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Wagner, mid-90s fastball return intact

Aug 21, 2009, 2:03 PM EDT

Billy Wagner made his triumphant return from Tommy John elbow surgery last night, coming on in relief of Johan Santana in the eighth inning and retiring all three batters he faced. Wagner got swinging strikeouts on Brian McCann and Reid Gorecki, induced a fly out from Chipper Jones, and showed that his surgically repaired left arm can still bring the heat.
Here are the MLB.com velocity readings for his 14 pitches:
94-mph fastball
95-mph fastball
86-mph changeup
84-mph slider
83-mph slider
95-mph fastball
84-mph slider
87-mph changeup
94-mph fastball
94-mph fastball
95-mph fastball
95-mph fastball
95-mph fastball
84-mph slider
At his peak Wagner averaged 97-98 miles per hour with his fastball, but he was at 94-95 mph during the two seasons preceding the surgery and had a 2.50 ERA with 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings. Last night he threw eight fastballs and they were all either 94 or 95 mph. He averaged 84 mph on four sliders, which is also right in line with his 2007-2008 velocity.
Obviously only time will tell if Wagner can maintain his velocity and bounce back quickly from appearances, but for one night at least the 38-year-old looked every bit like the dominant force he was before going under the knife. Perhaps it shouldn’t be shocking that the greatest left-handed reliever of all time can come back months ahead of schedule from career-threatening elbow surgery and resume pumping 95-mph heat, but it was still pretty damn impressive to watch.

  1. james Teutonico - Aug 22, 2009 at 4:12 AM

    Mets need to more consistent; And start playing there number One Million Dollar

  2. james Teutonico - Aug 22, 2009 at 4:23 AM

    Mets need to more consistent; And start playing there number One Million Dollar player’s hard so they can start winning every Game until the rest of the season. THANK YOU:

  3. james Teutonico - Aug 22, 2009 at 4:24 AM

    Mets need to more consistent; And start playing there number One Million Dollar player’s hard so they can start winning every Game until the rest of the season. THANK YOU: A LONG TIME FAN

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