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Hoffman nabs Delivery Man honors

Hoffman nabs Delivery Man honors

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At the ripe age of 41, one of the most dominant closers in baseball history can add another accolade to an already distinguished list. Trevor Hoffman was named the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month for May, after converting all 11 of his save opportunities during the month.

The award recognizes the most outstanding relief pitcher during each month of the regular season as voted on by a panel from Major League Baseball.

Hoffman has been virtually unhittable all season, allowing just six hits and zero runs in 16 innings of work. He has held hitters to a remarkable .127 batting average.

In May, Hoffman pitched 12 innings and allowed just four hits while striking out 11. He has only walked one batter this season.

Although the Brewers obviously expected Hoffman to be productive when they signed him this offseason, they can't ask for anything more from the veteran.

"Did he give up a hit?" Brewers manager Ken Macha quipped. "And one walk? That's why he was Pitcher of the Month. You couldn't ask for a better month. I don't know where we would be without him."

Hoffman continues to defy the typical makeup of closers today. While dominant closers like the Red Sox's Jonathan Pabelbon and the Mets' Francisco Rodriguez overpower hitters with velocity and stuff, Hoffman continues to rely on command and offspeed pitches like his famous changeup.

"He throws strikes," Macha said. "He throws the occasional slider and he comes after hitters."

The fact that Hoffman is so dominant at age 41 is one reason why he is one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season. Although he is baseball's all-time saves leader with 568 career saves, holding opponents scoreless all season has certainly been a pleasant surprise.

"I don't think there is another closer that's been this dominant," Macha said. "I don't think any manager would think their closers would do what he did."

Hoffman's month earned him his fourth Delivery Man of the Month award, having also won in May 2005, September 2006 and May 2007.

Other relievers receiving votes were Rodriguez, Heath Bell -- Hoffman's replacement with the Padres -- and the Cubs' Kevin Gregg.

Adam Rosenberg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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