MARK MULDER: I'm OK. It's pretty sore, but I can't really like bend it all the way up this way or kind of that way, but it'll be OK.
Mark, can you describe what that felt like?
MULDER: You know what? At first -- at first I'm looking for the ball, you know, and I kind of took a couple steps toward the ball once I saw it because I knew the guy was going to be safe, and then I realized how bad it hurt and then I kind of bent over, but it kind of got -- it got a little tighter each inning warming up, so like my first, second, third warmup pitch, I just tried to basically throw it as hard as I could just to loosen it up, you know. Once the inning starts, I mean, there's so much adrenaline. It really didn't bother me that much.
Did you think you were going to have to come out?
MULDER: I didn't want to come out. If I couldn't have made good pitches, then I would have said, you know, all right, I've had enough, but I mean, I felt I could still make some good pitches and I did.
Mark, what were you doing in between innings to keep it loose or at least try to keep it loose?
MULDER: Just stretching it. Just stretching it and heating it, putting a heat pack on it as much as I could. I don't know if it really made a difference, but I threw some balls underneath in the net where the hitters hit underneath just to keep it loose. That was really the only thing I was trying to do.
Mark, your ability to get ground-ball outs -- I know you're a guy that throws the ball down in the strike zone. Talk a little bit about the groundouts, the double plays, how important that was.
MULDER: I like using my defense, you know. That's why you give up a hit. I'm not going to get that mad about giving up a hit because you make one good pitch, the next pitch, you get a double play, and our defense, you know, Eck, the couple he turned with Grudzielanek and the one for Albert, those were huge for me. Those were big plays, but that's part of my game in a way. I'm literally trying to get a double play, so whether it's something in or something down and away, I mean, that's -- that's part of my game and that's one of my strengths, I guess.
Mark, two questions for you. One right here. Can you just kind of show us exactly where it hit you?
MULDER: It's like right above my elbow. It's right on my bicep, but it's on the side. It's not on the front; it's on the side of my arm.
Do you figure it's just a bruise for a few days?
MULDER: It kind of looks like I have a golf ball in my bicep, but I don't know. Randa's raked me all season, so I should have been ready for it. Every ball he hits off me is up the middle, and I couldn't react quick enough. He hit me before I could get my glove up.
Eckstein thought your sinker improved considerably after you got hit. They thought you probably pitched better.
MULDER: Probably because I couldn't overthrow, you know. There's so much adrenaline, especially at the first start of the playoffs. You might try to do a little too much, but I really wasn't. I was really trying to stay calm out there and make pitches. Even in the first inning, I got three ground balls, so it really -- it really didn't affect me that much once the inning started and I started making pitches.
Mark, if this were a game here, say, in June, do you think you would have stepped off and not been back in?
MULDER: I don't know. That's tough to say, because if it was the same thing, I probably still would have wanted to stay out there, but like I said, it's a playoff game, so the focus, the intensity, the adrenaline is just that much more, so I didn't want to come out of that game. Like I said, if I couldn't have made pitches, then I would have.
Mark, this is your first start in the National League. Can you compare it to playing in Oakland in the American League and also the small ball as opposed to the home run ball they play in the American League?
MULDER: Well, I mean, you know, there's little differences, you know. I mean, Tony said to me in Spring Training, there's going to be games where you getting the bunt down is going to get you some runs, and tonight was an example of it. It took me three tries to do it, but I got it down eventually, so it's a little different with the pitchers hitting, obviously, and you know, we squeezed a lot on this team, and stuff like that, but we still got the big hitters, you know. They're still doing their thing.
Pitching in Busch Stadium in October versus pitching in Yankee Stadium in October. What's the difference?
MULDER: That's my home fans. They're cheering for you instead of cheering against you. The intensity, how loud they are, just everything about it. It's so much fun. I mean, these fans, these fans are so into every pitch and every play. It's so great to be out there in front of some 50,000 fans trying to do your job out there. It makes it a lot more fun.
Mark, in postseason play, your earned run average is about a run and a half less than the regular season across your career. Is that just a matter of intensity, or could you make any assessment on that?
MULDER: I don't know if there's really one thing, but I said earlier it's the focus. I mean, I know when I'm out there in the playoffs, it's a different focus. You're more focused. I mean, that's why I think you see so many low-scoring playoff games. A lot of the pitchers, I think, need to step it up in the playoffs, really, without trying to do too much, but that's what makes it great.
Mark, going back to San Diego, what's the confidence level of the team?
MULDER: Well, I would hope very high. I mean, we're up 2-0, and God knows I've been in this situation before and not won the series, but it's -- this team's a little different, man. It's going to be fun. Mo's going to go out there and hopefully throw a good game, and we'll see what happens.
Mark, do you think this puts to rest once and for all the day versus night thing?
MULDER: I hope so, but I'm sure you guys will still keep talking about it. It's fun to put in the paper, I guess.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.