When Kiko Garcia led off the bottom of the first inning tonight with a single to center field, Pittsburgh pitcher John (Candy Man) Candelaria said to himself. "Oh,----, here I go right where I left off."
"You know all the great ones-Koufax Palmer, Seaver-all got hit in World Series games and it's no great thrill being hit," said Candelaria, after pitching six shutout innings in the Bucs' 4-0 triumph tonight, squaring the Series at 3-3.
"The first time I faced these guys, they embarrassed me. Garcia got four hits off me. I sure didn't want to make any more mistakes against these guys. hThey hurt me last time."
The only pain for the Candy Man tonight was physical. The hard-throwing left-hander, long plagued with back problems, turned in his sterling performance despite having what he described a "nagging pain in my side."
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Buc catcher Ed Ott signaled Manager Chuck Tanner to come out to the mound to take a look at Candelaria, who apppeared to be laboring in the inning warmups.
"When he (Tanner) came out, I knew I was coming out," Candelaria said. "My side was hurting before the game. But it didn't get any worse. I'm so used to leaving the game when Chuck comes out to the mound. I just told him I was all right and he left me in."
When Candelaria told Tanner he was fine, Ott told Candelaria he was a "bad liar."
"On a pain scale of 1 to 10, you get a 9," Ott said.
Off the Candy Man's assortment of junk pitches and fast balls, the Birds tapped and stranded all six runners.
"He threw some good pitches at us," said Baltimore Manager Earl Weaver. "We've got one more shot. Maybe we'll bust loose in the last one."
Tanner agreed his star left-hander was king of the hill tonight.
"Yes, I was a bit concerned at the beginning of the game," Tanner said. "That's why we began warming up people early. But he said he was all right when he came in at the end of the inning. He threw the ball super. He was reaching back and putting something on his pitches. Candy's a money pitcher."
All the Pirate players were praising the effort of Candelaria.
"It seems every time he goes out, he's in pain and he does the same good job," said reliever Kent Tekulve, who replaced Candelaria and completed the Series' first shutout with three strong innings.
"I have to tip my hat to him for his ability to pitch in pain. I had the easy part. When I came in, I had some runs to work with, John had the hard part. Each time he went out to the mound, the score was 0-0."
Actually, the string-beaned sidearmer had an easy night, too. He mowed down nine of 10 batters, striking out four.
"I just tried to keep the ball down low and make them hit ground balls," Tekulve related. "I don't try for strikeouts. If I keep the ball down, I'm okay. If not, they are going to hit it. The last time, I made mistakes and they hit it (he pitched 1 1/3 innings and gave up three hits and three runs in losing the 9--6 fourth game). Tonight they didn't".
Tekulve, by then sitting on a 4-0 lead, even gambled on a "regular" pitch to Baltimore's top hitter Ken Singleton in the ninth inning.
"I came over the top to strike him out," Tekulve recalled, "I may gamble on that pitch once every two months. It was a little slider. The last time I came over the top, a batter hit a grand slam home run. I do it when I get nerve."
With all the attention centered on the Candy-Stringbean combination, Omar Moreno's three-hit performance seemed to go mostly unnoticed. His leadoff single and subsequent good jump on a Jim Palmer pitch prevented a possible double play in the two-run Pittsburgh seventh inning.
Tim Foli's high hopper tipped Palmer's glove and shortstop Garcia was unable to make the play at second.
Dave Parker, who described the frozen rope he sent toward Rich Dauer as a "so-so" hit, was credited with an RBI as his liner skipped into right center to chase home Moreno.
"I thought Dauer would turn it into a double play," said Pirate second baseman Phil Garner, who stretched his hitting streak to 23 games dating back to the regular season and earned his way into the record books by participating in his ninth double play in a World Series.
"The ball looked like it took a bad hop and it was hit too hard for him (Dauer) to come back and handle it. Fortunately it was a good hop for us and unfortunately a bad hop for them."
Candelaria said for the most part he "threw the ball where I wanted."
"Not all of them were strikes but I threw the ball where I didn't think it would hurt me," Candelaria said. "You don't want to make too many mistakes against them. Besides, I knew I couldn't afford to give up too many runs against Palmer. He's too good a pitcher. But when there's no tomorrow, you forget the pain.
"After the first inning (Baltimore wasted runners on first and second with one out), it didn't hurt as much."