Allentown Morning Call - September 15, 1980

Bystrom gains second win as Phils belt Cards, 8-4


By Ted Meixell, Call Sports Writer


PHILADELPHIA – The burning question on everyone's mind following the Phillies' eased-up 8-4 win over St. Louis yesterday is: "Will Marty Bystrom ever give up a run in the major leagues?" 


Bystrom, a stockily-built 6-5 righthander from Coral Gables, Fla., remained the only undefeated, untied and unscored-upon starting pitcher in the major leagues, shutting out the normally-potent Cardinals on five singles before leaving after seven innings. He was pulled ostensibly because of discomfort in a toe on his right foot – in reality because manager Dallas Green wanted to reacquaint newly-acquired reliever Sparky Lyle with the pitcher's mound. 


Bystrom departed holding a comfy 7-0 lead, most of which was manufactured during a six-run, six-hit outburst in the third inning and almost half of which was the result of a long three-run home run to right-center by the sweet-swinging Bake McBride that, appropriately enough, bounced off the Pittsburgh Pirates logo beyond the fence. 


Green was asked if he was aware that Bystrom was in a position to become only the seventh pitcher in the history of the game to author complete-game shutouts in their first two major-league starts. "Records?" the blunt-talking Green asked. "I don't give a bleep about records. This is a team game and we're in a pennant race. 


"No, I wasn't aware of it – but had I been aware it wouldn't have made a bit of difference. He'll (Bystrom! make a lot of money in this game without pitching two straight shutouts." 


Green's concern, with what seemed like a safe lead, was to exercise Lyle. "Sparky hadn't pitched in so long (for the Texas Hangers) he'd forgotten what the mound looks I like. I had to get him in and one inning wouldn't have done much good." 


Despite Green's hook, Bystrom still has a chance to set a record for most scoreless innings at the start of a career. He has pitched 17 zeroes thus far and needs 8⅓ more to pass a mark set by the Phils' George McQuillan way back in 1907. 


"I'll pitch with the same philosophy when I'm behind," Bystrom said of his spotless record. "One of these days I'm gonna' get knocked around just like everyone else does. When that happens, I'll just have to battle ‘em." 


Bystrom appeared to have made the parent club during an impressive spring training, but he pulled a groin muscle and was sent to Oklahoma City. He promptly reinjured the groin and wasn't really able to get down to business until July. He was called up Sept. 1 after posting a 6-5 mark at Okie City.


"I thought I could pitch up here at the start of the year," he said. "Then I got hurt. That changed things, but there wasn't a thing I could do about it." 


He was in trouble in only one inning yesterday – the third. With one out, the Cards' Tony Scott lined a single to right and, one out later. Leon Durham s single on the hit-and-run sent him to third. But Bystrom got George Hendrick on a long fly to center to escape. 


Lyle, who entered the contest to a nice ovation from the crowd of 30,137, was obviously rusty and, although he was victimized by some less than artful defensive play, it took less than five minutes to hear the boos that made Philadelphia famous. 


Lonnie Smith misjudged Tom Herr's liner to left and the Cards' shortstop wound up at third. Then second baseman Rudy Aviles booted Scott's grounder and Lyle walked Keith Hernandez. When Tito Landrum doubled in Scott, the boos began rolling out of the grandstand. 


A groundout and a sacrifice fly extended the Cards' rally to four runs, but Lyle stopped it there, got an insurance run in the Phils' half of the inning and had a 1-2-3 ninth. 


“I told 'em when I came in after the eighth. That 'll put the fear of God in ya," Lyle joked later. "It's been quite a while since I've thrown – and before that it was every nine or 10 days. 


"I'm gonna' throw every day and get myself back on the track. That's about all I can do." 


For the record, here's how the Phils achieved their 7-0 lead: In the first, Lonnie Smith singled to lead off and stole second, from whence he scored on Pete Rose's bounder up the middle. In the third. Rose and Mike Schmidt singled preceding McBride's blast. The final three runs came on a double by Garry Maddox. an infield single by Larry Bowa, walks to Aviles and Bystrom and Smith's two-run single to right. 


Green was asked when Bystrom will pitch again. (The medical report on Larry Christenson's pulled groin muscle is all bad.) "He'll be out there again for his turn," he replied.