Reading Eagle - September 15, 1980
Marty Bystrom Shuffles Cardinals
Green Says Phillies Ready for Final Three Weeks
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Philadelphia Phillies manager Dallas Green says his club is ready for the final three weeks of the pulsating National League East championship drive.
The Phillies open a seven-game road trip, starting Tuesday night with the first of a pair against the third-place Pittsburgh Pirates.
The runner-up Phillies start the trip just one game behind the leading Montreal Expos and 3½ ahead of the Pirates.
Philadelphia won Sunday, 8-4, over the St. Louis Cardinals behind the pitching of rookie Marty Bystrom.
“I feel good,” said Green of the upcoming three weeks. “We’re as prepared as we can be. We’re physically sound, mentally geared. Everybody is ready. We’ve played pretty decently on the road (36-35).”
Bystrom, who blanked the New York Mets in his first start last week, allowed just five hits in his seven innings, earning his second triumph in two starts.
Even Red Schoendienst, the Cardinals’ interim manager, was high in his praise of the 22-year-old pitcher brought up from Oklahoma City Sept. 1.
“He looked very good,” said Schoendienst. “He threw strikes, moved the ball around. He had a pretty good fastball and curve and threw some good change-ups.
“We just couldn’t do much with him. The kid pitched well, give him credit.”
Bystrom had a chance at tying a major league record, pitching shutouts in his first two starts, but Green lifted him in the seventh because of a bruise on the bottom of the right foot.
Both the manager and the pitcher said he’ll be ready for his next start.
Offensively, the game was won in the third inning, keyed by Bake McBride’s three-run homer. The Phillies batted around with Bystrom walking to force in a run, and Lonnie Smith ripping a two-run single.
The Phillies also scored one in the first on Smith’s single, a stolen base and Pete Rose’s hit-run single. Another crossed in the eighth on a triple by Luis Aguayo scoring Garry Maddox who had singled.
St. Louis scored in the eighth off Sparky Lyle, making is first relief appearance since being acquired Saturday from the Texas Rangers for a player to be named later.
Tom Herr doubled and continued to third on a fielding error in left by Smith. Ramon Aviles booted Tony Scott’s grounder, Herr scoring.
Scott moved to second on a passed ball and Keith Hernandez walked. Leon “Bull” Durham doubled scoring Scott, Hernandez advancing to third, and Durham to second. Hernandez scored on a groundout and Durham on a sacrifice fly.
Two of the runs off Lyle were unearned. Green said Lyle hadn’t pitched in a while and he wanted to give his new reliever a chance to familiarize himself with where the mound was located.
Green was asked to assess his new pitching find, Bystrom.,
“He showed what we’ve been talking about all along. He can pitch. He gets people out, and that’s the name of the game,” Green said.
Neither Green nor Bystrom appeared bothered by the fact that the rookie lost a chance to write his name in the record book.
“This is TEAM,” said Green. “And I hope you’ll all know that before this thing is over.”
Bystrom said he wasn’t aware of the record and added that it didn’t really mean anything.
“I have to do what’s best for me,” said the rookie.
Bystrom has had a tough road to the majors. He made the squad in spring training but incurred a severe hamstring pull and had to be left behind.
“It has been a tough road,” the youngster said. “But that’s all behind me and I’m enjoying it now.”
So are the Phillies.
Leaving Texas Relieves Lyle
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Veteran relief pitcher Sparky Lyle speaks bitterly about his stint with the Texas Rangers, which ended during the weekend when he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies.
“It was better for everybody that I left Texas,” Lyle said Sunday upon reporting to the Phillies. The 36-year-old Lyle, in his 15th major-league season, was acquired Saturday for a player to be named later.
“They weren’t using me and the team wasn’t going anywhere,” said the 6-foot-1 native of Reynoldsville, Pa.
Lyle, who in 1977 played for the New York Yankees and became the first relief pitcher ever to win the Cy Young Award in the American League, said he began to doubt himself.
“I began wondering if I still had it,” Lyle said. “So now I get a chance to find out. I love pennant races and I can’t wait to get out to the park this time of year.”
Lyle joins the Phillies at a time when the club is one game out of first place and battling the leading Montreal Expos for the National League East championship.
“When you’re 18 games out of second place (in Texas) it’s hard to get up for games… especially if you’re not pitching,” Lyle said.
Lyle was asked about the 10 year proviso in his contract making him a broadcaster after his career is over. He intimated that Texas had paid him off for that clause.
“I’m glad I had it because it provided some security,” Lyle said.
Lyle said the Rangers wanted to trade him to Kansas City in August but unlike the Phillies, the Royals refused to guarantee a contract that would carry through to 1982. The Royals apparently were prepared to give up shortstop Rance Mulliniks for the relief pitcher.
“You can bet I’m very happy about being here. It was a long time coming. I didn’t think I’d make it but it’s better late than never and I’m ready. I just hope I can help this team.”
Lyle has pitched 81 innings this season and allowed 97 hits for a 4.68 ERA. He said most of the games were over when he got in and that hurt him.
“I can’t pitch that way,” he said.