Apr 102011
Phillies C Carlos Ruiz

Phillies C Carlos Ruiz (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

April 10 Wilmington News Journal:

“In his final at-bat Friday, Carlos Ruiz saw six pitches from Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel. Five were fastballs, all clocking in at 96 mph or faster.

Ruiz watched two sail by for strikes. He fouled off two more. The final pitch of the at-bat, Ruiz skied harmlessly to center a ball that Nate McLouth corralled.

It was a seemingly meaningless at-bat Friday that may have been the key to the Phillies’ 10-2 win Saturday.

Afterward, Charlie Manuel approached his catcher and noted Ruiz had some good swings in the at-bat.

“Yes,” Ruiz replied. “I would like to face him again.”

Ruiz didn’t get the chance. In fact, he began the game on the bench.

With an early start time on a humid Atlanta afternoon, Ruiz was supposed to be resting. Instead, he made his way back to the batting cages in the early innings and took a few swings to stay sharp.

His replacement, Brian Schneider, had already smacked a two-run homer to give the Phillies 3-2 lead, but as the pitcher’s spot in the lineup approached in the top of the seventh, Manuel looked Ruiz’s way.

The Phillies catcher emerged from the dugout with runners on first and third and no one out. From the on-deck circle, he watched Wilson Valdez draw a walk to load the bases.”

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