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National League Notebook : Win or Lose, Cardinal Pitchers Keep Griping

October 14, 1985|GORDON EDES and RICHARD HOFFER | Times Staff Writers

ST. LOUIS — The Cardinal pitching staff may be the kind you'd like to take to the playoffs but it's developing that they're not a bunch you'd like to take home to dinner. This is the crankiest gang since "The Bickersons."

Joaquin Andujar won't talk to the press when he loses. Danny Cox, who once took time out of his busy day to drive to Georgia to punch out an ex-brother-in law, won't talk when he wins. And now John Tudor, a 21-game winner, who took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, is moaning and groaning about a scorer's decision that cost him an RBI.

These guys have their game faces on and they're never pretty.

Tudor, who shut the Dodgers down pretty good until Steve Sax doubled in the sixth and Bill Madlock homered in the seventh, is a hard guy to please. Last week, in the playoff opener, he was semi-unhappy over a scorer's decision that turned a hard chance off Ozzie Smith's glove into a double. "That thing was a double?" he said at the time.

Well, he had lost and why wouldn't he have been grouchy. Hadn't his own third baseman plunked him from behind with a baseball?

But Sunday night, well, how do you figure these Cardinal pitchers?

Told that his bunt, which Dodger pitcher Jerry Reuss failed to pick up to throw out Tito Landrum at home, was ruled a fielder's choice and not a sacrifice, Tudor said, "That's ridiculous. We'll have to talk to that guy (official scorer). You can't assume that (if he picks up the ball) he's out at home. I don't see how it's not an RBI."

Tudor didn't get the RBI and he didn't get a no-hitter but at least he wasn't upset about that. "I'm not overpowering," said Tudor, who hadn't even been successful (51-43 elsewhere) until he came to a big, carpeted park with Ozzie Smith in it. "I'm not the kind of pitcher to throw a no-hitter. Sooner or later, they're going to get a hit, no doubt about that."

As far as that goes, he wasn't even upset that Cardinal Manager Whitey Herzog yanked him. Noting that he was working on three days rest, Tudor said he was glad to go in the seventh, after throwing 83 pitches. "My arm was tired," he said. "Now I can look ahead to a seventh game if needed."

Tudor said he didn't think he was especially sharp, but just moved the ball in and out, which is his strength. As far as that goes, Dodger Mike Marshall didn't think he was anything special either. "No difference at all," said Marshall of the man the Dodgers beat last week. "But he was good there also."

A Busch Stadium poet offered this verse on a banner hanging beyond the left-field foul pole:

"Tell me what's a Cardinal sin

Losing to L.A. again,

Never mind, it just won't be, Cause we got Tudor and company

Now go on home where you belong

Because in St. Louis, the heat is on"

Another banner: "The Dodgers: One More Reason to Hate California"

Even though Ken Landreaux was batting .500, matching Steve Sax for the Dodgers' highest average through the first three games, Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda said it was not a difficult decision to sit down Landreaux for Candy Maldonado against left-hander Tudor.

"Kenny's leg isn't feeling real good," Lasorda said.

Trainer Bill Buhler said Landreaux irritated his left knee running down the baseline on Saturday, but probably could have played.

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