Ruf Night–and Details About the Rest of the Bats Series

It was a tough old night at the ball park.  The star left fielder got hurt right off the “Bats.”  The umps aren’t sure what constitutes a balk, and emotions ran high–even when they shouldn’t have.  Add in the AAA-debuts for two players and a jersey auction and you’ve got a full night, my friend.

Darin Ruf escorted off the field after crashing into the wall.  Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Darin Ruf escorted off the field after crashing into the wall. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Darin Ruf, in town to get some consistent at-bats before a likely return to the Phillies, crashed into the left-field wall making a play for a ball.  He suffered a sprained wrist and a knee laceration.  Word late last night was not optimistic about his return.  I believe the ‘Pigs are going to need a couple roster spots today as Horst and Aumont officially “report.”  A 7-Day DL stint is likely, I’d think.

Shortly thereafter, our new friend and starting pitcher Chris Bootcheck unleashed that spectacular move he has to second base.  But, like Greg Smith’s move to first, it might be too good.  He was called for a balk, even though the umps couldn’t even seem to agree on it.  A sac fly and we’re down 1-0.

Enter Tyson Gillies.  It was reported yesterday that he’s been nursing a thigh contusion suffered on the road trip in a collision at first base.  While he wasn’t in the starting lineup yesterday, he was listed as “available.”  It would have been easy to simply drop Steve Susdorf into Ruf’s spot in left and into his cleanup spot in the order following the injury.  However, Brundage gave Tyson the opportunity–and shuffled starting CF Leandro Castro over to left.  Later in the game, with runners at first and second and one out, Tyson grounded into a double play.  Down by one at the time, it was a disappointing play, but it happens.  Tyson couldn’t beat it out, and is likely slowed by the injury.  What happened next is not exactly clear.  Tyson was removed from the game in a double-switch with the pitcher added in his spot, and Susdorf added in the pitcher’s spot.  It’s unclear if Tyson was upset about being removed from the game, upset with the play or frustrated with his injury; however, another outburst occurred in the dugout and tunnel between Tyson and some of the coaches. There was yelling and screaming. Brundage neither confirmed nor denied it following the game, and no other details are available at this time.  We’ll see what happens today, with regards to the roster and starting lineups, and if anything more is said or reported.  He’s gotta keep it together, though.  Again, it was a 1-run game at the time!  Let’s play smart baseball.  I’ve been a fan and defender of Tyson through the years.  I want him to be successful.  I don’t want these incidents to get in his way, but…

Gillies Photo: Chryl Pursell

Photo: Chryl Pursell

In happier news, OF Cameron Perkins got his first AAA start in RF and also his first hit.  The single to right was a nice piece of hitting as the Bats were shifting more than a defective transmission.  Tyler Knigge gave up a run in the eighth and another in the ninth before giving way to Shawn Camp.  Not the shut-down stuff he’s used to in Reading, but he got his feet wet and we’ll look for improvement his next time out.

Welcome Cameron Perkins! Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Welcome Cameron Perkins!
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Tyler Knigge Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Tyler Knigge
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

The jersey auction was for the old Saturday red unis.  I’m a sucker for the Wilson Authentics (right, Rick?) with name plates, and ended up with two.  The prices were’t too high, probably because very few were autographed and there was no on-field presentation.  Nevertheless, why let them go to waste when money can be had for IronPigs Charities?  I’m all in!

Team Status:  The IronPigs sit at 30-29, 3.5 games back in the IL North, tied with SWB for third place. It’s a fine position, but as I have mentioned, it is necessary to tie or win series, and maintain that 5-5 or better in “Last 10” at all times.  That way we’re ready to strike when we get hot!

More on the Louisville Series:

RHP Mat Latos starts for the Bats tonight.  It’s his third rehab start as he prepares to return to the Reds.  Decal had mentioned the possibility of a Joey Votto rehab as well, but it doesn’t look like he’s going to make it.  We’ll see.

Wednesday night is autograph night–get there early and bring your binder full of baseball cards to get signed.  Just kidding.  It sounds like my kids are going to bag out, and since I’m not an autograph guy I probably won’t battle the crowds–I’ll just come for the game.

Thursday will bring the Phanatic back to town, for the first time this year.  I know Lindsay’s looking forward to it…

Please Practice Safe  Phanaticism  Photo (c) Cheryl Pursell

Please Practice Safe Phanaticism
Photo (c) Cheryl Pursell

The Bats series wraps up on Friday with the traditional “black out” and fireworks.


Pitching probables:

Wednesday: LHP Greg Smith (4-3, 3.96) vs. RHP Mat Latos (0-0, 2.08)

Thursday: RHP Barry Enright (3-3, 4.36) vs RHP Tim Crabbe (3-5, 4.60)

Friday: RHP Sean O’Sullivan (2-5, 4.36) vs RHP Josh Smith (6-1, 3.31)



Wednesday: Meatball Sandwich

Thursday: Dirty Dog (Hot Dog with toppings)

Friday: Kielbasa


Roster Moves:

As expected from above:  Darin Ruf to DL (7-day in the Minors), Addison Maruszak to Reading.  Horst clears waivers, accepts assignment, and is activated. AND, the Phillies have signed INF Rusty Ryal from the SUGAR LAND SKEETERS (!) and assigned him to Lehigh Valley.  Here’s more on Ryal from the Skeeters’ web site:

Position: IF
Date of Birth: 03/16/1983
Height: 6′ 2″   Weight: 200 lbs
Bats: R
Throws: R


Ryal, 30, spent last season with the Dodgers’ Triple A Albuquerque and Angels’ Triple A Salt Lake, hitting at a .267 (100×375) clip with 50 RBI. Ryal spent Major League time with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2009-10, hitting .263 (70×266) during that span. The Oklahoma native also played 33 games for the Yomiuri Giants of the Japan Central League in 2011. Drafted by Arizona in the 14th round of the June 2005 Draft out of Oklahoma State University, Ryal owns a .281 (736×2619) career minor league average with 382 RBI over seven professional seasons.

More later,

See you at the park,



Categories: CherylPursellsPhotos, Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Lehigh Valley IronPigs

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