His minor-league winning percentage is well over .700. In the bigs, he's never won a game and sports an 8.16 ERA in 20 games.
Confidence and aggressiveness have been a big problem for Ruffcorn in the majors, but he thinks he may have made strides in both areas on his recent assignment to triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he went 2-0 with a 1.16 ERA in five games. Ruffcorn hurled back-to-back complete-game shutouts for the Red Barons on May 20 and 26.
``I know the Phillies want to see something from me,'' Ruffcorn said yesterday. ``I want to prove something to myself, too. I know I deserve to be here even if my [major-league] stats don't show it.''
If Ruffcorn is to be successful tonight, he will have to locate his pitches well. His radar gun readings have only been 88-89 m.p.h. this season, a drop from the 93-m.p.h. fastball he used to feature.
May's day. With Darren Daulton as the designated hitter in an American League park, Derrick May got the start in right for the Phils last night.
If Daulton had gotten his wish of being traded to an American League club, May would be starting in right most of the time, at least until Danny Tartabull returns from his broken foot.
``Sure, I've thought about what might happen if Darren was traded,'' May admitted. ``I'd love to get the opportunity to play more. That's all I've ever wanted. But I'm not saying I want to see Darren leave, either. It's just a situation I have to deal with.''
May entered last night hitting .277 with a homer and seven RBIs. Most of his work has come as a pinch-hitter and defensive replacement for Daulton.
Unraveling Sox. The Red Sox played last night's game short two bodies.
Slugger Mo Vaughn, the American League MVP in 1995, injured his left knee in the third inning of Sunday night's interleague game against the Mets and will miss three to six weeks.
Outfielder Wil Cordero, who was arrested last week for spousal abuse, did not dress for the game. Cordero and his agent, Jeff Moorad, met with Red Sox management yesterday afternoon, and it was decided he should sit out for several more days.
Rumblings were that the Red Sox were worried about fan outlash toward Cordero. He will likely return to the lineup when the team plays in Detroit later this week.
Making the Red Sox manpower problems a little more glaring, catcher Bill Hasselman is limited to emergency duty because of a neck injury.
Familiar faces. In honor of the first interleague game in Boston, former Red Sox and Phillies pitcher Jim Lonborg threw out the first pitch. Mike Ryan, who caught for the Phils and Red Sox, received Lonborg's pitch.
Lonborg is a dentist in the Boston area. Ryan, the former Phils bullpen coach, lives in nearby New Hampshire.
Phils general manager Lee Thomas, who is on this trip, was the Red Sox first baseman late in the 1965 season when Dave Morehead pitched the last no-hitter at Fenway Park. Thomas hit a homer in the game and pulled the final out from the dirt on a low throw from Morehead, who had fielded a comebacker.