CINCINNATI -- Dating back to exactly one year ago Wednesday, Padres closer Huston Street had converted 37 of 38 save opportunities. He earned his 12th save in 12 chances in 2014 with a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close out San Diego's 2-1 victory over the Reds on Tuesday.
What's been the key to being so consistent and reliable? According to Street, it's a short memory.
"I guess I don't even think about the past 37 of 38, or eight years or nine years [in the Majors]," Street said Wednesday. "To me, what I've learned is to just play today. Your past saves aren't gonna get you saves, just like your past blown saves aren't gonna blow any more saves. The only person that's responsible for the next pitch is you, and I think that's the most important thing that I've done."
As of Wednesday, Street had posted a 0.53 ERA (1 ER in 17 IP) and 19 strikeouts to five walks, with a WHIP of 0.82 and a strikeout per nine innings rate of 10.1. He said the key to starting off the season as well as he has is trial and error over the years as to what type of work to put in during Spring Training.
"It's the toughest thing to do, to be completely honest," Street said of getting back to baseball after the offseason. " … As I get older in my career, I've learned the processes in Spring Training and I've learned the physical needs in Spring Training that are going to put me in that position … It's really identifying what are three or four key things that I need to be doing at different parts of the day, from playing catch, to my nutrition, to my sleep, and my physical activity throughout the day."
Street added that once all the preparation is complete during the spring, however, and he gets into the game, everything else fades away and his entire focus is on the moment.
"Once I get into a game, it's a battle," Street said. "You go out there, you make the next pitch. Today I'm not thinking about the save last night. It's over with, it's done. The instant the last out is made, in a perfect world, you're instantly over it."
Padres manager Bud Black said the word reliability is synonymous with Street, and it's been great to have such a reliable closer since the right-hander came to San Diego in 2012.
"If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times that this guy knows how to work his way through a ninth inning to get a save," Black said. "He's been doing it for a long time … Huston has been groomed for this. He's doing his job.
"He'll be the first to tell you: 'That's what I'm supposed to do.'"
Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.