Let's quickly review the statistics from these two players through game 3 of the NLCS..
Jayson Werth - .250 BA (6/24), .400 OBP, .708 SLG, 1.108 OPS - 6H, 6RBI, 7R, 1 3B, 3 HR, 6BB.
Carlos Ruiz - .429 BA (9/21), .538 OBP, .619 SLG, 1.158 OPS - 9H, 7RBI, 3R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5BB.
What these numbers show..
Jayson Werth hits the ball hard. Werth has crushed the ball this post-season, and could very easily have 4 home-runs. As with any power hitter, pitchers have become cautious with Werth which has allowed him to accrue 6 walks - Raul Ibanez has been able to take advantage of this. It is simply amazing to see that Werth has 6 hits so far in this post-season - 3 of these hits were home-runs and another was a triple. Werth is hitting the ball like a clean-up batter and has gained the respect of one too.
What I see as the most important part of Werth's success is the fact that because he has hit the ball so fiercely, pitchers are forced to pitch to Ryan Howard. Albert Pujols was pitched delicately or intentionally walked in the NLDS by the Dodgers pitchers. Going into the NLCS, "everyone" said that Howard would be neutralized by the Dodgers left-handed pitchers...I'm still waiting to see what these experts are talking about! Howard is hitting the ball as well as he ever has this October, but a lot of this success is because he is seeing good pitches. He is seeing these pitches because pitchers know Jayson Werth is on deck and has the power and hot bat that will make them pay if they pitch around Howard.
Carlos Ruiz, or Señor Octubre, is the clutch performer of the Phillies post-season thus far. The 8th batter in the line-up has smacked the ball all over the field, and into Mannywood! The Panamanian Devil is out to show people that he's back this October with a vengeance, proving that last year's playoff showing was no fluke. Ruiz is leading the team in batting average (.429) and has stepped up to drive in 7 RBI's in 7 games. Ruiz is allowing players like Ibanez and Feliz to be more selective with their swings, since they know that if they get on base they have Señor Octubre just waiting to put a confident swing on the ball.
Some people would say, "With this offensive production, the Phils should move Ruiz up to the 7 spot and push Feliz to the 8 spot." Quite the contrary, because the success of Ruiz is allowing our pitchers at bats that do not lead off innings. Ruiz is therefore putting the pitchers in the position to end or prolong innings, instead of beginning them. In playoff baseball, these simple things win games and series.
P.S. Randy Wolf is going to get smacked around tonight..a not-so-welcome back to Citizen's Bank Park.