ATLANTA -- Having experienced more than 800 Major League appearances, Billy Wagner knows that his body isn't going to be cooperative on a daily basis. But the left ankle ailment that prevented the Braves' closer from pitching on Saturday seemed to have significantly improved by the time Monday arrived.
"It's sore, but I'm 38 years old," Wagner said. "If there ain't something that's sore, then something is wrong."
Wagner began experiencing some discomfort when he rolled his ankle during an appearance against the Rays two weeks ago. He needed just 10 pitches to register three strikeouts and notch his 400th career save Friday night. But when he attempted to warm up on Saturday, he informed manager Bobby Cox that he couldn't pitch.
The Braves diagnosed Wagner's ailment as a pinched nerve and gave him a cortisone shot Saturday night. The veteran closer said he has realized steady improvement over the past two days.
"They doctored my shoes to relieve some of the pressure," Wagner said. "I may look goofy running out there. Or I might just look the same."