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some light analysis

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mulder:

ip h r er bb so hr era
thru may 9 (7 gs) 50 43 18 15 11 32 2 2.70
since may 14 (8 gs) 44.2 62 35 35 17 26 9 7.05

it has been slowly dawning on us for a while that he's no good, but yesterday the bright light of his suckdom nearly blinded ev'body. as rob at the birdwatch notes, in official team rhetoric he's gone from rotation hammer -- our answer to schilling, clemens, prior -- to stock thickener, ie our answer to glendon rusch (and a poor one at that). and in the official rhetoric of the scratcher, he's become our answer to robert downey jr: "Maybe he's like an addict who has to hit rock bottom before seeking help."

i'm thinking more it's the other way around -- batters are going straight. they're kicking the habit of chasing his stuff just off the corners and are making him throw it over the plate. my impressions of mulder's last start included this: "you can't get all your strikes on a) the corners, and b) balls off the plate that batters chase. because some nights you won't get the calls on the corners -- hell, some nights you won't hit the corners -- and some lineups won't chase the stuff that's two inches outside." . . . . . and lineups that have fallen for that crap once aren't as likely to do it a 2d time. could just be a coincidence, but his two worst starts have come against teams seeing him the 2d or 3d time around -- the only two lineups that have seen him more than once this year:

ip h r er bb so hr
@cin 5/4 7 3 0 0 0 0 0
@cin 6/22 4 12 7 7 1 7 2
hou 4/23 10 5 0 0 0 5 0
@hou 6/5 3 8 6 6 1 0 2

his next start will be next tuesday against the (gulp) reds again, who now appear to know him cold; then he pitches july 3 against the rockies, whom he faced at coors field -- the last team he truly looked good against.

here's one final mulder data set:

ip h r er bb so hr era
night (8 gs) 55.2 43 19 17 17 32 6 2.75
day (7 gs) 39 62 34 33 11 26 5 7.62

the caveat here is that he had the opposite split last year -- 7-0 / 3.20 day, 10-8 / 5.37 night -- so this is probably random. (data per day by day database.) but the split seques back to the idea i started this post with: in the broad light of day, it's no longer possible to maintain the fiction that mark mulder is a frontline pitcher.