The only thing that moved more than his fastball was his body.
Pedro Astacio leaped off the mound after strikeouts, down the dugout steps after innings, and into Dodger lore Friday night after the best pitching debut in the team's Los Angeles history.
With his 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, Astacio finished a doubleheader sweep that evoked memories of youngsters named Valenzuela and Martinez.
With Tom Lasorda shouting to him in Spanish from the dugout, with 34,713 fans chanting 'Ped-ro, Ped-ro,' Astacio struck out 10 and walked four while looking nothing like a 22-year-old rookie who arrived Thursday.
The duffel bag in his locker is from Albuquerque, N.M. He was scheduled to return there today. But after the seventh inning, team Vice President Fred Claire couldn't go through with it.
Astacio earned another start in a doubleheader next week by being the perfect complement to veteran Bob Ojeda, who gave up seven hits during the Dodgers' 5-1 victory in the first game.
It was the Dodgers' first doubleheader sweep in more than three years. It was the first time they have acted like excited youngsters since spring training.
"That boyish enthusiasm (Astacio) showed . . . some of us old guys forget about that after a while," outfielder Brett Butler said. "But not tonight."
Late in the game, after another strikeout by Astacio, pitcher Orel Hershiser walked up to pitcher Ramon Martinez in the dugout.
"I said to him, 'This is neat, this reminds me of when you were like that,' " Hershiser said.
Later Hershiser approached Lasorda, who hasn't shouted at a pitcher in Spanish in several years, and told him that it reminded him of the days when Fernando Valenzuela was a rookie.
But Mike Sharperson thought of somebody else.
"He is more like Pascual Perez," he said.
And in more ways than his pitching.
In the eighth inning, scheduled to bat second, Astacio was so excited he ran to the on-deck circle without a bat.
After the game, upon leaving Lasorda's office, he was so excited he walked into Lasorda's bathroom.
"What an amazing thing, to come up in a situation like this and do what he has done," Lasorda said. "He has stirred everybody up."
The last time something like this happened to the Dodgers was on June 16, 1963, also in the second game of doubleheader, when Nick Willhite made his debut by throwing a five-hitter in a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
"I knew I was coming up for one game, I wanted the shutout bad," Astacio said through an interpreter.
"That is the only thing on my mind. Now I am very happy I am going to stay."
Astacio, a right-hander from Hato Mayor in the Dominican Republic, is in his fifth professional season. He has had 16 games of triple-A experience.
During spring training, he went 2-0 with a 2.50 earned-run average in 15 innings. But he worried the Dodgers by struggling at Albuquerque earlier in the season, and had a 5.86 ERA when he was recalled.
He worried the Dodgers even more when the first four pitches Friday night were balls.
By the time he had thrown seven pitches, Stan Javier was on first base, Wally Backman had a 2-and-1 count and coach Ron Perranoski was on the pitching mound.
"I was told to concentrate and throw strikes," Astacio said. "So I did."
Three pitches later, he struck out Backman swinging. Four pitches after that, he struck out Dave Hollins swinging.
The Phillies didn't get a ball out of the infield until the fourth inning, and they didn't get a runner to second base until the fifth.
He was not afraid to throw his changeup with two strikes, and he was not afraid to throw inside. He knocked John Kruk, National League hitting leader, on his behind in the sixth inning.
He was not in trouble until that inning, when the Phillies loaded the bases with two out. But Ruben Amaro popped to Eric Karros, who caught the ball near first base while Astacio wildly pointed at him.