Camden Courier-Post - October 1, 1980
Bystrom beats Cubs for 5th win
Phils stay half-game out in Eastern race
By Rusty Pray of the Courier-Post
PHILADELPHIA – Tim McCarver, who has been through more baseball wars than even he would care to mention, gazed across the Phillies' clubhouse and smiled.
"Incredibly mature," said the only catcher ever to play major league baseball in four decades.
No, McCarver was not trying to describe his age delicately. Nor was he making a general observation on the conduct of some of his teammates. Rather, McCarver was giving testimony to the nature of the club's current crop of rookies.
"PARTICULARLY," McCarver continued, "the young pitchers. I'm not taking anything away from the others, but rarely do you get to see so many young pitchers contribute during a pennant race."
And among the young pitchers, righthander Marty Bystrom has contributed far beyond the expectations of even his most ardent supporters, one of whom happens to be Manager Dallas Green.
Last night Bystrom threw a four-hitter at the Cubs for seven innings, then watched Dickie Noles finish a 14-2 laugher that eased some of the tension that had surrounded the Phillies during a seven-game offensive snooze.
THE WIN, of course, was crucial, serving to keep the Phils a half-game behind Montreal a 7-2 winner over St. Louis in the National League East pennant race.
It also served to raise Bystrom's record to an astonishing 5-0. No other Phillies pitcher, including Steve Carlton, has won five games during the month of September.
Who knows what Bystrom's record would have been had he been with the club all season? Maybe, like fellow-rookie Bob Walk, Bystrom would have gone through a period of struggle. But it's no secret the only thing that kept Bystrom in Oklahoma City until September was a severely-pulled thigh muscle.
"I KNEW," said Green, "that kid could pitch. And he has come up here and done exactly what I thought he could do. You don't look for him to go 5-0, but at the same time you look for him to pitch like he's capable of pitching.
"He's going to be one heckuva big league pitcher – if he minds his Ps and Qs and takes care of himself. I think what he went through in spring training (with the Injury) proved to him that he has to work at his job to stay physically fit."
Bystrom was hardly alone in leading the Phillies to their 19th win this month, which matched a club record for September wins first established in the division-championship year of 1977.
LEFT FIELDER Lonnie Smith and catcher Keith Moreland, who were thrust into the lineup on Monday to beef up the Phils' attack, combined for four of the team's 15 hits. Bob Dernier walked, singled in a run with an infield hit and twice scored. Orlando Isales tripled home two runs in his first major-league at bat.
Smith has been the most visible of the rookies, playing as he did fulltime while regular Greg Luzinski was on the disabled list. But the Bull's return made Smith almost invisible. Prior to Monday's game, Smith had batted only 18 times since Sept. 8.
"Dallas told me that when Bull came back I probably wouldn't be playing every day," said Smith, who went 3-for-5, scored three runs and stole his 32nd base to tie a club record for rookies set by Richie Ashburn in 1948. "(Green said that) maybe I'd get a chance to play every now and then, a little center, a little right. So I knew it ahead of time. It didn't bother me.
"IT DID me some good in a way. I had time to sort out a few personal problems that I was going through. I just wished I could've played a little more..."
Smith's matching of Ashburn's venerable stolen base record passed without response from the 24,349 Veterans Stadium fans because it was one of the few pieces of news not flashed on the park's chatty scoreboard.
"I had a feeling that they wouldn't flash it," Smith said. "You know, it has been a record for awhile. It bothered me a little bit when they didn't flash it, but I said, 'what the heck.' If they don't flash it if I should break the record, then it would bother me."
MORELAND BROKE no records, but he did break the game open with a two-run double that was the centerpiece of a four-run first off Chicago starter Lynn McGlothen. The Phils would go on to score single runs in the third and fourth, and eight more, in the sixth and seventh.
PHIL UPS – Phils had scored 23 runs, including a modest 11 during one stretch of five games in eight games prior to last night... They had, however, won five of those eight games... Last night was second time Phils scored 14 runs in a came... Season high is 17 against Atlanta July 4... Bake McBride, who went 2-for-2 and drove in three runs, has hit in eight straight... Bob Boone will start tonight and catch Carlton... Said Green, "I have a lot of confidence in Keith, but Boonie's been catching him (Carlton) all year.
Feuding, fussing may aid Phillies
By Ray W. Kelly of the Courier-Post
PHILADELPHIA – If there is a fine line between love and hate, then there must be a foul line between fun house and funny farm. If you don't believe it, just ask Phillies' Manager Dallas Green.
Last night, the Phils engaged in what is commonly known in baseball circles as a "laugher," because when you beat the Chicago Cubs 14-2 the residents of the victorious dugout are supposed to be full of chuckles.
Green was suspected by some of his players of being full of something quite different when he first initiated his "offensive" lineup. But then, the manager is no stranger to athletes who believe the opinions buzzing around in the labyrinth of their minds come from some infallible source.
For instance, some of you may not remember a fine outfielder named Jimmy Piersall. He talked to the trees. Which wouldn't have been so bad if he hadn't been in the subway at the time.
Jimmy also climbed stadium flagpoles, sat resting against the outfield wall whenever there was a pause in the action and, on one occasion, decided to break the monotony of an afternoon as a New York Met by clouting a home run and circling the bases the wrong way.
The pitcher on the mound for the Phillies that day? Dallas Green.
That was a long time ago, but it was a good lesson for Green, who is now trying his best to deal with his rather eccentric shortstop, Larry Bowa.
During a dazzling career in Philly, Bowa has had his "moments," a fact that is both undeniable and worth mentioning at this time, since Larry now finds himself in a situation where he is challenging the manager, the fans and the press.
Funny thing is, a Battling Bowa is a hundred times more valuable than a Brooding Bowa, as bis performance last evening proved.
Booed by 24,349 of the "worst fans in baseball" during the lineup introductions and hooted as he stepped up to the plate for his first turn at bat, Bowa responded with a run-scoring single to left field.
As the jeers turned to cheers, the feisty infielder waved his arm in a "get away" gesture. Which, I suspect was a lot easier for the fans to take than a smack upside the head.
A mixed greeting fell on Larry prior to his beating out an infield single in the third inning. But, as he clapped his hands together and kicked his foot into the air joyously, you knew that he knew he was winning.
Green, who bristled at the thought of the shortstop second-guessing his lineup changes and saying the manager was talking "out the side of his mouth," just grinned later and said, "I'd rather have him on me... if we score all those runs and he plays like that!"
Bowa played like a man possessed. But, by what? Anger? Frustration? Who cares?
He made a dandy stop of a line drive in the fifth inning. And, if it is possible for a player to tip his cap sarcastically, the suddenly fired-up infielder managed to do it.
But the real upset came in the clubhouse when, for the first time since the unfortunate and highly-unprofessional "drug stories" sent him burrowing into a cave of silence, Bowa actually talked to the media.
"It's on at 6:30 p.m.," said Larry, grinning because the press discovered that his next radio show would be an all-out assault on the team's favorite target, the writers.
"You'll get some quotes then," he called. "And, my rating went up, too!"
Hopefully, his batting average will do the same. For, even though the flames of controversy are providing him with added incentive, the battle of words has put some of his teammates in the middle.
"When I came in here today, the team was reserved... just very reserved," recalled Green. "I think they were waiting to see what I would do. But, I didn't do anything different.
"A lot of them (players) don't need to hear that stuff. They know I'm not talking about them. Will it affect the younger players? No. The players ,i m taming about won’t be around that long."
It could be that Green is a lot smarter than anyone realizes. He .just might be using the threat of a bus ticket out of town to get some of his balky veterans in line.
"I think we are going to win this thing if we stay within ourselves," he said. "I couldn't care less what anyone thinks, as long as we win."
One player, who hasn't had much to say lately, agrees with much of what Green is saying. It may surprise Larry Bowa, but the guy's name is Greg Luzinski.
"This isn't a popularity contest," said the Bull, "It all comes down to winning. That's why we're here. And it does take 25 guys who do the job when called upon.
"I'm not holding any grudge. Dallas is pulling the strings trying to make the club win. I felt when I was in there, I was busting my tail. Why should I sulk about being out of the lineup? I don't feel that way.
"All I want todo is help the team in .any w ay possible. Our objective is to win, even if some feelings are hurt in the process."
By the end of the season, just about everyone's feelings – management, players, fans and press – will be black and blue. But, won't it feel great if they win?