But there it is.
Pascual Perez of Montreal threw a no-hitter last night.
Umpire Harry Wendelstedt waved off the game after a 90-minute rain delay and Perez's name was etched forever in the record book.
The Phillies, who had seemingly racked up every distasteful accomplishment this season aside from being no-hit, took care of that oversight in the 1-0 loss.
Asterisk or no, the Phils went quietly into the damp evening, losing their 94th game of the year and their second straight under interim manager John Vukovich.
Perez (12-7) allowed one walk, and another Phillies baserunner reached on an error. Those were the only two dents in the miniature bit of history, which was the first no-hitter of any length to be recorded in the Vet. A total of 14,088 fans witnessed the game.
The last no-hitter pitched in Philadelphia was by Montreal's Bill Stoneman on April 17, 1969, a 7-0 game in Connie Mack Stadium.
"Everything was working," Perez said. "I had good stuff tonight, and my
slider was the best in a while."
The Phils had absolutely no success against Perez, who completed the five- inning no-hitter without being seriously tested. Using his normal bizarre array of lob change-ups and darting fastballs, and an occasional hesitation motion to the plate, Perez danced and strutted on the mound without garnering much of a response from the Phils.
"You never know what he's going to do," Phils pitching coach Claude Osteen said. "Some of those sliders he threw we couldn't have hit with a 45- inch bat."
"He had a very good slider," Vukovich said. "We couldn't seem to lay off them and continually chased them."
Perez struck out eight batters along the way. But when he left the mound after his no-hitter was completed, there was no celebration or even a notion that history had taken place. There were only the tarps being rolled onto the field and the interminable wait.
The Expos, for their part, managed four hits against Alex Madrid, who was making his first major-league start.
Madrid, a 25-year-old righthander acquired from Milwaukee for Mike Young, retired the Expos perfectly through the first three innings, but Montreal caught up to him for two doubles, a single and a walk in the fourth. Somehow, all of that translated into only a 1-0 lead for the Expos.
Otis Nixon broke up Madrid's no-hitter with a double into left-center field and took third when Dave Martinez singled into right.
Andres Galarraga then grounded into a fielder's choice that drove home Nixon. That was the extent of the Montreal scoring, but it was enough.
For the Phils, Von Hayes walked to lead off the second inning and was forced out on a ground ball by Samuel to shortstop Luis Rivera. Perez then struck out Lance Parrish and Chris James to end the inning, though Samuel did reach second on a stolen base.
The only other Philadelphia baserunner was James, who reached with two out in the fifth on a throwing error by Nettles. He was immediately tossed out attempting to steal second base, however.
The game was stopped by a steady rain with one out in the top of the sixth.
Perez indicated he would have been ready to return to the game had it continued after the delay. But that proved unnecessary.
"This is one of the great moments of my career," Perez said. It was not one of the great moments in Veterans Stadium.
But it was historic.
NOTES. The series with Montreal ends today with a 1:35 p.m. matchup between Shane Rawley (7-16) and Dennis Martinez (15-12). Rawley is 2-3 in five starts since missing nearly a month with an inflamed shoulder. He has allowed more than two earned runs in only one of those starts. . . . The Phils' home season closes with a three-game series against the NL Eastern Division champion New York Mets that begins tomorrow. Marvin Freeman (2-3) opens against Sid Fernandez (10-10). On Tuesday, Don Carman (10-13) faces Ron Darling (16-9). On Wednesday, Kevin Gross (11-14) takes on Dwight Gooden (18-8).
General manager Lee Thomas flies to Clearwater, Fla., tomorrow to take part in a meeting of all Phillies scouts in conjunction with the Florida Instructional League. The meetings, chaired by new scouting director Jay Hankins are expected to be held tomorrow and Tuesday. . . . Pitcher Bob Sebra, who pitched in three games for the Phillies after being obtained from the Expos, will have arthroscopic surgery Friday to remove bone chips from his right elbow. Dr. James Andrews, who operated on Mike Schmidt on Sept. 7, will perform this operation as well.