Joaquin Andujar and the Cardinals Forgotten Ace from the 1980s

PITTSBURGH, PA - 1983: Pitcher Joaquin Andujar #47 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches during a Major League Baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium in 1983 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - 1983: Pitcher Joaquin Andujar #47 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches during a Major League Baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium in 1983 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /
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ST. LOUIS, MO – AUGUST 4: St. Louis Cardinals hall of fame shortstop Ozzie Smith waves to fans during a pre-game ceremony celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the 1982 World Series before a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium on August 4, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Paul Nordmann/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO – AUGUST 4: St. Louis Cardinals hall of fame shortstop Ozzie Smith waves to fans during a pre-game ceremony celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the 1982 World Series before a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium on August 4, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Paul Nordmann/Getty Images) /

Andujar and the 1982 World Championship

When Joaquin Andujar arrived in St. Louis in 1981, he became a starter and finished the season with a 6-1 record and a 3.74 ERA. This was just a precursor of his five year stint with the Cardinals.

In 1982, Andujar led the Cardinal rotation in nearly every pitching category, ERA(2.47), innings pitched(265.2), complete games(9), shutouts(5), ERA+(148), WHIP(1.080), strikeouts(137), and tied with Bob Forsch in wins(15). Additionally, his HR/9(.4) and BB9(1.7) were the lowest on the staff.

During the 1982 National League NLCS, he started and went 6.1 innings during game 3, in which the Cardinals completed a sweep of the  Atlanta Braves. He started two games during the World Series against the Milwaukee Brewers, winning both with a 1.35 ERA. Andujar pitched 7 strong innings in game 7, before Manager Whitey Herzog turned the game over to closer Bruce Sutter.

Arguably, 1984 and 1985 established Andujar as the Cardinals best starter in the 1980s. As solid as he was in 1982, Andujar was remarkable during those two season.

In 1984, Andujar had a career year when he led not only the Cardinals, but the National League in wins (20), shutouts (4), and innings pitched (261.1). He also earned an All-Star appearance, a Gold Glove, and pitched 12 complete games.

During the 1985 NL Pennant year, Andujar would share the ace mantle with John Tudor. Both had outstanding years, although Tudor’s was better. Still, Andujar won 21 games, pitched 269 innings, threw 10 complete games, had a 3.40 ERA, and earned another All-Star appearance.

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