Wilmington Evening Journal - September 15, 1980

Bystrom ‘arrives’ as Phils’ hurler


By Kevin Noonan, Staff Writer


PHILADELPHIA – Marty Bystrom may feel like pinching himself for reassurance, but there's little doubt that the rookie pitcher has arrived in the big leagues.


Yesterday at Veterans Stadium, Bystrom improved his record to 2-0 with a 7-inning, 5-hit performance as the Phils pounded the St. Louis Cardinals 8-4. Bystrom, who got all the support he needed on Bake McBride's three-run homer in the third, has yet to give up a run in 17 major-league innings.


"I had good stuff, but I didn't have it going as good as I did in New York (in his first start, a 5-0 victory)," said Bystrom. "I was able to spot my fastball, and I got the breaking ball over the plate. You know St. Louis is going to be swinging at the ball, so I wanted to keep it down. I did all right. Pitching with the big lead made it easier to relax out there and just worry about throwing strikes."


Bystrom left after the seventh, supposedly suffering from a foot bruise. In actuality, Manager Dallas Green of the Phils simply wanted to see his newest acquisition in action. Sparky Lyle, who was picked up from the Texas Rangers on Saturday for future considerations, made his debut in Phillie pinstripes. Lyle pitched the eighth and ninth innings, giving up three hits, a walk and four runs, two of which were earned.


"Sparky hadn't pitched in so long that he didn't know what the mound looked like," said Green.


Lyle's nemesis – inactivity – made him ineffective in Texas. He's hoping that won't be a problem in Philadelphia.


"They've made me feel like they have plans for me," said Lyle. "I need work, plain and simple. The key for me is to keep the slider down, but I can't do that throwing in the bullpen."


Bystrom is just happy to be pitching in the majors. He had high hopes of traveling north with the Phils after spring training, but a hamstring pull delegated him to the farm in Oklahoma City until the roster was expanded in September.


Bystrom impressed at least one long-time baseball watcher – interim manager Red Schoendienst of the Cards, who has managed star pitchers Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton.


"He really looked good," said Schoendienst. "He threw strikes, moved the ball around. He also had a pretty good fastball, a curveball and he threw a few pretty darn good change-ups.


"We just didn't do much," said Schoendienst. "This kid pitched well. Give him credit."


Bystrom took care of the potent Cardinal bats, and McBride took care of the offense, leading the Phils to a 6-run third inning in which 11 men went to the plate.


Pete Rose started the Phillies' big inning with a one-out single. Mike Schmidt followed with another single and McBride hit his eighth homer of the season to make it 4-0.


A double by Garry Maddox, an infield single and stolen base by Larry Bowa, and an intentional walk to Ramon Aviles loaded the bases for Bystrom, who looked at two balls before Schoendienst had seen enough of his starter, Silvio Martinez (5-10). Reliever George Frazier managed a full count before completing the walk, forcing home Maddox with the fourth run of the inning. Lonnie Smith then hit a two-run, checked-swing single to right to give the Phils a 7-0 lead.


In the eighth, Smith made Lyle's first National League experience one to remember by misjudging lead-off hitter Tom Herr's high fly ball to left. Smith remained station ary for a few seconds, and by the time he recovered it was too late. The ball bounced several feet in front of the warning track, and the official scorer awarded Herr a double and gave Smith an error when Herr took third.


Aviles, who started at second base for resting Manny Trillo, mishandled Tony Scott's bouncing ball for another error, with Herr scoring on the play. Lyle then walked the dangerous Keith Hernandez, before Leon Durham ripped a 2-1 slider into the corner in left to score another run.


Scott scored on Terry Landrum's groundout and Terry Kennedy's sacrifice fly brought in Durham to cut the lead to 7-4 before Lyle struck out pinch-hitter Ted Simmons to end the inning.


"I'm not worried about the errors – I can count, and I count four or five Gold Glove winners out there," said Lyle, as he replaced his familiar wad of chewing tobacco with a cigarette. "I'm sure one of those guys will bail me out sometime with a sensational catch. This type of team is ideal for me. I don't strike out a lot of batters. . . I try to get them to hit my first or second pitch, and if I'm throwing right, they'll beat it into the ground. That's where this team's great defense will come in."


PHIL-UPS - The Phils took a 1-0 lead in the first when Smith singled, stole second and scored on Rose's single... Rookie-power got the Phils their final run, in the eighth. Bob Dernier led off with his first major-league hit, and scored on Luis Aquayo's triple... Major-league record for most scoreless innings, start of a career, is 25, held by Phillie George McQuillen in 1907... Phils are off today before traveling to Pittsburgh for a two-game series. Dick Ruthven (15-9) is scheduled to pitch tomorrow for the Phils, against Jim Bibbv (16-5). Wednesday, Bob Walk (10-5) goes against Bert Blyleven (8-11).