Reading Eagle - August 7, 1980

Bob Sykes Mesmerizes Phillies


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The St. Louis Cardinals “Syked” the Philadelphia Phillies.


Cardinals’ manager Whitey Herzog sent Bob Sykes against the Phillies Wednesday night. The lefthander merely tossed a three-hit shutout.


And while Sykes mesmerized the Phillies’ offense, the Cardinals battered four of five Philadelphia pitchers for 16 hits and 14 runs in a 14-0 victory.


It wasn’t the first time that Sykes had the Phillies swinging as if he was a combination of Walter Johnson, Bob Feller and Sandy Koufax.


On July 4, he threw BB’s at the Philadelphia bats, beating them 1-0 in 10 innings. He also has a 2/3 of an inning scoreless chore against the Phillies, which totals 19-2/3 innings without allowing a run.


It wasn’t exactly a surprise. Toss any pitcher to the Phillies who has a 4-8 or worse record, a 5.00 ERA and inevitably they’ll make him look like the next stop is the Hall of Fame.


St. Louis made it easy for Sykes, batting around in the first for five runs, and doing it again in the third, this time scoring seven times. With a 12-0 lead, Sykes could have thrown watermelons and come home a winner.


The seven-run third and 14 runs were the biggest numbers posted against the Phillies this year, and, according to the Phillies’ records, the second most lopsided loss. They dropped a squeaker, 16-0, to the Chicago Cubs in 1929.


Ted Simmons had four hits and four RBI, Ken Oberkfell drove home three, Keith Hernandez two, and Leon Durham and Mike Philips each one.


The Phillies made three errors, helping the Cardinals to three other runs.


It was a bad night all around for the Phillies. Bake McBride, who mercifully played only five innings, batted twice and lost a nine-game hitting streak.


And rookie Lonnie Smith ended a string of 11 straight stolen bases by being caught on a delayed steal in the sixth with his team behind 13-0. Phillies’ manager Dallas Green said he’d have something to say to Smith about that maneuver.


On the human interest side, St. Louis’ Tom Herr, a rookie infielder, had three hits while his family from the Lancaster area watched with glee. Herr also scored three runs.


George Hendrick, who speaks only with his bat, extended his hitting spree through 16 of 18 games, and Simmons through 10 of 12.


While Sykes boosted his record to 5-8, rookie Bob Walk, who threw 47 pitches in two innings, absorbed his second loss in 10 decisions.


Green said it was just (one) of those nights you couldn’t do a thing about.


“They were hot and scored early. We just have to put it out of our minds and come here tomorrow night and try and beat somebody,” he said.