"He started swelling," Manuel said. "I figured we better get him in and get some ice on him as soon as possible."
After emerging from a lengthy stay in the trainer's room, Ruiz said X-rays were negative and expressed guarded optimism that he'd be good to go for Game 1 against Cincinnati.
"I'm a little sore right now," he said. "We'll see [Monday] when I wake up. I hope I feel all right for Wednesday. But right now it's sore."
A catcher with a growing reputation for his defense and handling of the pitching staff, the compact Panamanian, affectionately known as "Chooch," finished the season as the Phillies' leader in batting average (.302) and on-base percentage (.400).
"He had a big season, man," Manuel said. "The last two years, Chooch has really improved his game. He handles it defensively and how the pitchers call a game. He's become what I call a complete catcher. I'm happy for him. I'm proud of him."
In a normal season, anything the Phillies got from Ruiz's bat would have been considered a bonus. But this wasn't a normal season as 18 Phillies spent time on the disabled list, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley among them. Ruiz filled the void with several clutch hits.
"When we had our troubles offensively, he definitely had some huge hits for us against some big pitchers," Manuel said.
Ruiz said he had always wanted to bat .300 but indicated that nothing would make him happier than winning another World Series.
"It's been a very good year, but, you know, personally I want to play in the World Series. That's a big thing for me," he said.
Ruiz became the fourth catcher to lead the Phillies in hitting since 1971 and the first since Mike Lieberthal in 2003.
J.C. Romero left the mound with what the Phillies called soreness in the left side of his lower back after allowing a run in two-thirds of an inning of work.
"We don't think it's going to be an issue," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.
Romero is the Phillies' only experienced lefthander out of the bullpen. If his back continues to bother him, the role of lefty reliever will fall on young Antonio Bastardo.
"I had a little pain going down my leg a little bit that I felt before, and it got worse," Romero said. "But I should be all right [for Wednesday]. I was just being smart so it wouldn't get really bad. I'll go home and just do the exercises they tell me to do, and I'll be fine."
Romero didn't want to aggravate his sciatic nerve, he said.
"I don't know if it's the beds or what, but the last couple days I've been a little tighter than normal," he said. "Every time I tried to drop down on my sinkers, I felt it grab. It was just a precaution. I didn't want to push it and try to be a hero today. But I'll be ready."
Tune-up for pitchers
With two days off before the playoffs, Manuel used eight pitchers Sunday.
Cole Hamels, who will start Game 3 Sunday in Cincinnati, started and went two hitless innings.
Afterward, Hamels said he didn't mind pitching Game 3 behind Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt.
"It puts our team in the best scenario," he said. "To have [three] guys who could each start a Game 1, I think it instills confidence in each other and hopefully in our offense, just knowing any one of us can get the job done and do a very good job. But we do have to get the job done."
Hamels is 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA in four career starts at Cincinnati.
"I'm excited to watch our first two games at home and then get ready for the game on the road," he said.
The Phillies finished with the best record in the majors (97-65) for the first time in club history. . . . The Phils have until 10 a.m. Wednesday to set their 25-man postseason roster.
Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or email@example.com.