Wagner feels better, doesn't plan MRI
Veteran closer experiences discomfort during save on Sunday
CINCINNATI -- Billy Wagner won't have his left shoulder examined on Monday, after it felt better during the Mets' flight home from Cincinnati on Sunday night, a published report said.
Mets vice president of media relations Jay Horwitz told Newsday.com that Wagner would not have an MRI on his left shoulder and would see a doctor only if he felt tightness in his shoulder again on Monday.
The veteran closer, who had been bothered of late by discomfort in his left trapezius muscle, experienced tightness in an adjacent area of his left shoulder on Sunday while he was saving the Mets' 7-5 victory against the Reds. Wagner said the discomfort felt like a cramp and suggested that a nerve might be impinged. His general diagnosis was, "My shoulder's a little tight."
Manager Jerry Manuel said, "We want to know what was keeping him tight. It was 120 degrees. ... I was loose."
The tightness began, Wagner said, as he warmed up.
He didn't anticipate having his arm examined by an MRI.
"I hope I don't have to spend that much time in the city," he said.
Wagner said the trapezius has bothered him for about two weeks.
"I'm old -- I'm supposed to hurt," said Wagner, who turns 37 on Friday.
The Mets were concerned enough about the tightness that Manuel visited Wagner on the mound during the at-bat of Paul Bako, Wagner's first batter and the first of his three strikeout victims in the 10th inning.
"I should hurt more often," Wagner said.
Wagner said he had experienced similar problems and solved them by "going out and pitching." He threw 16 pitches, 10 for strikes, on Sunday to earn his 24th save in 30 opportunities. He had pitched one inning on Thursday night after pitching one inning in the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night.
"It seems fine now," he said afterward. "It wasn't that bad. When Jerry came out, I thought it was for someone else. ... It doesn't seem bad. If it is, I'll miss the first game [of the Phillies series], and if we're winning by more than three, that won't matter."
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.