Sunday, April 09, 2006
Frank Pastore Starts Game
Last year around this time I did an entry on Tom Seaver and his multiple Opening Day starts. Seaver shares the Major League record with Randy Johnson (the Unit tied it this year) but would have one more if not for the circumstances of Opening Day 1980. Seaver, coming off a 16-6, 3.14 year in 1979 was scheduled to make the start for the Reds. However, he was unable to do so, and was scratched from his start after being felled with the flu.
In his place Reds' skipper John McNamara (still a few years yet from his poor decision not to pull Bill Buckner in the '86 World Series) went to Frank Pastore. Pastore had pitched fewer than one hundred innings the year before but came through brilliantly on this day, throwing a shutout, giving up just three hits while striking out five. Pastore would pitch again a couple of weeks later, once more against the Braves and once more was dominant, giving up just one run on five hits in a complete game win.
April would make the season highlight for Pastore though he did put together a good year, going 13-7 with a 3.27 ERA. Pastore would blow out his arm a few years later--without ever having started another Opening Day--and discover God; he now hosts a drive-time radio show in LA. Seaver, of course, had a few Opening Day starts left in him and is now also involved in the media as a Mets' broadcaster.