What We Know: 40 Games In

Remember how much fun it was to watch a winning team? Well, the past week and change has been a fun trip back to those days, even if key components are still missing. The Phillies are 21-19, winners of six straight and seven of their last eight. They’re still in last in the division and four games back of the top spot, so things aren’t all rosy, but this has been the best week of a thus-far-mediocre season. All I really want to do is glow about what a monstrously good start to the season Carlos Ruiz has had.

Games 33-40 Recap

  • Record: 7-1
  • RS: 49; RA: 34
  • Notes: Vance Worley hit the 15-day DL, but avoided surgery. Joe Savery was recalled.
  • Ruiz hit .560/.621/.840 in these eight games, with two stolen bases.
  • And speaking of Chooch
How about this Ruiz fellow, eh? A .371/.415/.621 slash on the season to date puts him among the top hitters in baseball. Right now, he’s even outslugging Ryan Braun and David Ortiz. Is he going to stay on this level all year? Almost certainly not. His .360 BABIP figures to take a couple steps down, but even when it does, he’ll be posting a line that’s more than respectable for as good a defensive catcher as he is, to boot.Ruiz is doing big time damage on pitches over the heart of the plate – as you’d want every hitter to do – but is also feasting on pitches in the upper half of the zone. A popular talking point on Chooch in those handy-dandy “scouting report” broadcast graphics is that he loves to hit the fastball. It’s easy to say that about the majority of Major Leaguers, but it really has been particularly true of Ruiz to date. Carlos has been thrown 244 fastballs in 2012, of which he has only swung on and missed four times. He’s batting .446 with a 1.222 OPS when he puts a fastball in play.
I really don’t have much else to say in this update, so I’ll just let this one belong to Chooch. He’s certainly earned it.

Bobby Valentine’s Hilarious Tirade

The ninth inning was plenty entertaining last night as the Phillies defeated the Boston Red Sox 6-4. In what could have been a sticky situation, a nice defensive play by Jimmy Rollins and a correct ruling from first base umpire Gary Darling helped the Phillies prevent the floodgates from opening and prompted Bobby Valentine to have one of the funnier temper tantrums in recent memory. No, he was no Lloyd McClendon, but you’ll see what I mean after the jump.

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