08/04/2003 7:22 PM ET
Mulder wins AL Player of the Week
Left-hander is 15-7 with a 2.92 ERA on the season
OAKLAND -- After starring in, and winning two memorable pitchers' duels, Oakland's Mark Mulder was named the American League Pepsi Player of the Week for the period of July 28-August 3.
By Kent Schacht / MLB.com
Mulder's award was well earned, and a team effort, as Oakland's lefty starter won both his starts with some impressive numbers -- AL-highs with 16 2/3 innings pitched and 18 strikeouts with the 2-0 mark and a 1.62 ERA -- but both of those efforts would have gone for naught if not for late-inning rallies from his offense.
Tuesday, Mulder limited the Indians to two runs over 7 2/3 innings with a season-high-tying 11 strikeouts in a 6-2 Oakland victory over Cleveland. Mulder had to be at his very best, locked in a pitchers' duel with Brian Anderson for most of the evening.
In the seventh, Ramon Hernandez's two-run double gave the A's their first lead of the night, and Mulder went on to win No. 14 with some help from Keith Foulke.
Sunday, Mulder's perfect week was nearly marred by a complete-game loss to the Yankees. But in the bottom of the ninth, with Oakland down 1-0, the A's rallied and won the game, 2-1, when Miguel Tejada hit a two-run double off the right-field wall.
Sunday's victory was particularly satisfying for Mulder, who was feeling pretty down after pitching a complete game, but looking at his eighth loss of the season.
"It's as good as it gets," Mulder said. "It's the biggest thrill in baseball for a pitcher -- whether you're tied or losing, you're just sitting there keeping to yourself because there's nothing to do about it except cheer on your teammates and hope they come through for you, and they did.
Mulder, a first-time All-Star last month in his hometown of Chicago, is now is tied for the Major League lead in victories with 15.
The lefty has won 55 games since the start of the 2001 season, the most among all big league pitchers and has a career high and Major League leading eight complete games this year -- those are the most complete games by an A's pitcher since 1998 when Kenny Rogers also had seven.
This is the second career Player of the Week award for Mulder, who is 15-7 with a 2.92 ERA on the season. The award is Oakland's third of the 2003 season. Scott Hatteberg was named a player of the week in April and Barry Zito in May.
Kent Schacht is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.