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"I'm old, I really don't throw very hard and I don't strike people out," Ruwe said. "It's funny, Ben and I both kind of throw the same pitches, but he strikes everybody out and I don't strike anybody out. We kind of have the same approaches. He just misses more bats than I do."

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"I'm going to do this for as long as I can," he said when asked what drives him to keep playing. "Playing baseball gives me an excuse to keep being a bum the rest of the year."

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pitching over the top put a strain on Adidas Primeknit Black And White his arm, so a high school coach suggested the sidearm delivery, and Ruwe says his mechanics haven't changed since.

A bit surprising for a guy who had opened his professional career by going 26 12 in three seasons with the Lincoln Saltdogs, but Canaries skipper Steve Shirley decided not to bring Ruwe back in 2012, and nobody else made an offer. So there Ruwe was, out of the game at age 29, when the Saints came calling, needing a starter for their second half stretch drive.

"We're really hopeful that he and Ben can go out and set the tone for us," Shirley said. "Those are two guys that you know can pitch deep into ballgames and, nine times out of ten, will give you a chance to win a game."

Pitcher Kyle Ruwe was out of a job two summers ago. Now, he's the second half of a 1 2 punch alongside Ben Moore.(Photo: Joe Ahlquist / Argus Leader)The right hander and veteran of independent baseball was "just sitting on the couch," he says, having not pitched since going 4 5 with a 4.62 earned run average in 16 starts with the Sioux Falls Pheasants in 2011.

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"I was backed into a corner; I didn't have a job," says the 31 year old. "I wanted to keep playing, so I just went out and battled as much as I could."

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So his resurgence hasn't been driven by any mechanical adjustments or strategic changes so much as his need to survive.

When Ruwe started out, Adidas Neo New Model

Ruwe's emergence has been beneficial to Moore, who admitted he's often taken the mound the last few years with the burden of being expected to snap the team out of a losing streak. Having a second ace lessens the pressure on Moore and makes the rest of the team less uneasy when Moore is not on the mound.

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"No," Ruwe says with a chuckle. "I wanted to pitch. I just couldn't find a job."

´╗┐Canaries veteran pitcher Ruwe making most of second chance

had two solid years with Sussex of the Can Am League, but when he went 6 9 with an unsightly 6.64 ERA in 20 starts for Rockford of the Northern League in 2010, there weren't a lot of teams knocking on his door.

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And for Ruwe, it's continued a career that has been played mostly for fun (he was never drafted), and almost ended twice before his 30th birthday.

Ruwe, like Moore, succeeds despite less than intimidating stuff. Both barely break 80 mph with their fastballs, and while Moore uses his changeup and breaking ball to rack up league leading strikeout totals, Ruwe's stiff sidearm delivery nets few strikeouts but Adidas Originals Shoes New

In nine starts, Ruwe went 4 2 with a 2.69 ERA, bringing his career off the mat. Ruwe's re emergence gives the Birds a formidable 1 2 punch atop the rotation, a foundation they'll lean on heavily as they try to vault back into contention with a roster made up mostly of new faces.

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"It was really two years in a row that I had trouble finding a job," Ruwe said. "In 2011, I was just sitting at home when Steve called, but after that season they let me go, and there I was again in 2012 sitting at home. The Saints picked me up and I threw the ball pretty well, so I guess I was good enough for (the Canaries) to want me back last year."

Had he retired? Suffered an injury?

Ruwe's career has had a couple of stops and starts in the last few years. After leaving the Saltdogs after the 2007 season, he Adidas Los Angeles Size 5

even fewer hard hit balls.

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