Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Giving Billy his dues

Mike at Mikes Mets writes a good piece on Billy Wagner and why we should believe in him:

Billy has had his problems in his first season as Mets closer, but with 17 saves in his last 18 chances it's time to acknowledge that he's overcome the early-season struggles to be pretty much what he was supposed to be. Wagner has blown 5 saves in 36 opportunities, which doesn't make this one of his best seasons, but consider the Cardinal fans who have to watch Jason Isringhausen try to hold leads for them.

He has 30 saves on the year, which isn't bad, but he has blown an incredible 9 saves -- just under one-quarter of his opportunities. In the month of August, Wagner has rebounded from that August 1 walkoff defeat by Florida to save 9 straight chances and pitch a scoreless ninth in a game where the Mets had too big of a lead to qualify for a save. Meanwhile, Isringhausen has pitched 9 times in August. He won one, lost three and blew 2 of 4 save chances. If the Cardinals decide that they can't afford Isringhausen bringing in that can of gas in the ninth inning, their fallback is Braden Looper. Maybe we all need to be a little more thankful for Billy Wagner.

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