Kimbrel’s Heat Helps Chooch Lock In
Carlos Ruiz flied out to center field following a six-pitch at-bat with Braves closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth inning last night.
Ruiz saw five fastballs: four at 96 mph, and one at 98 mph.
Kimbrel’s heat might have helped Ruiz hit his pinch-hit grand slam this afternoon in a 10-2 victory over the Braves. Ruiz was hitting .238 (5 for 21) before today.
“Kimbrel got Chooch swinging good,” Charlie Manuel said. “He was busting him some fastballs, and finally Chooch got his timing down pretty good. Today when (Scott) Linebrink came out he threw one by him. He tried to throw another one by him and he was ready. You’d be surprised sometimes. When you have an at-bat of six, seven, eight, nine pitches and somebody’s throwing hard, that can definitely help you get your timing down.”
Ruiz, who crushed a 0-2 fastball, agreed.
“Charlie told me after the game (last night), ‘You had really good swings against Kimbrel,’” Ruiz said. “I said, ‘Yes, I would like to face him again.’ Right then I started to feel better. That was good. That was good for me.”