FanPost

Mulder should be #4

Anyone who paid attention last season heard at least something about Mulder's aversion to the sun.  How bad was it though, really?  

Last year his era was almost 7 in the day, but just over 2 at night, and he gave up more earned runs (47) in just 11 daytime starts/61 daytime IP than he did in 21 night starts and 143.1 IP (36 ER). 5 of his 8 losses came at night, and he only won 2 games all season in the day- and one was against the Astros w/Clemens on the mound in April, which should really only count as half a win, or at least get an asterik.  That game was a 10 inning shutout, so although it demonstrates that the potential exists for him to pitch well in the daytime, if you remove that single game his daytime numbers will look much, much worse- it leaves him with an ERA of well over 9!  

In his other daytime win last season the offense gave him 6 runs, and he still barely pulled it out, winning 6-5 with 3 scoreless innings of support from the bullpen.

Assuming that last years splits weren't some kind of anomoly, this year could be a bad year for him at #2.  I did a quick season breakdown, and assuming that all 5 starting pitchers stay healthy and pitch every fifth game, with no funny stuff, here's how it looks:

#1 day     11
#1 night   22

#2 day     14
#2 night   19

#3 day     10
#3 night   22

#4 day     9
#4 night   23

#5 day     15
#5 night   17

I defined "night games" as those starting as 6PM local time or later.

The worst case is #5, with almost the same number of daytime games as night time games; second worst case is at the #2 spot.  But, if Larussa defies conventional wisdom and starts his classic #2 guy in the 4th spot, Mulder would only have to wake up early 9 times this year.  He could easily be a 20 game winner as our #4, with 23 night time starts, and if he maintains his 2.26 night time era he could possibly give carp a run for his money for the '06 Cy Young.

Slightly less advantageous would be to pitch him in the #1 or #3 slots.  He'd lose a single start in any slot but #1 or #2, but that may very well be a good thing.

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