Known nearly as well for his hitting as for his pitching, Lerch had a lifetime batting average of .206, with 56 base hits. In 1978 his three home runs led all NL pitchers. Two of those came in a crucial September 30 game against the Pirates to help edge the Phillies past Pittsburgh for the division crown.
He started the fourth and final game of the 1978 LCS, but was tagged for three runs and seven hits in 5-1/3 innings, as the Phillies lost to the Dodgers. The 6’5″ lefthander enjoyed three seasons in double-figure wins but was less effective after breaking a bone in his wrist in 1979.