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A guide to being pinch hit for with Darin Ruf with the bases loaded and no outs

Uh oh! Coach is calling you back to the bench. "We're gonna go with Darin here." Huh.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Well, how 'bout that? Maikel Franco just singled, and now the bases are loaded with nobody out. You'd have to be a sack of turnips not to knock in a run now! But you're not a sack of turnips. You're the Phillies' five-hole hitter, and this situation is exactly why you're hitting where you are.

So, just grab a bat - just, excuse Larry Bowa, he likes to gnaw on them in the later innings, there you go - now head on up to the plate and let's tie this game up!

Uh oh. Coach has his "tinkering" look on his face; you know he's about to do something weird. Maybe get up the steps quickly before he can decide to--


Welp, you heard him. Put the helmet back in the hole, friend. Looks like you're done for the day. And just when you were probably going to log some ribbies, too - darn it! Darn it to plain old heck!

Understandably, you're probably pretty upset. Coach is sending Darin Ruf out there to take a whack at this tailor-made scoring opportunity, and you know if you were a couple years younger, there's no way he'd be plucking your nitro-laced bat out of the lineup in favor of your weak-hitting, albeit friendly, platoon mate. No way in heck!

So, let's break down what your next few moments should be like.

Calm down

Take a few deep breaths. That wasn't the last chance you'll have to be a part of this offense. It may feel like it some nights, but you will get to stand in with runners in scoring position again. Probably. Haven't you seen how much Mackanin has the runners running these days? It's like they start on second base! All you've got to do is wait your turn and hope that Chooch doesn't get anymore delusions of grandeur.

After all, coach said he was going to do this. Don't act surprised. Would it have been nice to stay in the game to see the end of what is probably your last home opener for this team? Yes, of course. Well, no, it probably wouldn't have been "nice," per se, but it certainly would have been a nice gesture.

Ah, well.

Plus, there's the whole thing with Ruf being able to hit lefties and you... uh. Hey, let's just find a seat.

Take a seat on the bench

After all, you've earned it! It's been a long afternoon. Who's even on the bench these days, anyway? Is Grady Sizemore still around here somewhere? Is that a "dreads guy" over in the corner? When did we get a "dreads guy?" He seems cool. Maybe he's got a story to share. Maybe it's about dreads.

Oh, I know - go tussle Aaron Nola's hair. He's young, he'll appreciate the big brotherly gesture. Then stop by to see what kind of awesomely-detailed drawing of a dragon Bob McClure is sketching on the clipboard today. He doesn't know everyone knows he loves to draw them yet. You'd make fun of him but they're actually pretty sweet.

Maybe gnaw on a bat with Larry

Odd looks aside, you have noticed Bowa has been a lot less furious lately. The guys have been talking - he must be doing something to work out his aggression. The sight of him quietly working over the fat end of a bat with his teeth has just become so familiar that you look right past it, but it makes total sense now.

You know what's weird? His teeth don't ever seem to get worn down. Maybe they just grow super sharp and super fast and he has to keep chewing on wood so they don't get too long and pierce his brain, like a beaver.

Watch the at-bat

Just because it's not you out there doesn't mean the team won't score! This is a team sport, after all. Aren't you rooting for the team's success? Okay. All right. Just checking. I have to ask that.

There's Darin, he's walking to the plate now. What's his walk-up music this year?


All right, here we go.

Well, that didn't take long.

Try to remember the infield fly rule

You know, this really isn't that hard. People make it out like umpires are doing a series of equations in their heads every time this situation comes up but all they really do is just throw their fists in the air - batter out, done.

So, yeah. You knew the rule. Why it's taken other people on this team two extra lessons (so far) to understand it is beyond you.

Watch as the umpires review the play

Incredible. You can only marvel as the wonders of technology work their magic. The umps gather by the visiting dugout with an official representative of MLB Advanced Media and, through sheer innovation, learn of the play's true fate from a man in a dark room full of monitors one hundred miles from here. Truly, this is the sport of kings.

They're just standing there.

Oh, here comes Aaron. Tussle his hair now.

Huh. He didn't like it. He acted like it was funny but you could see in his eyes he thought it was weird. Well, you blew that. The moment was awkward enough to get McClure to look up from his drawing. His mustache twitched as if it, too, were irritated.

Thank god, looks like they've made the call.

Get the results

Huh. So now there's two outs with only one runner on? But the run did score? See, I told you you couldn't not get a run home in that situation. All right! Tie game!

Wait. Everyone looks pissed.

Reflect on the results

Yeah, come to think of it, that doesn't really seem like that's how that should go. And now Cameron Rupp has struck out, and the inning is over. You can't help but feel like maybe you could have done something a little more interesting than an "immediate, sky-high double play."

Oh well. At least now you can relax. Here comes Darin to get his glove. Don't make eye contact.

Nice. Nice.

Wait, is Aaron saying something to coach? Are they looking at you now? Man, he really didn't like that hair-tussle. Probably you should just lean on the railing and not talk to anybody for a little.


Here's how Ryan Howard, the only person this has ever happened to, responded: