Philadelphia Inquirer - July 1, 1980
Lerch seeks Expo revenge
The season has been pretty much of a disaster for Randy Lerch, who has 10 losses already, some of which he can attribute to non-support.
The lanky lefthander meets the team of his latest frustration tonight (7:35 p.m., Ch. 17) when he faces the Expos, as his team continues its final road trip before the All-Star Game.
Lerch lost to the Expos and Scott Sanderson, 1-0, Thursday night at Veterans Stadium.
PHILLIES at Montreal (TV-Ch. 17; Radlo-KYW-1060, 7:35 p.m.)
Moreland’s slam derails Expos, 7-5
All Phils’ runs come in fourth
By Jayson Stark, Inquirer Staff Writer
MONTREAL – For five days, the Phillies thought that a run was something their wives got in their stockings. They scored nine of them in five games, and four of the nine came in one game. Which they lost.
But last night, in a 7-5 victory over the Expos, they snapped out of it. Well, for one inning they snapped out of it, anyway.
One minute they were being no-hit by the Expos' Bill Gullickson. The next they were erupting for six hits and seven runs in one inning, the fourth. And then they went right back to the old groundouts and fly balls. The only other hit they got was by reliever Ron Reed, a UFO flare single with two outs in the ninth.
Even Dallas Green, who had ranted all week about the way his club's lack of offense had wasted its best stretch of starting pitching in a month, viewed the seven-run fourth somewhat ruefully.
"Hell, if we'd stretched those out for a week we might have won about four ball games," Green said. "Of course, we'd have lost this one."
The lineup Green sent out last night was missing three guys who started last year's all-star game – Larry Bowa, Mike Schmidt and Bob Boone. Green wanted to try curing the assorted hamstring injuries of Bowa and Schmidt with another day's rest. And while he was at it, a little rest didn't seem like a bad cure for Boone's wounded batting stroke, either.
"If I can't play Keith when Booney's hitting like hell, I don't know when I can play Keith," Green said. "Booney's not hitting at all right now.
"I think I've been very patient with him. He knows that. He understands. He's such a competitor he wants to play. I know he does. And he's going to play. What the hell, I can't sit one of the better catchers in baseball down. But two days won't hurt him."
It didn't hurt the Phillies last night, either. It was Moreland who untied a 0-0 game with his first big-league grand slam.
Moreland called it "probably the highlight of my career so far." But he also admitted that at the time the magnitude of it didn't exactly hit him because, uh, he forgot the bases were loaded.
"Hell, I didn't even think about it being a grand slam until I got to. home plate," he said.
It was tough to blame him. Until that point, the Phillies were having enough trouble scoring four runs in four games, let alone in one swing. And they even did it without any help from Claudell Washington.
The big fourth started pretty innocently, with a Manny Trillo single. Then Bake McBride sent Trillo to third with a double down the line in right. And Greg Luzinski, who has-hit one fair ball in his last 13 trips to the plate, worked a walk to fill the bases.
Garry Maddox popped up for one out. But the game only stayed 0-0 for one more pitch. Gullickson sailed a high, inside fastball to Moreland, and Moreland powered it into the lower deck in left. In Stade Olympique, it was not only his first lifetime grand slam, it was his first circuit grand-quatre.
"I think I faced him a couple times in the minors," Moreland said of Gullickson. "But I didn't really remember him. The first time up he just about threw the ball right by me when he struck me out. He threw a lot of high fastballs, so I went up there the second time just looking fastball.
"I knew I hit it hard enough to get it out at the Vet. But I haven't played here that much. It was pretty exciting."
But the inning wasn't over yet. Ramon Aviles, who started at short in place of Bowa for the fifth straight game, kept it rolling with a single through the middle.
Then John Vukovich ripped a line drive past Andre Dawson in right center for a triple, and it was 5-0. If the Guinness Book of World Records is looking for a new category, this might be one: Vukovich has played all or parts of nine seasons in the big leagues, and that was his first triple.
Even that didn't finish Gullickson, the rookie righthander who had five-hit the Phillies in Philadelphia last week. Dick Williams stuck with him, and he fanned pitcher Dickie Noles for the second out.
But Pete Rose picked out a 2-1 pitch and really drilled it to right-center. It dropped over the wall, nearly 400 feet away, for Rose's first homer since last Sept. 3. Rose's elapsed time rounding the bases was about 18 seconds, the fastest home-run trot in Canadian history.
So it was 7-0. And Green's fondest wish at that point was that Noles could hang in there long enough to rest his weary bullpen.
But Noles is coming off three months of short relief and a suspension for bat-tossing. So when he started getting wild and let the Expos creep to within 7-2 in the sixth, Green just assumed he had "run out of gas."
But Moreland who caught Noles' first win of the year (1-3), decided that Noles' decline after five strong innings was actually his (Moreland's) fault.
Early in the game, Noles blew awesome sliders past Gary Carter and Warren Cromartie to escape a first-inning jam. Then he used the slider again to survive a first-and-second, no-out mess in the second. But after the score hit 7-0, he changed his style.
"When we got the big lead, I went away from using all his pitches," Moreland said. "I went to the fastball too much. Then when we got in situations where I wanted to go back to the breaking ball, he hadn't used it and he'd just lost it. I think I learned something."
After Noles walked Chris Speier and Ron LeFlore to load the bases with two outs in the sixth, Green finally hooked him.
Green didn't want to use the bullpen this early in a 7-2 game. But he went to Kevin Saucier, and he gave up a two-run single to Scott. It was the first time since May 24 that Saucier had allowed a runner on base when he came in to score. He had stranded 12 of 12 in that time.
But Reed succeeded him and saved it with three two-hit innings. An unsuccessful gamble by Maddox in center led to a Rowland Office triple and an eighth-inning run. And an Aviles error gave Larry Parrish (2-for-5) a chance to tie it with two outs in the ninth.
But Parrish flied a 1-2 fastball to Maddox, and the Phils were back to within two games of first place.
NOTE: Dallas Green held Larry Bowa and Mike Schmidt out of the lineup to make sure they wouldn't re-aggravate their hamstring injuries. But Bowa, for one, was not pleased about it. "I have no idea why I'm not playing," he grumbled. "I guess this isn't a big series."