MONTREAL (AP) -- The Montreal Expos' attendance problems hit an
all-time low Thursday.
Players' voices could be heard over the sparse and quiet crowd,
announced as 2,134 -- which represents tickets sold. The actual
attendance appeared to be closer to 1,000 people.
"To me, it felt like a 'B' game in spring training, a nine
o'clock game,'' Phillies manager Larry Bowa said.
The previous smallest crowd since the team moved into Olympic
Stadium in 1977 was 2,803 for a weekday game against St. Louis on
Sept. 27, 1984.
"You could hear everything,'' Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal
said. "It was funny. It was like a golf or tennis match where
everyone is quiet until the ball is hit.''
The franchise low is 2,107 on Sept. 7, 1976, in the team's
eighth and final season at Jarry Park, the Expos' first home after
joining the National League in 1969.
"I can't say that it's not frustrating, but the fans have been
good all year,'' Expos catcher Michael Barrett said. "It's a day
game, middle of the week and I understand why it would be difficult
to make it out. School's started back but we try to stay positive.
Even though it's 2,000, it's 2,000 more than zero.''
Randy Wolf (11-7) allowed five hits in pitching his third
complete game of the season.
"One time, I was on the mound and I heard (left fielder Pat)
Burrell yelling, 'Come on, Wolf!''' Wolf said. "There's no way I
should hear him right there. That's how quiet it was.''
Wolf's scoreless-inning streak ended at 27 when he gave up
Vladimir Guerrero's solo homer with two outs in the first.
Abreu hit a solo homer off Javier Vazquez (8-13) in the first
and added his 19th shot leading off the eighth. He led off the
fourth with a triple and scored on Burrell's double to put the
Phillies up 2-1.
All of Wolf's complete games have come in his last four starts --
all victories. He worked 35 of the 36 innings in those starts.
"That's awesome, especially the way the game is played now,''
Bowa said. "He's been phenomenal. He's what an ace does. He saves
your bullpen, keeps you in the game, and wins against a really good
hitting lineup. He's starting to spoil us.''
Abreu's second homer put the Phillies up 4-1.
Vazquez allowed 10 hits and four runs in eight innings.
Wolf has eight career complete games. He threw 86 of his
108 pitches for strikes. ... It was Abreu's seventh career
multihomer game, his first since last Sept. 30 at Florida. ... The
Phillies announced that they were purchasing the contract of RHP
Jose Santiago from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre following the
game. Santiago will join the team in Philadelphia on Friday. RHP
Robert Person was moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day
DL. ... Vazquez wrote a letter to the sports editor of The
(Montreal) Gazette that was published on the front page of
Thursday's sports section, complaining about what he characterized
as columnist Jack Todd's "repeated attacks on my character, as
well as that of Tony Armas Jr. and some of my teammates.''