the exhausting, see-saw battle of Game 4, he stands the best chance of giving Houston what it needs: a quick, quiet and drama-free win.

Not that the Red Sox are likely to roll over for that. They didn’t the first time they faced Verlander in this series. They Astros won, yes, and Verlander limited them to two runs on two hits. But he also issued four walks and wasn’t his sharpest overall. Boston didn’t capitalize on his mistakes as best they could, but he’s not invincible.

For Boston it’s David Price. He allowed four runs on five hits and four walks over four and two-thirds innings in Game 2, not factoring in the decision. That’s not great, but given the talk leading up to that game being all about how Price is a postseason flop, the fact that the Sox won it in the end had to bouy him at least a little. As does the fact that, here, tonight, it’s not 100% on his shoulders. Sure, the Sox want to close this out, but with a 3-1 lead there is less pressure on Price than on his former teammate Verlander. Worth noting, though: Price is on short rest and warmed up in the bullpen last night in case he was needed to bail out Craig Kimbrel. He may not go deep into this game.