If you haven’t voted for Carlos Ruiz for this year’s All-Star game, you might want to help him out after performances like these. Ruiz is a distant third in All-Star voting for catchers even with some of the majors best numbers. He is first in the league in batting average (.361), second in OPS (1.006), third in on-base percentage (.427) and fifth in slugging percentage (.579), all in which indicate the makings of an All-Star. Well, if those numbers are not enough to impress you, performances like he had Tuesday night against the Pirates should put you over the top. Ruiz went three-for-four with a home run and two RBIs as the Phillies squeaked by the Pirates 5-4 at Citizens Bank Park. In addition to Ruiz, Ty Wigginton also added a two-run home run to extend the Phillies lead to 4-1 in the third inning.
It was not only offense that helped the Phillies in this game, it was timely defense as well as another strong pitching performance from Vance Worley that puts the Phillies now a full game ahead of the Miami Marlins as well as eight full games back from NL East leading Washington. The defense came specifically in the seventh inning with the Pirates threatening, with two on, no one out, with Michael Schwimer entering the game for the Phillies. With the Phillies only up by a single run, Schwimer was able to quickly retire the first batter with no advance, as well as force Neil Walker to fly out to John Mayberry Jr. With Michael McKenry tagging from third base, Mayberry threw a bullet to Ruiz for the double play to preserve the one run lead.
Vance Worley continues to dazzle with the Phillies as he gave six hits and three runs in six innings of work, enough to finally get the win he deserves. Though this two game winning streak the Phillies are on may not be the most impressive, but the future is looking brighter for the team. All-star Chase Utley smacked a home run in his AAA rehab start, so signs indicate that Utley’s return will be soon. First baseman Ryan Howard also has a rehab start in class-A on Thursday, in which the Phillies are hoping for similar success.
The Phillies combined to use timely offense and defense, as well as strong pitching to win Tuesday night, which hasn’t been a theme all year. The Phillies rank in the top ten in hits allowed as well as have a team ERA of 4.00. In order for the Phillies to continue to succeed, it is necessary that their starters go deeper into games, and their offense provides the spark necessary for their pitchers to feel comfortable on the mound. The Phillies sure have it cut out for them, but with the returns of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, as well as the production from role players, the Phillies have the tools to win. Whether the Phillies will do anything at the trade deadline or not, only time will tell.
About the Author
Written by Matt LaCoille
My name is Matt LaCoille and I am an extremely passionate sports fan. I've enjoyed watching my favorite sports teams since I was born, as well as talk to people about the everyday state of professional sports. Sports are my life, my passion, and my future. I have interned with multiple professional sports teams and organizations as well within the athletic departments of multiple colleges and universities. I currently attend Western New England University with a major in sports management and will continue to pursue a masters in sports administration afterwords. My goal is to one day work full time within a professional sports organization and do what I truly enjoy. Feel free to comment on the articles or message if you would like to talk sports, I'm very open to discussion. Thanks for reading!