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Congrats to Trevor Hoffman for recording his 500th save. High five-hundreds all around.

That Hoffman reached number 500 against Los Angeles comes as no surprise. The Dodgers make it a point to cough up the milestones, and if they can do it against a division rival, they’re especially eager to oblige.

On April 17, 2001, then-Dodger reliever Terry Adams served up home run number 500 to one Barry Bonds. The obligatory mid-inning ceremony followed, as Adams stood on the PacBell Park mound and stewed. The price you pay for a mediocre fastball, I suppose.

Just five months later, on October 5, 2001, Padres old pal Chan Ho Park, at the time an L.A. starter, gave up single season home run record numbers 71 and 72 to Bonds in San Francisco. Park, however, did not yield two grand slams in one inning to the same batter for the only time in history, as he did in a 1999 contest, much to the delight of Cardinals third baseman Fernando Tatis.

San Diego has some experience with the big, big fly too. Mark McGwire launched his 500th homer off Andy Ashby, August 5, 1999, and Jake Peavy was up close and personal when Bonds stroked number 700, September 17, 2004 at PacBell. Less exciting, but noteworthy just the same, San Diego’s Andy Benes tossed the pitch which Bonds hit for home run number 100, July 12, 1990, at Pittsburgh.

 Anyway, Trevor has his 500 saves and the Padres have their series victory over the hated Dodgers, with what should be the easiest of games tonight. Jake Peavy vs. Hong-Chih Kuo. And so much for evenly matched teams. They certainly don’t seem like it at the moment. If it were humanly possible for Hoffman to save his 600th tonight, no doubt the Dodgers would find a way to accommodate.

— HOWARD COLE

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