Phillies and Carlos Ruiz: Top 51 Moments for Chooch
31. Backwards bunt turned into a double-play
Another odd play Ruiz was part of was a double play started by a backwards bunt. It bounced on the plate and back into Ruiz’s hand, who fired it down to second to Freddy Galvis to start a 2-6-4 double play. The play was very close as the Marlins debated with home plate umpire Angel Hernandez about where Ruiz fielded the ball, saying he did so in foul territory. Unfortunately for them, their dispute couldn’t do much as the play was not eligible for review, giving the Phillies a double play.
30. Every “strike ’em out throw ’em out” double play
Chooch turned 62 double-plays as a Phillie, many of which were the classic “strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out” plays. Few catchers in baseball have an arm as strong as Ruiz, who could frame a pitch and immediately fire a laser to third base. A double play is a pitchers best friend, but when the catcher turns one to escape a jam it feels even better.
29. Papelbon save record
Everyone has their own opinions on Jonathan Papelbon, who in his prime was the best closer in baseball. He’s the Phillies all-time leader in saves, and Ruiz is a major piece of that record. Only Jason Varitek caught more innings from Papelbon. However, the record clinching save turned by Papelbon is largely known as a great throw by Jeff Francoeur to get the double play from right field.
Ruiz’s tag at the plate is just as great as the throw, and it seals a piece of Phillies history.
28. First career home run
After six years in the Phillies minor league system log-jammed by Mike Lieberthal, Carlos Ruiz made his major league debut May 6, 2006 against the Giants. Chooch went hitless in his debut but ultimately made up for it with some fireworks on the Fourth of July against the Padres. That’s where Ruiz hit the first of many home runs in a 6-5 win over San Diego.