After joining the big club on September 10th, Darin Ruf has spent most of his time riding the bench. Nicknamed "Babe Ruf" in Reading after setting the Reading Phillies single-season home run record while winning the Eastern League MVP and Rookie of the Year, Ruf has yet to see a start in the major leagues. That changes tonight.
Facing a left-handed starter, the Phillies hope Ruf's bat will give the lineup some life. The Phillies have generally struggled against left-handed pitching. Ruf will start in left field and bat seventh. Recent left field starts against left-handed pitching have gone to Ty Wigginton, who had some adventures there. In three plate appearances, Ruf is 0-2 and has a sacrifice fly to his credit.
Could this be a sign that the Phillies are realizing they do not have a chance to win the second Wild Card? Possibly. Hopefully we will get to see what Ruf can bring the team over the next nine games to see if he has a future in Philadelphia.
Greg will have the full lineup and game preview shortly.