Jay's right forearm connected solidly with Ruiz's jaw. But the Phillies catcher held the ball as he tumbled backward and home-plate umpire Jerry Meals called Jay out.
Ruiz didn't even need a standing eight-count. He held his ground in what is one of the most dangerous plays in baseball, the most infamous of which was Pete Rose's collision with Ray Fosse in the 1970 all-star game.
In late May, San Francisco's Buster Posey was lost for the season with a broken left leg when Florida's Scott Cousins plowed into the Giants' catcher in scoring the winning run in the bottom of the 13th inning.
Coincidence or not, the 2010 World Series champions were never the same.
Posey's agent, Jeff Berry, blasted major-league baseball for not protecting catchers.
"If you go helmet-to-helmet in the NFL, it's a $100,000 fine," Berry told ESPN. "But in baseball . . . it's brutal. It's borderline shocking."
Ruiz showed his toughness on the play.
Another Panamanian, boxer Roberto Duran, was known as "Hands of Stone."
Ruiz's jaw might be made of the same stuff.
Two innings later, Ruiz, Jay and Ibanez were involved in another sequence that resulted in another bang-bang, two-out play at the plate.
This time, Jay sliced a single to left off Phillies starter Cliff Lee. Ibanez came up throwing again, firing to cut down Theriot, who was trying to score from second.
But Ibanez's throw was high. Ruiz' jaw couldn't help him. He had to jump to make the catch, and Theriot slid under the Phillies' catcher to tie the score at 4-4.
Wait for it
In the interview room before the game, Jimmy Rollins said baseball was "a game of adjustments" and that the Phillies would wait to see what Chris Carpenter was throwing to figure out how to attack the Cardinals ace.
"We don't count on him not being sharp," Rollins said.
But it was clear from Rollins' leadoff appearance that the Phillies were going to force Carpenter, who was making his first career start on three days' rest, throw a lot of pitches.
Rollins worked the count to 2-0 before ripping a double to right. Chase Utley looked at five pitches, walking on a 3-1 count. Hunter Pence walked, too.
Ryan Howard worked the count to 3-2 before bouncing a two-run single up the middle, right through the spot where most teams play their shortstop against the Phillies' slugger. But the Cardinals don't play a full shift against Howard, and shortstop Rafael Furcal was on the left side of the second-base bag and unable to reach the ball.
Against most teams, Howard's ground ball is a double play.
Rollins, who has been a bit of a free swinger in his career, was patient again in his second at-bat in the second inning. This time, he worked the count to 3-1 before driving another double off the wall in right-center field.
He scored again, too, coming home on Pence's single to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead.
"You can't say I'm going to come in with a game plan," Rollins said before the game.
But it sure looked like Rollins and the Phillies had a plan against Carpenter, right from ball one.
Desperate times, desperate measures
St. Louis manager Tony La Russa admitted that he probably wouldn't have started Carpenter on three days' rest if the Cardinals were ahead, 1-0, in the series.
But with his team looking at the possibility of an 0-2 deficit in a best-of-five series, La Russa decided to appeal to Carpenter's "competitive heart" and asked his ace to do something he hasn't done in his entire career.
Carpenter made 338 starts before Sunday night. None of them was on three days' rest. La Russa managed like it was the seventh game of the World Series. He made scorecards look like impressionist paintings.
He pinch-hit for his starting pitcher in the fourth inning. By the eighth, he had used seven pitchers, including four on four consecutive hitters, and used a double-switch on two occasions.
La Russa used four pitchers to face four batters in the eighth inning. Marc Rzepczynski hit Chase Utley with a pitch. Mitchell Boggs faced Hunter Pence, who reached on a fielder's choice. Arthur Rhodes struck out Ryan Howard. And Jason Motte retired Shane Victorino on a fly ball to center.
"I mean, leaving here 0-2 is not going to be a big plus for us trying to win the series," La Russa said before the game.
Contact staff writer Phil Anastasia at 856-779-3223, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.