History against Mulder, who goes on 3 days' rest

Athletics-Twins notebook

October 06, 2002|By Joe Christensen | Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS - After seeing one pitcher struggle with less than normal rest, the Oakland Athletics will send Mark Mulder to the mound today under the same circumstances for Game 5 of the American League Division Series against the Minnesota Twins.

Mulder got the victory in Game 2 and enters this start with three days of rest, one fewer than pitchers usually take during the season. The Twins will counter with Brad Radke, who won Game 1, and will have had his normal four days of rest.

History suggests the Twins should like their chances. In the past 21 times a playoff team has used a pitcher on three days' rest against a fresher starter, the team with the pitcher on short rest has gone 6-16.

Oakland starter Tim Hudson threw 77 pitches in Game 1 and seemed to lose his rhythm yesterday in the third inning. After needing just 30 pitches to get the first six outs, he needed 60 pitches to get the next four.

Mulder held the Twins to one run in six innings Wednesday, and with the A's leading 9-1, A's manager Art Howe pulled him after 90 pitches. Mulder has never pitched on three days' rest as a professional, but he did it in college, he said.

"I don't have a problem with it," he said. "I don't know how Huddy felt [yesterday], but by the time [today] rolls around and the playoff adrenaline gets going, it's not going to make a bit of difference whether it's two days or three days or four days. If you can't get up and feel good for a start like this, then there is something wrong."

Milton solid in debut

Making his postseason debut, former University of Maryland pitcher Eric Milton allowed two runs in seven innings yesterday and earned the victory.

"He was great," Twins catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "He made one mistake [the home run pitch to Miguel Tejada]. Other than that, he was money. It's like I said, if we had one guy we'd want on the mound, it'd be Eric Milton."

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