Pride later said that, in fact, he was reliving his whole life at that moment. "I was thinking about how I was born deaf, about how I wasn't mainstreamed until the seventh grade, about spending eight years in the minors. Then I thought about how getting to the majors was easier than learning how to lip-read."
There was still a game to be played, a lot more game after Marquis Grissom's single brought Pride home with the tying run. Both Alou and Fregosi emptied their bullpens as the game moved into extra innings; the Expos' closer, John Wetteland, made his 64th appearance in the ninth, and Williams came on for Phillie to start the 11th. He worked out of a jam in that inning, but in the bottom of the 12th, Grissom led off with a double into the rightfield corner. Running on his own, he stole third, which put him into position to score the winning run when the next batter, Delino DeShields, lifted a short sacrifice fly to center. The Expos were almost too tired to celebrate. "We have been through so much in the last 24 hours," said Alou.
On Saturday the headline on the front page of Montreal's La Presse was FIÈVRE DE SÉRIE MONDIALE. There was indeed World Series fever as 50,438 fans filed into Stade Olympique to see their very own "kebecker," Denis Boucher of Lachine, Que., try to cut the Phillie lead to trois. Boucher brought a 1.64 ERA into the game, but the Phillies were unimpressed. Lenny Dykstra, Philadelphia's National League MVP candidate, led off the game with a double and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by John Kruk. Dykstra scored another run in the third, giving him 134 on the year and a chance to break the Phillie record of 158 set by Chuck Klein in 1930. Add to that a .305 average, a league-leading 120 walks, 37 steals, 18 homers and 61 RBIs out of the leadoff spot through last week's games, and no wonder Dykstra, when asked by a Philly beat writer how he was doing, said, "Fine, dude, but I'm a little mystified by my lack of national exposure."
Boucher exited after the fifth, but Greene, the Philadelphia starter, was mowing 'em down. He had retired 15 in a row going into the eighth and had a 5-1 lead. The Expos, however, employed a unique tactic to wear down Greene: They kept letting him get on base, with an error and two singles. "He was pooped after he ran out that chopper in the sixth," said Fregosi. So in the eighth, Greene gave up singles to Berry, who at that point had 64 strikeouts for the season, and to John VanderWal, and then the three-run home run to Cordero. Williams came in to hold the 5-4 lead in the ninth, and, as is his wont, Wild Thing nearly gave the Phillies a collective heart attack. After walking Walker with one out, he tried to pick him off and threw the ball past Kruk at first. Then Walker stole third. Williams watchers half expected him to throw a wild pitch, which would have been Philadelphia's 64th of the season, but he struck out Mike Lansing and got Berry to fly out. For one night, at least, Williams had defied the omens, and the Phils said their amens.
"A few more wins," said Greene, "and maybe we can stop hearing about '64."
Not a chance. That victory was the Phillies' 64th at night this season.
On Sunday, 40,047 fans showed up at the Big O for the finale. As in the first two games of the series, the Phillies jumped out to a seemingly cushy lead: Going into the bottom of the fifth, Philadelphia starter Danny Jackson led 5-2. But with men on first and second and none out, Rondell White, an erstwhile Harrisburger called on to replace Moises Alou in left, doubled in two runs to make it 5-4.
Which is where it stood when Williams came on in the ninth to 117 to nail down the victory and hand the Expos their 64th loss of the year. You know the rest.
In the victorious clubhouse, following his team's 22nd victory in its last 26 games, Felipe Alou smiled and said, "Our jubilation comes from many different places. We were written off in June, we were written off in July, we were written off earlier today. We are happy that Moises Alou is going to be all right. We are happy for Wilfredo Cordero, who is maturing as a shortstop and a hitter every day. But we still have a ways to go."
With each team playing 13 more games after Sunday, a four-game deficit is a lot to make up. But it can be done. Just ask Bob Oldis, the Expos' Midwest scout. Oldis, who will soon be scouting American League clubs if the Expos stay close to the top, was once a coach with the Phils. Back in '64. "You never know in this game," says Oldis. "Maybe my Expos will help get the '64 Phillies off the hook."