ST. Louis — Jean Segura’s professional career stretched over eleven seasons, and 1,328 matches until reaching the playoffs, which is which is the most active stretch in major leagues. The morning of his debut playoff game in the playoffs, Jean Segura was the Philadelphia Phillies’ second baseman barely got a nap. He woke early at seven a.m. “with adrenaline in my body.” The day wore on and the edge remained.
“I was mentally focused on every play, every pitch,” Segura declared. “I came prepared today to play a game, and to be able to be here — I just thank God that everything was on my side.”
The Phillies down a runner and the bases loaded, one left in the ninth inning’s top of the ninth, and with being the St. Louis Cardinals scrambling to get their closer back Segura managed to sneak a grounder over an infield that was slightly drawn-in that scored two runs, making the Phillies to a surprisingly convincing victory of 6-3 in the first game of their best of three wild-card series. The Phillies are at the brink of making it to an eventual National League Division Series.
The Cardinals were backed by an impressive performance from Jose Quintana and an electrifying pinch-hit homer hit by Juan Yepez, held a 22-0 advantage going into the last inning. were confident that they could secure winning Game 1. They were playing at home and had a sold out Busch Stadium crowd at a high with their lights-out out closer Ryan Helsley, was on the mound.
What happened next strained credulity.
The Cardinals had a record of 93-0 in the history of postseason play when they were leading by multiple runs in the ninth innings. The Phillies in contrast were 0-54 in the regular season, in the exact scenario. They scored six times, which is the most for an opponent that was trailing at the start of the ninth postseason in the history of the sport. All of their runs were through hard contact. Alec Bohm was plunked with the bases loaded. Brandon Marsh hit a chopper which bounced off Nolan Arenado’s glove. Nolan Arenado, Kyle Schwarber hit a sacrifice fly, and Bryson Stott scored an out when Paul Goldschmidt made a diving play with his grounder, but then threw it in the wrong direction to get home.
The most impressive hits resulted from the bat of Segura who swung at the ball with a low and far towards Andre Pallante and hit a four-hopper on the right that got through the large Tommy Edman, who was playing in a slight way to make up to Segura’s velocity. The Cardinals were able to use the ground ball pitcher in opposition to an incoming ground ball player and hit a grounder that could have led to an end-of-game double playhowever, it was a little away from the center.
“That’s just kind of how the inning went,” Arenado declared. “It wasn’t going our way.”
It all appeared to be a result of Helsley’s middle finger right hand that stuck while he was gathering himself during a fielding move in the final match of regular-season play. Helsley was throwing pitches from the mound during Thursday’s practice and, despite admitting that his finger was feeling a bit stiff, he told that the Cardinals that he was in good shape to play during the postseason.
Cardinals Manager Oliver Marmol turned to Helsley after one pitched with one on in the 8th inning and saw him quickly take care on Marsh as well as Schwarber. Just after the ninth inning had begun but, Marmol said Helsley “started to lose a little bit of feel for his pitches.”
Helsley who was hailed this year as one of the best closers in the league Helsley began to fall out of the strike zone, and eventually pitched just the ninth of his pitches to strike during the 9th. J.T. Realmuto pitched a single with one out and then Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos were able to draw back-to-back walks, with both on pitches which are high and inside or too low and outside. The Cardinals were playing with Pallante along with Jack Flaherty warming in the bullpen. Bohm was Helsley’s final batter -Helsley would hit him. Helsley struck Bohm in the left shoulder with a speed of 101 mph.
In the wake of throwing out a warming-up ball well outdoors, Helsley exited, then left Busch Stadium to get imaging done on his painful finger.
The character could be cut off for the entire series.
“We’ve had guys step up all year,” Marmol told me. “If he goes down, someone else has to step up and do that job, so it’s part of it. No one’s going to feel sorry for us, I’ll tell you that. “
Friday’s ninth inning was the only half-inning of the game this season in which teams allowed at minimum six earned runs on three or fewer hits and no extra-base hits being allowed according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Five games in the history of postseason play when a team had a lead of two or more scores after the eighth innings losing by two or more runs. And the Cardinals have played in three of the. It was the first time that the Phillies had scored at least six runs in a postseason game.
They chose the perfect day.
“It was special,” said Zack Wheeler, who threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings to the Cardinals after removing with three batters left prior to when Jose Alvarado gave up the two-run homer to Yepez.
“That was probably the most exciting inning I’ve ever been a part of,” Realmuto declared in the ninth’s top of the inning. “And it didn’t even take a big home run. The momentum was there for us and multiple guys stepped up when they needed to.”