March 01, 2007

Wagner Unveils New Pitch

Marty Noble at, writes about Billy Wagner and his new pitch:

It was a debut within a debut, a coming out within an unveiling. There in the top of the fifth inning of the Mets' first exhibition game, Billy Wagner introduced his new pitch to real competition. Without a drumroll, but hardly without trepidation, the Mets' closer broke out his split-finger fastball.

And it worked -- well, sort of. It wasn't whacked by Marcus Thames. Indeed, the Tigers' left fielder didn't even offer at the pitch. But along the way, from the fingertips of Wagner's left hand to the mitt of Paul Lo Duca, the pitch sent a message: "Not everything will be thrown hard from now on."

Wagner wants a pitch that might put some doubt in hitters' minds, that will require less energy to throw and that may "get me some easier outs."

"It's a start," he said.

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