For Immediate Release
August 17th, 2010

For years Billy Wagner would come into the game to start the 9th inning for the Mobsters. Now it’s only for a batter or two at a time. Limited to only 70 batters in 2010, the Chicago management knew they’d have to be cautious with the 38-year-old’s workload in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. Wagner has proven to be the steady arm at the end of a very dominant bullpen for the Mobsters.
So with the 1/3 of an inning stint Wagner is on pace for 60+ games. Which is pretty standard for a modern closer, but again, Wagner’s only throwing a batter or two at a time. This past series Wagner worked in four of the six games, and the Mobsters swept the Express of Severn six games to none. Wagner pitched Thursday, Sunday, Monday & Tuesday. Rarely do teams have a reliever work three straight days, let alone a 38-year-old reliever not that far removed from major surgery, but Wagner tossed a 1/3 of a scoreless inning each time, allowing just one hit, and striking out one.
He also notched his 498, 499, 500 & 501 Career Save. Wagner now sits above his closest competitor Mariano Rivera (360), and Trevor Hoffman (246), and is also the only 400 & 500-save club. Looking over Wagner’s career, he has a shot to make the Hall-of-Fame. Wagner could be the greatest left-handed reliever of all time his case should be obvious anyway.
Wagner has had a historic career and when you consider that he has done it with his non-dominant hand, it makes his success that much more impressive.   Wagner was born in Tannersville, Virginia, was naturally right-handed, but as a child he broke his arm twice and learned to throw lefty by throwing baseballs against a barn wall. How a 5″10, naturally right-handed pitcher can throw a baseball 100 mph lefty is beyond me — it is simply unfathomable. Billy saw that he could throw well and worked on his arm strength, and he began to pitch from the left side even after his right arm healed. Wagner’s flame throwing ability and gamer mindset, he had the perfect makeup and qualities to be an elite closer.
“When you go out there and pitch for 14 years, you start to put some numbers together. This is just a credit to the hard work and all the people behind me that always made the plays and made me look good.”
Wagner has said that he possibly plans to retire after next season, so there isn’t much long-term risk to running him out there on back-to-back-to-back days, but with the Mobsters sitting securely in the Wild Card there should be plenty of incentive to keep him healthy and sharp for the stretch run and playoffs.
So far so good, as Wagner is 2-1 with 28 saves and has been amazing with a 0.64 ERA, .140 opponents’ batting average and 14/5 K/BB ratio in 14 innings.


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