If you've written off Darin Ruf once, twice, three, maybe four times, you probably wouldn't be alone. He's had an interesting life in the Majors thus far to say the least.
One thing's for sure, though. Ruf has never gone quietly into the night. While the Phillies may never crack the code on just how and when to use him, he'll keep going out there given the chance. He did just that Tuesday night, to the tune of a career-high 6 RBI to lead the Phillies to a 14-8 victory over a Mets team that has bested them all year long.
The Phillies apparently want to make sure that Aaron Harang sees no part of Major League Baseball's 20-loss club, too. The Phillies' right-hander went into Tuesday night's game with a bit of a cloud hanging over him, seeing that he has lost 14 games this season.
There hasn't been a 20-game loser in baseball since 2003, when Mike Maroth did it for the Tigers. The six-man rotation the Phillies will reportedly be turning to in the coming days also would seem to help Harang's case to avoid making history, but so did the Phillies' offense, despite Harang's best efforts to make things as interesting as possible.
The Phillies jumped in front 6-0, with a three-run homer from Ruf included in the early-game pounding of Jon Niese. Harang held the Mets scoreless through the first four innings, but the Mets ruffled Harang's feathers in the 5th.
Yoenis Cespedes' 27th homer of the year, a mammoth two-run blast to left, ended Harang's night. The Phillies, having blown a few five-run leads to the Mets this season, weren't about to see it happen again. Harang left the mound, slammed his glove in the dugout in frustration, and left disappointed that he wasn't allowed to work his way out of the 5th.
The Phillies weren't about to let the Mets complete the comeback, posting an eight-run sixth inning that featured a litany of Met mistakes, something we haven't had the chance to say a whole lot this season when it comes to Phils-Mets games. (So we're going to say it, damn it.) Where were we? Oh, that's right, the Phillies' kick-ass 6th inning. You want hits? You got 'em. You want Mets errors? You got that too. You want to make Mets fans squirm a little bit? Well, thanks to the Nationals, you probably aren't going to have a whole lot of that tonight, but whatever.
With two on and nobody out, Freddy Galvis laid down a sac bunt in an attempt to move two runners into scoring position. Bobby Parnell fielded the ball and proceeded to rifle it away down the first base line, allowing a run to score with Galvis reaching safely.
From there, Darnell Sweeney, who has certainly impressed thus far, belted a two-run double to the gap in right-center. Darin Ruf singled to score a pair, giving him his 5th and 6th RBIs of the night. And, that pesky Andres Blanco, who has been nothing short of a bench wizard, added a two-run double to make it 13-4. Another Mets error put the Phillies up by a 10-spot.
The Phillies' bullpen did their best to lengthen the game as much as humanly possible, with Jeanmar Gomez spending upwards of 45 seconds per pitch trying to figure out what he was going to throw with a 10-run lead. Agonizing would be the word that comes to mind. The Mets did add three late runs, including two off of Gomez, but the Phillies finally brought things home for a 14-8 victory.
With the win, the Phillies snap their 10-game losing streak against the Mets here in 2015, and are now 2-13 against the New Yorkers overall. Hey, it wouldn't be right to start September with anything other than a Mets loss.