Grant Balfour now has the Oakland club record for consecutive saves with 41 after pitching a 1-2-3 ninth to hold off the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 Monday.
He took the record from Dennis Eckersley, who compiled his in 1991 (the last four saves) and 1992 (the first 36 saves).
Eckersley, now a Hall of Famer, was an All-Star in both of those seasons. Balfour wasn’t an All-Star last year and he isn’t an All-Star now.
He’s not happy about that. But he does hold out hope that the situation may change.
“It is what it is,’’ Balfour said after closing out Bartolo Colon’s 12th win. “It would be good to be an All-Star. You accept it and you see what happens.’’
Does that mean Balfour is holding out hope that he may get a call to join the All-Star ranks for the American League in the next week?
“There is a little hope, of course,’’ Balfour said.
He didn’t mention Colon by name, of course, but Balfour’s best hope is that Colon, who starts Sunday for the A’s against the Red Sox, pitches deep enough into the game that he decides it wouldn’t be prudent to then pitch one inning in the All-Star Game next Tuesday in New York.
(All MLB starters who pitch on Sunday are limited from pitching more than one inning in the All-Star game on Tuesday, but it’s their choice if they want to be on the roster. They can’t be summarily excluded.)
For his part Colon didn’t expand on his suggestion from Sunday that he would wait and see Sunday how he feels.