Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

June 29, 2007

Andujar backs with P-Rays

PRINCETON — A perfect storm was brewing Monday as game time approached in Princeton, and it had nothing to do with the weather. Nonetheless, Chris Andujar had the misfortune of being swamped by a deluge.

A returnee to the Appalach-ian League this year, Andujar threw the game’s first pitch to the experienced Elizabethton Twins. Less than two innings later, he was done for the night, giving up seven hits and eight runs, seven of them earned.

Statistics are deceptive after just one game of work. There’s no asterisk beside his 37.80 earned run average to indicate that he was up against a powerful batting lineup that was suited more to Class AAA than rookie-league baseball.

However, as managers like to say, it’s time to put that behind him and focus on the next start.

Before Monday’s game, Andujar said he felt as if he had a chance to do well in “every game” because of his experience last year with the P-Rays.

Andujar posted a 3-5 record in 2006, starting 11 games. He pitched 47 2/3 innings, allowing 52 hits and 32 runs — 30 of them earned. Significantly, he struck out 37 and allowed 25 walks, limiting the opposition to a .284 average.

“I want to do the best that I can do,” he said. “I want to throw it down in the (strike) zone. That’s the most important thing.” He said he had no concern about sending the ball across the plate.

While growing up, he had a good teacher, both about pitching and about the realities of professional baseball.

His father, Joaquin Andujar, played in the major leagues from 1976-88, mostly with Houston and St. Louis. The four-time All-Star led the National League in 1984 with 20 wins, four shutouts and 261 1/3 innings pitched.

He ended with a 3.58 ERA and pitched in the World Series for the Cardinals in 1982 (going 2-0) and 1985 (0-1 with a blowup late in Game 7 that led to his ejection).

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