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10/12/05 8:27 PM ET

Mark Mulder pregame interview

Pitcher talks about his arm injury, making Game 2 start

What did you learn about your arm yesterday throwing and how does it feel today?

MARK MULDER: I felt pretty good yesterday, not great, but today is probably the first day where I have absolutely no discomfort, no tightness, no nothing. Besides just the general soreness in the spot that I got hit but that has nothing to do with anything when I throw a baseball.

Is there any concern at all with the sort of disruption in your routine over the last week or so?

MULDER: Not really. I guess I had not even thought of that. That's the furthest thing from my mind. Whether or not this happened or not, I'd still be throwing this day, so it would have been the same routine, same everything, I still would have thrown on the side the same day. So really to me, there was no difference.

Being in the second round for the first time after being on all of those Oakland teams that had chances to close out series and couldn't do it, how much do you think that success is mental and how much is luck and talent?

MULDER: I think it's just playing good at the right time. I mean, I know when I was in Oakland, things always kind of happened for us to not win a series. With this team we just got up 2-0 and just finished it. No messing around, we came out and scored a bunch of runs early in the first game and got us a lead. Maybe it's just different teams and experience.

My question is like an off shoot of that, I know everybody in your clubhouse is happy to be here but I wonder after going through all of those heartbreaking Game 5 losses if you have a better or different appreciation for pitching in the NLCS?

MULDER: Well, obviously it's awesome. I'm as excited as I can be here and so is everyone else. No one of us took it for granted, nobody from last year took for granted that they would be here again. We all play hard and this is what we play for. We got after it, you know, those first three games, we really played good baseball and it was fun to watch.

What kind of challenges do the Houston batters pose for you as you look at that lineup as a whole?

MULDER: They are a tough team, obviously, with Biggio and Taveras 1, 2 in the lineup, I know they are not always the same, but Taveras just getting on base, the swinging, the bunts, the bunting and stealing when he's on. You have to pay attention, you keep those two guys off base, that could be a big key and a big part of the series.

When you were in Oakland people talked about the pitching staff; how do you feel this pitching staff on the Cardinals compares to that of the A's when you were there?

MULDER: I think it's more complete. I know we have a better bullpen here. Like I said, we have five good starters and somebody, you know, isn't probably going to start, I think it's Marquis, but that's part of it I guess. We have five guys that we have confidence in and no matter whether I would have had to have been pushed back or whoever would have taken my spot or whatever it is, it's a complete and full pitching staff. It's been a big part of our success this year.

Have you ever been hit that hard before on the mound?


How do you think it will affect you or will you be thinking about it when you get up there?

MULDER: No. That would be like pitching scared. I'm not going to do that. If another one comes back at me, another one comes back at me.

You know, I kind of feel I field my position pretty well. Like I said, I've never really been hit I've never been hit like that before. It was just dead on, just a full blow.

I can field my position. If I start worrying about being ready for a line drive too soon that means I'm not finishing my pitches and I've got to be able to do that first.

After you got hit during the last game you had to do a lot of preventive and maintenance things with the heat during the innings, will there be anything on standby?

MULDER: I wouldn't say this. There's no tightness, there's no soreness or anything like that, so I don't think, I wouldn't anticipate that at all.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.