Carlos Ruiz at Third Base?

Charlie Manuel just put Carlos Ruiz at third base in the ninth inning of tonight’s game against the New York Mets. Like, defensively.

Box score, a.k.a. proof that it actually happened.

I just have to ask Charlie Manuel, “Uh, what?”

Eric Bruntlett, a utility infielder, hasn’t been used yet. 4-5-6 hitters due up in the ninth, Brad Lidge/pinch-hitter (Bruntlett) is in the 7-hole. Charlie’s hoping for some baserunners, although maybe it’s not such a bad idea to have your reliever hit. After all, Clay Condrey did hit a double earlier in the game and scored on a Jimmy Rollins two-run home run.

Luckily, Ruiz didn’t have to do any fielding. Lidge got Carlos Beltran to ground out to Rollins and struck out Carlos Delgado and Fernando Tatis.

Let’s hope Manuel played his cards right.

UPDATE: Mets reliever Luis Ayala got the first two outs but Jayson Werth saved Manuel from criticism by getting a single to bring up Bruntlett.

Bruntlett tied the game with an RBI double. Charlie is a genius? (Intentional question mark.) Carlos Ruiz is robbed of a hit by Jose Reyes to bring the game to extra innings.

Speaking of updates, once this game is final, the BABIP and LI spreadsheets will be updated. Oh yeah, and I have an article up at Baseball Digest Daily on the Phillies possibly transferring their offensive ineptitude to the L.A. Dodgers.

UPDATE #2: This game is pretty freakin’ entertaining. Cole Hamels is pinch-hitting since the Phillies have no more bench players available. Runners on first and second with one out.

Hamels struck out looking.

UPDATE #3: Not going to update again until the game goes final but it’s in the 13th inning now, making this the longest game of the year for the Phillies. They’d played four twelve-inning games (04/10, 07/06, 07/11, and 08/08) previously. Still 7-7.

An interesting note, looking over the FanGraphs play log: only two line drives have been hit in the game. Carlos Delgado hit one in the fourth inning and Brian Schneider just hit one in the thirteenth inning; the Phillies have hit none. With 78 outs in 26 half-innings, that’s a LD% of 2.5%.

UPDATE #4: The game is close to ending. Shane Victorino led off the bottom of the thirteenth with a triple, so the Mets intentionally walked the next two hitters (Werth and Bruntlett) to get to pinch-hitter Brett Myers. Bases loaded, no outs for Myers.

He worked the count to 3-2 then struck out looking — a smart move not to swing, considering how high the probability of a double play was.

Coste wins it with a line drive over Carlos Beltran’s head (he was playing in, obviously). 8-7.Now we can sleep. BABIP and LI spreadsheets updated. The following chart comes courtesy FanGraphs:

Mets-Phillies 08/26/08

Oddly enough, there were only five events in the game that had a Leverage Index (LI) higher than 5.00. Three came in the eighth inning, one came in the eleventh, and obviously Coste’s hit in the 13th. All of them were while the Phillies were hitting.