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Ruiz Makes Strong All-Star Pitch, Worley Consistent As Phillies Top Pirates
Posted By Matt LaCoille On Jun 27 2012 @ 11:40 am In Philadelphia,Philadelphia Phillies | 1 Comment
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.
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