SAN FRANCISCO -- Cameron Rupp crushed it.But it is whom he crushed his two-run home run against in the seventh inning Saturday night in a 3-2 victory over the Giants at AT&T Park that made it more impressive. Rupp mashed a 3-2 fastball to center field against Giants ace Madison
SAN FRANCISCO -- Cameron Rupp crushed it.
But it is whom he crushed his two-run home run against in the seventh inning Saturday night in a 3-2 victory over the Giants at AT&T Park that made it more impressive. Rupp mashed a 3-2 fastball to center field against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, who had not allowed more than three earned runs in a start since April 15.
"Big Head, he's come up with some big hits for us," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said.
Rupp hit this ball so hard and so far -- it left his bat at 109 mph and traveled 433 feet, according to Statcast™ -- he could not remember if he felt the ball leave the bat.
"I don't know if you do feel it," he said. "At that moment, the adrenaline, the time of the game, a big hit against a guy like that, no, I don't think I really did."
Rupp entered the game tied for fifth among big league catchers in OPS (.773) and tied for fourth in slugging percentage (.468). In a season when the Phillies' front office is evaluating players for the future, Rupp is solidifying himself a spot in the team's plans.
"He's really put in action what he's working on with his swing path," Mackanin said.
"I'm trying to take my batting practice into the game, trying to drive the ball into the gaps," Rupp said. "For me, getting on first base, it takes three hits to score me because I can't run, so driving the ball is something I've been working on, hitting the ball in the gap, driving in runs and hitting the ball out of the ballpark when I get pitches to do it. I feel like that's the guy I need to be and that's what I'm going to continue to work on."
But Rupp will not be starting Sunday's series finale. Carlos Ruiz will be behind the plate, catching Aaron Nola for the first time in his career. Nola has a 15.83 ERA in his last three starts and Mackanin hopes Ruiz's game-calling skills can snap Nola out of his funk.
Mackanin said Rupp is in a learning process behind the plate.
"Catching is first for me," Rupp said. "Anything I do at the plate is a plus. And I want to be back there every day, but I respect [Mackanin's] decision. And Chooch could help Nola. This is a guy that's never struggled in the big leagues. Chooch has been back there, World Series, no-hitters, perfect game, it's a guy that could get him back on track. And I'm all for it. We need him to be on his 'A' game every fifth day, and if that's what it takes, absolutely, you know?"
But if Rupp continues to hit, he will remain the No. 1 guy. He proved again Saturday night why he has become just that.
Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.