I tell this story all the time when I talk about Mark Mulder, but it said a lot to me about the type of player he is. It goes back to last September against the Cubs when I saw him laughing and having a good time after a bad outing that all but ended St. Louis’ chance at a division title.
It came on Sunday, September 16th, the last game of the series and the Cardinals were in 3rd place, six games behind Chicago. It turned out to be Mulder’s last start of the year before undergoing rotator cuff surgery and I watched him labor through three innings where he gave up four runs on seven hits. He walked three of the 18 batters he faced that day and gave up a home run.
The Cardinals lost 4-2 and fell seven games out where they would finish the season. After the game, there he was in the locker room joined by a buddy who stopped by for a visit and there he was chatting away and smiling as if he had just turned in a solid outing and cut the lead to five games with two weeks to play.
It was at that point, I questioned his commitment. Now it appears John Mozeliak, the Cardinals GM may be doing the same following Mulder’s second crap appearance in Memphis. He gave seven runs on nine hits as he struggled through six innings. His second bad start for Memphis.
The St.Louis Post-Dispatch quoted Mozeliak who was at the game as saying: "Obviously it wasn’t an outing where he could just breeze through it. I feel that at times it lacked effort — or intensity may be the right word," Mozeliak said. "There’s still some work to be done." I hope he turns it up a notch," he said.
To read those comments by Mozeliak makes me question whether or not Mulder has the heart or desire to want to make it back to the majors. He’ll have one more start at AAA Memphis, then the Cardinals will have to make a decision. The Cardinals have played well and have been getting good pitching from Lohse, Pineiro, and Wellemeyer. I just wonder how much longer those guys can continue to hold it together over the long season. Wellemeyer looks shaky most starts, it’s just a matter of time before teams start making him pay for his wildness. The Cards could use another arm, I just don’t think Mulder is that guy and I’m not sure they can wait for Carpenter or Clement.
Add Mulder to the list of leftys to be a bust once leaving Oakland…right along with Barry Zito.