Reading Eagle - September 10, 1980
5-Hit Shutout for Bystrom
NEW YORK (AP) – Marty Bystrom is hardly a household name, then again you don’t have to be a household word to beat the New York Mets these days.
The 22-year-old right-hander started to make a name for himself with Philadelphia followers Wednesday night as he hurled a five-hit shutout in his first major league start as the Phillies downed the Mets 5-0.
“I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” said Bystrom after he became the first Phillie to pitch a shutout in his first major league start since 1972. The victory enabled Philadelphia to stay within a half-game of the first-place Montreal Expos in the National League East and extended the Mets’ losing streak to 11 games.
“I knew it was an important game,” Bystrom said. “I had real good stuff tonight. I have four pitches and all of them were working for me – fastball, slider, curve and I mixed in a change-up.”
Dave Downs, who subsequently developed shoulder problems that ended his brief career, was the last Phillies rookie to pitch a shutout in his first big league starting assignment.
Interestingly, Bystrom was well aware of this bit of Phillies’ history. “Sure, I knew about that. I played in the minors with Kelly Downs, Dave’s brother.”
The Phillies were on their way to their seventh win in 10 starts in the first inning when they scored three times off Mets starter Mark Bomback, 9-7.
Pete Rose opened with a double and scored when Bake McBride followed with the first of his four hits. One out later, Greg Luzinski doubled to score McBride. With two out, Garry Maddox delivered the first of his two RBI singles.
Bystrom admitted that the three-run first helped him. “Getting those three runs was a big boost right away,” he said.
Bystrom, 1-0, could make an even bigger contribution to the Phillies who have been struggling with pitching problems and injuries most of the season. He struck out five and walked only two while scattering five singles. New York got three men as far as second but never got more than one hit in any inning.
“You can never have enough pitching,” said Maddox, “and when you bring up a young guy from the minors like that at this point in the pennant race, it always helps.”
The Phillies added a run in the eighth on Maddox’s second RBI single and closed out the scoring in the ninth on Greg Gross’ RBI single.