The vociferous Padre fans lost their voices in the first inning, when Whitson gave up singles on his first three pitches and a stolen base on his fourth. A sacrifice fly and two singles later, he was gone.
Petry wasn't at his best, either. He gave up a sac fly in the first and another run in the fourth after Bevacqua singled, went to third on Templeton's single and scored on Brown's ground ball. Bevacqua slightly pulled a hamstring sliding into third, but when Virgil asked, "You sure you're all right?" Bevacqua told him, "Just don't say anything. If it bothers me, I'll tell you. Don't worry."
An inning later, Bevacqua came up with two men on. Nettles had walked, and Kennedy hit a bad-hop single right at Whitaker. "Bad-hop? Moi? said Kennedy. "It was a bullet. It was also a bad hop. I deserve a little luck, too." Said Whitaker, "It hit me right in the heart. It broke my heart."
Just as Petry delivered an 0-1 pitch to Bevacqua, Williams, who was wired by NBC, said, "Get a grounder, Kurt...the right man in the right spot." Petry threw a slider—"probably one of the worst sliders ever thrown," he later said. Bevacqua hit it into the leftfield seats for his second homer of the season and took a spirited trip around the bases.
At first base he pulled a Nureyev, pirouetting to the bedlam in San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium. Between first and second he poked his index finger in the air. Between third and home he blew a two-handed set kiss to his wife, Carrie, in the stands. He was mobbed by teammates at the on-deck circle. His act didn't go unnoticed by Anderson. "I don't believe in that stuff," said Anderson. "We'll see what Milt Wilcox [the Tigers' Game 3 starter] has to say about it."
"Kurt," said Garvey, "has got that Jack Nicholson look from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest." Throughout his career, Bevacqua has lived up to that look. His biggest claims to fame before Game 2 were winning the 1975 big league bubble-gum-blowing contest and catching baseballs dropped from the 25-story Imperial Bank Tower in San Diego. "I'll do anything to get my name in the paper," he said.
He got his name into a lot of Thursday papers. After the game, he also got kissed by Mary Lou Retton. She knows a good pirouette when she sees one.
The Tigers won the third game in a 5-2 walkover you could call the Foul Classic. A Series record was set for most men left on base, both teams in a nine-inning game (24); and other marks were tied for most LOBs, one team ( Detroit, 14) and most bases on balls surrendered, one team ( San Diego, 11).
"One of the worst games I've ever seen," said Padre infielder Tim Flannery. "Why, if it had been up to me, I'd have walked somebody intentionally in the eighth inning to get the record. Don't just tie it. We've come this far. We might as well break it."
Gionfriddo, Larsen, Drabowsky, Weis, Doyle, Bevacqua...To the list of unlikely Series heroes, add the name Marty Castillo. With his wife, Julie, who's due to deliver their first child any day now, looking on, Castillo hit his fifth homer of the year off Tim Dollar with a man on in the second inning. Two other runs came in on a bases-loaded walk and a bases-loaded hit batsman. As someone said jokingly, "At least they're not afraid to walk in Detroit after dark."