“I don’t know what exactly happened,” said Ruiz, whose two-run hit off Jonathan Broxton with no out lifted the Phils after they had trailed, 9-2, heading into the bottom of the eighth. “It’s just tight.”
Ruiz was in the original lineup manager Charlie Manuel posted before last night’s game against the Mets. But he was quickly scratched in favor of backup Brian Schneider.
“He’s going to be fine,” Manuel said. “It’s just tight.”
Manuel said he did not think Ruiz was injured during the celebration that followed the remarkable comeback when he was mobbed by his teammates in the infield.
“He didn’t seem like he thought that,” the manager said.
Ruiz said he expected to be able to play tonight. That’s good news for the Phillies, since their catcher has been one of their steadiest – and most clutch – hitters this season. Ruiz has driven in eight runs and posted a team-best .936 on-base plus slugging percentage in late-and-close situations, which are defined as plate appearances that occur in the seventh inning or later with the batting team tied, ahead by one, or with the tying run on base, at the plate or on deck.
With eight RBI in late-and-close situations, he is tied with Jayson Werth and Ryan Howard for the most of any club regular, even though Ruiz has 22 fewer plate appearances in that situation than Howard and had 31 fewer than Werth, entering last night.
Last year, Ruiz averaged an RBI every 5.8 plate appearances in late-and-close situations, which ranked behind only Ryan Howard, who averaged one RBI every 4.2 plate appearances. Those numbers don’t include the postseason, where Ruiz has hit .303 with a .420 on-base percentage, .905 OPS, 13 RBI and 15 runs in 32 career games.
“I think his confidence level is real good, and he’s got a quick bat,” Manuel said. “He uses his back side and legs good. He stays balanced, and he feels good. He probably feels good about his game, he feels good about himself, and he wants to be up there. Not only that, he works the count good. Everything is going real good for him.””
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