Andy Hawkins is the only pitcher in San Diego Padres history to earn a World Series win. It came in 1984 when the then-24-year-old right-hander threw five-and-one-third scoreless innings in Game 2, in relief of Ed Whitson. Dominating a powerhouse Detroit Tigers lineup, Hawkins allowed only one base runner as the Padres rallied for a 5-3 win at Jack Murphy Stadium.
Hawkins finished his career with a record of 84-91, his best season coming in 1985 when he went 18-8 with a 3.15 ERA. Currently the bullpen coach for the Texas Rangers, he reminisced about his World Series win during a visit to Fenway Park earlier this month.
Andy Hawkins on October 10, 1984: “It was Game 2. I came in with two out in the first inning and we were in a tough situation. We were down [3-0] and they had runners on. My approach was to throw strikes, get somebody out immediately, and try to pick up the pieces from there. Fortunately, that happened. From there, I got a little stronger as the game progressed.
“It was mainly about controlling my emotions. This was the World Series and I was very uptight and very nervous. It was a battle of keeping myself under control, because I was pitching with an immense amount of adrenaline.
“I had good stuff. Terry Kennedy was catching that night and we kind of just went after them. I took my strengths to their weaknesses. We didn’t have a very in-depth scouting report to go off of. We basically just went strength against weakness.
“Back then, we didn’t have nearly the information we do now. We just had our advance scouts and that sort of thing. The information wasn’t close to what we can provide our pitchers now, so we went more on feel. We watched hitters and had reports on what they did against previous pitchers. The replays and video were limited, so it was a little tough playing an American League team that we hadn’t really seen.
“The Tigers had a great team. Anybody in that lineup could beat you. Everybody could take you deep. It was pick-your-poison, really. [Chet] Lemon could beat you. [Alan] Trammell and [Lance] Parrish could beat you. [Kirk] Gibson. [Darrell] Evans. On down the line. They had power threats up and down the lineup, so you couldn’t allow them to have a big inning by walking people. It was basically ‘Go get ‘em.’
“I don’t know if they were specifically [a fastball-hitting team or a breaking-ball-hitting team]. It wouldn’t have really mattered, because even if they were a fastball-hitting team, that’s what I threw. I had a hard slider, although it wasn’t a really good slider. What I had was a lot of gas and I used it to attack them. I couldn’t pitch any other way than how I could pitch.
“I remember that I jammed Evans really bad one time. I knew that he was a big-time fastball pull-type hitter, but I got in on him. I had a good fastball and knew that if I could get in there on Evans, I could do the same with Gibson and some of the other big hitters they had. I had a pretty good changeup as well, so I was also able to change speeds against them. Like I said, I wasn’t a big breaking-ball pitcher.
“I believe that I struck out Trammell with a fastball down and a little bit out of the zone. I really felt good about my fastball that night. At that time, I didn’t really care what they hit.
“Like I said, they had a fantastic team. Gibby had an outstanding career. Several of them did. Trammell and [Lou] Whitaker were a combo that probably won’t be matched, because nobody stays together that long. Put all those guys together and they had one fantastic ball club. They went 35-5 to start the year. They had [Dan] Petry and [Jack] Morris and [Milt] Wilcox. They had a good back end on their bullpen. They were the best team in baseball that year and had we played them two or three series, we might not have won any of them.
“Given the circumstances, it probably was [the best game I ever pitched]. It was the World Series. Kurt Bevaqua hit a three-run home run to put us ahead and [Craig] Lefferts came in for me and nailed it down. It was a big win for the team and the most exciting game I’ve ever been a part of.”
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