Proving that not all San Diego baseball fans are intellects, a group of men stood up during Thursday’s game here, debating whether the beer tasted great or was less filling. Although it’s an interesting dilemma, more knowledgeable baseball fans were wondering if Padre pitcher Andy Hawkins pitches great or is just plain lucky.
Because, again, Hawkins won Thursday, improving his record to 10-0. And, again, he was nothing special, yielding 10 hits and 3 runs before leaving in the eighth inning. Fortunately, Carmelo Martinez hit two homers (four RBIs), and the Padres’ bullpen didn’t blow the game. San Diego beat Montreal, 5-4, and Hawkins was left to explain why he’s tearing up the National League.
Still, he doesn’t know.
“I can’t explain it,” he said afterward, with television lights and microphones in his face. “I’m getting beat on, and I’m struggling a lot. It’s hard to explain. As easy as I’m 10-0, I could soon be 10-10.”
So the question remains: Lucky or great? Perhaps, it’s a little of each.
The Lucky Argument--Hawkins, himself, leads this contingent. For instance, Andre Dawson, who had the game-winning RBI in the last two Expo-Padre games here, came up with runners on base three different times on Thursday. He scored two runners with sacrifice fly outs, but that’s it.
“I got lucky with Andre,” Hawkins said.
And perhaps there’s something to that, because Dawson said he came quite close to homering on two of those outs.
“It’s just the way things are falling into place for him,” Dawson said of Hawkins.
And Hawkins has been given decent run support. Before Thursday’s game, the Padres had averaged six runs a game behind him. On this day, Hawkins got five runs, four of them courtesy of Martinez. Martinez must have been in a good mood when he woke up. When a beach ball rolled onto the field in the first inning, Martinez fielded it and threw it back over the fence.
Then he hit those other two balls over the fence.
The fifth and winning run came courtesy of a U.L. Washington fielding error.
And so, talk about luck. Washington was playing third base at the time of his error, and he’s normally a shortstop or second baseman. But with the score 4-3 in the eighth inning, Expo Manager Buck Rodgers had run out of pitchers and had to flip-flop his batting order so he wouldn’t have to pinch-hit for his pitcher in the ninth. As a result, he had to take regular third baseman Tim Wallach out. He put Doug Flynn at second base and moved Washington to third.
And with Steve Garvey on second base in the eighth, Martinez’ grounder found was booted by Washington, and the winning run scored.
“If you play someone out of position, it’s as much the manager’s fault as the players’ fault,” Rodgers said.
“I don’t know about Hawkins. What is a 10-0 pitcher? I haven’t seen many. He has given up the same amount of hits as innings pitched. But he doesn’t beat himself. Warren Spahn used to give up 10, 11 hits and win because they were all singles.”
And Hawkins appears to get good defense behind him. A unique statistic is that he has yet to give up an unearned run.
Thursday, things typically went right in the field again. In the first inning, Dawson lined a hit to left (with nobody on) and tried to stretch it into a double. Martinez, who had one of those days, threw him out at second. In the second, Hubie Brooks hit a very hard ball to center that seemed to be sinking for a hit. But Kevin McReynolds ran in and made a basket catch.
In the fifth inning, with runners on first and second, pinch-hitter Miguel Dilone grounded to second baseman Jerry Royster, who froze the runner going to second, threw to Garvey for the out at first, and then Garvey had time to get the runner at second.
And, fortunately for Hawkins, only two balls were hit at Kurt Bevacqua, who had started at third base for Graig Nettles. One was a bunt, and Bevacqua tried barehanding it and throwing to first, but he had no chance. The other was a ball hit by Wallach sharply down the line, a ball that Bevacqua fielded cleanly. But the substitute third baseman’s throw was low, got by Garvey and hit Wallach.
Wallach, who was safe, fell over in pain. If you can’t throw them out, knock them out.
The Great Pitching Argument--First of all, his wife, Jackie, thinks he’s great. After his last victory in Montreal, she sent a six-pack of beer to his room. And after Thursday’s game, she sent balloons that said “You’re the Greatest.”
And although Jackie is biased, Andy does do some good things out there. For instance, he doesn’t walk many batters. That’s the biggest difference in him now. Also, though he doesn’t always concentrate against the first couple of batters in an inning, he seems to make the right pitches when men are on base.
Also, he is an excellent athlete. Once, with a runner on second, he fielded a ball hit right back to him, spun around to freeze the runner at second and whipped the ball to first. That is easier said than done.
Great or Lucky?
Who knows? But, the All-Star Game looms.
Padre Notes After Andy Hawkins left in the eighth, reliever Luis DeLeon got the final out of the inning. DeLeon later gave up a home run to Herman Winningham in the ninth, and Craig Lefferts retired the last batter, Tim Raines, getting him to fly out to left. It was Lefferts’ first save since Sept. 3, 1984. . . . Goose Gossage has a tender muscle in his right bicep and was given the day off. “It’s not in a critical spot (of the pitching arm),” Gossage said. “I just need a couple days. It’s early. I want to be around in August and September.” . . . Mario Ramirez gave Garry Templeton the day off at shortstop on Thurday.
WHAT A START!
April 12 Padres 7, Braves 3 April 16 Padres 2, Giants 1 April 22 Padres 5, Braves 3 April 27 Padres 4, Dodgers 3 May 3 Padres 6, Cubs 5 May 8 Padres 12, Pirates 2 May 14 Padres 6, Cardinals 2 May 19 Padres 8, Expos 3 May 25 Padres 4, Phillies 1 May 30 Padres 5, Expos 4
PADRES AT A GLANCE Scorecard FOURTH INNING
Expos--Washington tripled to right center. Dawson flew out to deep left, Washington scoring. Driessen grounded to second. Brooks grounded to second. One run, one hit, none left.
Padres--McReynolds singled to center. Kennedy singled to right, McReynolds taking second. Martinez homered to left, his 5th. Ramirez struck out. Hawkins grounded to second. Royster singled to center. Gwynn grounded out to shortstop. Three runs, four hits, one left. SIXTH INNING
Padres--St. Claire took the mound. With one out, Martinez homered to left. Ramirez grounded to third. Hawkins grounded to second. One run, one hit, none left. EIGHTH INNING
Expos--Raines reached on an infield single. Washington doubled to right center, Raines taking third. Dawson flew out to center, Raines scoring. Driessen popped to second. Brooks singled to right, Washington scoring. DeLeon took the mound. Wallach popped to third. Two runs, three hits, one left.
Padres--Lucas took the mound. Garvey singled to left. McReynolds flied out to right. Kennedy singled to left, Garvey taking second. Burke took the mound. Martinez reached on Washington’s fielding error, Garvey scoring, Kennedy taking second. Ramirez popped to the shortstop. DeLeon forced Martinez. One run (unearned), two hits, two left. NINTH INNING
Expos--Winningham homered to right. Fitzgerald grounded to second. Nicosia, pinch hitting for Flynn, struck out. Lefferts took the mound. Raines flied out to left. One run, one hit, none left.