Joaquin Andujar had a nearly perfect first half of the season for the 1985 Cardinals.
But that wasn’t enough to secure Andujar the starting assignment for the National League all-stars.
Andujar was one of 10 pitchers selected to the National League all-star team by Padres manager Dick Williams. At the time of the selections, Andujar had a 15-3 record. The Padres’ LaMarr Hoyt was 11-4 and had won his last nine decisions in a row. Williams said he wanted to see the outcome of the July 12 Padres vs. Cardinals game, matching Andujar against Hoyt, before naming his all-star starter.
“I don’t think I should have to pitch good tonight to be the (all-star) starter,” Andujar said to the Associated Press before the Padres-Cardinals game.
Miffed by what he considered a slight by Williams, Andujar told reporters he would skip the All-Star Game.
In his book “White Rat: A Life in Baseball” (1987, Harper and Row), Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog wrote of Andujar during the 1985 season, “Any little thing that went wrong would send him into a frenzy.”
Informed of Andujar’s comments, Williams said, “Andujar deserves (the all-star start) as much as anybody. If you go by the numbers, he’s got the best. He’s on a 30-win collision course.”
But Hoyt had pitched six years in the American League for the White Sox before joining the Padres that season and, said Williams, “that’s something to consider because he knows the hitters over there.”
Hoyt wins duel with Andujar
In the matchup against Hoyt, Andujar pitched well; Hoyt was better. Hoyt pitched seven scoreless innings, held the Cardinals to two hits and got the win in the Padres’ 2-0 victory at St. Louis. Andujar yielded two runs and eight hits and took the loss. Boxscore
Hoyt stretched his consecutive wins streak to 10 and improved his record to 12-4. Andujar dropped to 15-4 but still led the major leagues in wins. The Cardinals scored a total of one run in Andujar’s four losses.
With better support, Andujar might have been 19-0 at the break. The scores in his losses were 5-0 to the Giants, 1-0 and 3-1 to the Phillies and 2-0 to the Padres.
“I’ll be there (at the All-Star Game) … I hope Andujar comes, too,” Hoyt told United Press International. “He’s a good pitcher and he deserves to be there.”
Fire up the grill
Approached by reporters after his loss to the Padres, Andujar said, “I wasn’t trying to impress Dick Williams. He’s not a special guy. He’s just like everybody else.”
Asked what he would do during the all-star break, Andujar replied, “I’m going to work out every day and barbecue with my family. I’ll barbecue quail or anything.”
Said Williams to the Associated Press: “Now he’s got me a little mad.”
Williams named Hoyt the all-star starter. Andujar skipped the game.
Hoyt pitched three innings, giving up two hits and an unearned run, and got the win in a 6-1 National League victory. Boxscore
Previously: How Lonnie Smith came clean with the Cardinals