Wells' heart key to his success

David Wells' heart is one factor that makes the Padres' starter effective at age 41.

Originally Published: September 9, 2004
By Tom Candiotti | Special to ESPN Insider
As the San Diego Padres battle for the wild card, 41-year-old David Wells (10-7, 3.57 ERA) is a key to their postseason hopes. What makes Wells so effective at his age?

With Wells, it isn't about stuff anymore. He doesn't have the same stuff he had in the 1980s or early '90s -- for instance, his fastball won't crack 90 mph. But he throws strikes and he knows how to pitch. Those two components will take a pitcher a long way.

That's what has made Greg Maddux so successful over the years. Guys like Maddux and Wells know how to pitch. They know how to move the ball around and change speeds. Wells also still has an effective breaking ball.

Tom Candiotti provides analysis for select ESPN Major League Baseball coverage, working at various games throughout the season. Candiotti joined ESPN's baseball coverage team in 2001, shortly after closing the door on his 17-year pitching career.