Notes: Ruiz back in the game for Phils
With elbow healing, backstop catches Hamels in Game 1
PHILADELPHIA -- Carlos Ruiz arrived at Citizens Bank Park by 8:30 a.m. ET before Wednesday's Game 1 of the National League Division Series ready to play.The left elbow that was hit by a pitch from Washington's Jason Bergmann on Sept. 30 -- forcing Ruiz from the game -- felt "good," and he wanted to tell manager Charlie Manuel. "I didn't want to miss this game," Ruiz said. "I was surprised this morning when I tested it. I was like, 'Oh my God.' I played catch and I felt good. I took a couple of swings and it felt good." Taking Ruiz at his word, Manuel inserted him into the eighth spot to catch Cole Hamels. Ruiz has caught the majority of the games down the stretch. "I've been liking the way the pitchers have been throwing him," Manuel said. "I like the way he handles [Hamels]. I like his defense and his throwing. If he's struggling a bit [at the plate], it [still] seems like he comes up with a big hit in the game for us." Ruiz intends to wear a protective brace for his at-bats, but not when he's behind the plate. Tough call: Manuel said his toughest lineup decision involved whether to start Jayson Werth or Shane Victorino in right field. Werth is 3-for-10 in his career vs. Jeff Francis with three singles, while Victorino is 1-for-3. Manuel opted for Victorino because of the speed factor. "I thought about it all night, and I like Victorino because of the speed at the top of the order," Manuel said. "We want to take advantage and see if we can get some runs as far as maybe stealing a bag. The defense is real close." A scout's dream: The Phillies and Rockies appear to be the same team. They both depend on their deadly offenses to give them a lead, and then rely on their bullpens. They are also built on their scouting. Nine Phillies and 16 Rockies were originally drafted by their respective teams -- including the starting pitchers for the first two games. That kind of success can make a scouting director smile.
"Colorado is pretty much a homegrown club," said Mike Arbuckle, the Phillies' assistant general manager, scouting and player development. "They've done a great job drafting and signing good players and developing them. Both clubs are similar in that regard. The nucleus of both clubs is by and large homegrown, with players who have good ceilings."Curse lifted? Two workers made a move they hope will end the curse of William Penn by placing a miniature statue of the state's founder atop a steel beam above the massive Comcast Tower in Center City. Boston had the Curse of the Bambino and Chicago has the Curse of the Billy Goat. Philadelphia has its own version. The curse dates to the mid-1980s, when an unpopular 1983 decision was made to allow skyscrapers to be built taller than the William Penn statue that still stands atop City Hall. The first such structure opened in 1987 (One Liberty Place).
National League Division Series schedule
|Wed., Oct. 3||10 p.m.||Chase Field||TBS|
|Thu., Oct. 4||10 p.m.||Chase Field||TBS|
|Sat. Oct. 6||6 p.m.||Wrigley Field||TBS|
|*Sun. Oct. 7||1 p.m.||Wrigley Field||TNT|
|*Tue. Oct. 9||10 p.m.||Chase Field||TBS|
|Wed., Oct. 3||3 p.m.||Citizens Bank Park||TBS|
|Thu., Oct. 4||3 p.m.||Citizens Bank Park||TBS|
|Sat. Oct. 6||9:30 p.m.||Coors Field||TBS|
|*Sun. Oct. 7||10 p.m.||Coors Field||TBS|
|*Tue. Oct. 9||6:30 p.m.||Citizens Bank Park||TBS|
|* If necessary. All times ET.|
No major Philadelphia team has won a title since the NBA's 76ers in 1983, the longest championship drought among U.S. cities with teams in the four major professional team sports, and this decision was blamed. It has become local lore for more than two decades that the ghost of the state's founder is angry with its largest city.This stunt puts a version of Penn back on top, as it peers from a steel beam atop the tallest building in the city. It's up to Penn. Game 3 starter? Jamie Moyer and Kyle Lohse will start Games 3 and 4 in Coors Field, with the order to be determined based on whether Lohse is needed for relief duty in the first two games. Nine vets: Nine members of the Phillies participated in postseason play prior to 2007: Antonio Alfonseca, Rod Barajas, Tom Gordon, Tadahito Iguchi, Jose Mesa, Moyer, Abraham Nunez, J.C. Romero and Aaron Rowand. Philling in: The Phillies have reached the postseason for the 10th time in franchise history. They have one World Series championship, five NL pennants and seven NL East titles. The last three times they reached the playoffs (1993, 1983, 1980), they advanced to the World Series. ... The Phillies announced the starting lineup during the pregame ceremonies backward, to allow for MVP candidate and leadoff hitter Jimmy Rollins to come out last. ... LHP Joshua Outman, one of the Phillies' top pitching prospects, will be one of 24 players to represent the United States in the 2007 International Baseball Federation World Cup in Chinese Taipei from Nov. 6-18. Outman, a 10th round pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, went 12-6 with a 2.99 ERA combined with Single-A Clearwater and Double-A Reading.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.