The line drives were flying all over San Diego's Jack Murphy Stadium tonight. Ed Whitson was throwing and the Detroit Tigers were swinging. After three batters, if someone had asked catcher Terry Kennedy what kind of stuff Whitson had, Kennedy would have had to answer, "I don't know, he hasn't gotten a pitch to me yet."
The first three batters lined first-pitch singles. Seven hitters into the game, the Tigers had five hits and three runs. Padres Manager Dick Williams decided it was time to go get Whitson. On the run, from the bullpen, came Andy Hawkins.
"Kurt Bevacqua got the big hit tonight," Graig Nettles said about three hours later, after the Padres had come back to beat the Tigers, 5-3, "but the MVP for us tonight was Andy Hawkins. He shut the door when it had to be shut."
The Padres' bullpen has produced 21 straight shutout innings, dating from the ninth inning of Game 4 of the National League playoffs. Tonight, Hawkins pitched 5 1/3 innings. He allowed one base runner -- in the sixth inning when Kirk Gibson hit a soft line drive to left field that Carmelo Martinez (who once said, "My weakness as an outfielder is catching fly balls") should have caught but didn't.
Gibson ended up the victim of a line drive hit-and-run double play, so Hawkins faced the minimum number of batters.
"I expected to pitch tonight at some point but not so early," said Hawkins, who had pitched 2 1/3 innings in Game 1. "When I had to go in and get Whitson that early I thought we were in trouble. But I thought if I could just get out of the first with just the three runs scored we could come back."
Hawkins entered with Darrell Evans on third base and Johnny Grubb on first. The batter was Chet Lemon. He threw fast balls. Lemon hit a sharp ground ball to third baseman Graig Nettles. Nettles made a good scoop, a good throw and the inning was over.
As things turned out, no Tigers reached second base again. "In the bullpen we were thinking Hawk might go an inning, maybe two, three at outside," Craig Lefferts said. "We never thought he'd still be around in the sixth."
Lefferts was the man Williams turned to in the seventh when Hawkins did finally tire and Lefferts pitched the last three innings.
Hawkins began the season as the Padres' No. 2 starter but was demoted to the bullpen midway through the season with a jumbo-sized 5.20 ERA.
"I'd gone from being on top to being in the bullpen in just a few months," he said. "It was very discouraging. I ended up making some adjustments in my pitching motion and that helped turn me around."
Hawkins discovered that he was dropping his right arm too low. He shortened his motion, and his control, which had been out of whack most of the season -- 72 walks in 146 innings by the end of the year -- began to come back.
"He came in one game and pitched real well, getting his pitches where he wanted to," Kennedy said. "I asked him what he was doing and he showed me. I just said, 'Keep doing it.' "
He has. He has appeared in five postseason games, pitched 11 2/3 innings, allowed two walks and no runs. But tonight, according to Kennedy, was the best he's been.
"His fast ball was really live and so was his slider," Kennedy said. "He comes in now and pitches with so much confidence, he's like a different guy than earlier in the year."
When Hawkins wasn't doing the job earlier in the season, the consensus was that he was not aggressive enough.
"People said I picked at the corners too much, that I didn't go after hitters," he said. "Lately, I've just tried to have confidence in my stuff and go at hitters."
Tonight, he went at the Tigers and they had no answers. They produced five pop-ups, five ground balls, three strikeouts and one line-drive double play. That was it. The World Series is tied.
"It's 1-1 because of Hawkins and Lefferts," Detroit Manager Sparky Anderson said. "They beat us tonight."
Hawkins just smiled when this was repeated to him. "Fine with me," he said. "I hope he has to say it again."