Tuesday, April 19, 2005
8 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER...A Fine Night in Pittsburgh!
Most people, even the pundits, knew that Mark Mulder was still a top of the line starter, but they still pondered the bleakest scenarios. “What if he’s mired in the same funk from the last half of 2004? What if he never gets it back? Did the Cardinals sell out their future to get Mulder here?” Clearly, the answer is no. Although, Mulder still has to throw a few more big games to truly be Mark Mulder again, he’s still among the elite of starting pitchers. The win last night against the Pirates was a big one for the former Oakland ace as he went eight innings, allowing only two hits, one unearned run to get the win. Yes, the win came against the Pirates, but putting together a few wins starts in places like Pittsburgh before it can happen in a game seven of an LCS. To be realistic, this wasn’t the best Mark Mulder that Oakland fans would have seen a couple years ago. He only had two strike outs and walked three. It’s a step in the right direction as he transcends the lower depths of the mysterious pitcher psyche. When he takes the mound at Busch Stadium on Saturday afternoon to face the Astros, he’ll be in a much better place, both physically and mentally, to be the number one pitcher that we need him to be. And as a final thought on pitcher psychology, I must add that I, personally, think once he gets his mojo back he’ll be in a better place having worked through a long slump. I’m not an absolutist when it comes to the “that which does not kill” thing, but I certainly think in the case of pitchers this adds that necessary component of personal resiliency. I’m telling you, if there’s someone out there pondering a get rich scheme, longing to free themselves from the oppressive banality of the corporate, desk rider world, a PhD psychology focused exclusively on pitchers is your ticket. Finally, on the thought that we sold out the Cards' future to get Mulder, I just have to add that the Redbirds aren't the Blues, come on!