Notes: Bochy goes with 'best reliever'
Manager not tied to using closer only in save situations
SAN DIEGO -- It may be psychological or as simple as not hearing "Hell's Bells," but whatever the reason, Trevor Hoffman has been a different pitcher in save and non-save situations this year.
On Saturday night, Hoffman, third all-time in saves, came into the ninth inning of a 1-1 game. He proceeded to give up four runs on four hits, and the Padres wound up losing, 5-2, to the Phillies. In his 32 save chances this season, Hoffman has a 2.01 ERA, but in the other nine games he has pitched in, his ERA is 8.68.
Hoffman, who has a streak of 27 straight saves, has saved 30 games in 32 opportunties entering Sunday's game. But his record is 1-5 with a 3.63 ERA. He is 1-4 at home with a 3.71 ERA.
Radio talk shows in San Diego were on overload Sunday morning with queries as to why Hoffman was put into the game Saturday in a non-save situation.
"I don't understand why everybody wonders why you put your closer into a tie game situation. It's not my philosophy, it's pretty much baseball," said Padres manager Bruce Bochy. "At that point [of a tie game] in the ninth inning, your closer, who is considered your best reliever, that's a save situation at 1-1.
"If you're not gong to use him, what are you going to say, 'You go shower, you're done for the night?' You're pretty much saying he's your guy in the bullpen in the ninth inning in a tie game.
"It was like Houston [on Saturday], they brought in [closer Brad] Lidge in a 0-0 game in the ninth," Bochy said. "At some point, you're going to bring him in, why not the ninth? To me, you would feel worse if you lost a game and didn't have who you thought was your closer and your best reliever in the game."
As it turned out, Lidge gave up a home run to Jack Wilson and the Pirates beat the Astros, 1-0.
"Now if you're getting superstitious and say he doesn't pitch well in a save situation, well I don't know what would be more of a save situation than that in the ninth inning," Bochy said. "You're trying to get three outs to give your club a chance to score to win a ballgame.
"I don't see why a closer would have a different approach in that situation. And I don't see a reliever coming into a game with a different approach."
Loretta sits out: Mark Loretta got a second day off in the last three games as Eric Young was the starting second baseman for the Padres on Sunday.
"I'm going to give Lo a couple of days here," said Bochy. "We have a day off tomorrow. I said this earlier, the kind of bench we have allows you to give some guys some time off and help the others get some more at-bats and make everybody more productive.
"Mark has gone through major surgery [on his thumb]. It's just a matter of time before he gets locked in again. ... Hitting is a timing thing, a rhythm thing, and you need a lot of at-bats."
Olivo A-OK: Miguel Olivo hit his third home run with the Padres on Saturday night after hitting homers in his first two games, Aug. 3 and 4 at Pittsburgh.
Olivo came into Sunday's game with a .313 average, with 11 hits in 32 at-bats in 11 games since being acquired from Seattle in exchange for Miguel Ojeda and Minor League pitcher Nathanel Mateo on July 30.
"Miguel has done a great job since we acquired him, and I think he has stabilized our catching situation," said Bochy. "With him and [Robert] Fick and [David] Ross we are in pretty good hands.
"He has a lot of energy, he's athletic, and he throws well and I like the way he receives. He spends time in preparation before the game. Ramon [Hernandez] had talked with him and he is very receptive and pays attention to what we want to do."
Bochy said Olivo throws the ball as hard as any catcher he's had. He has been clocked at 98 mph. And that was evident in the third inning on Sunday when he pounced on Robinson Tejeda's bunt and threw down to second to nail Todd Pratt.
"His velocity is as good as any catcher in the league," said Bochy.
While Olivo has a cannon for an arm, his throwing error to third base on a second bunt by Tejeda in the fifth opened the door for the Phillies' seven-run rally.
On deck: The Padres will fly to Florida on Monday and open a three-game series against the Marlins on Tuesday. Brian Lawrence (6-12, 4.80 ERA) will be on the mound Tuesday against Marlins rookie left-hander Jason Vargas (3-0, 2.38 ERA).
Woody Williams and Jake Peavy will pitch the second and third games against Dontrelle Willis and Josh Beckett, respectively.
Sandy Burgin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.