Phillies stun Cardinals with wild 9th-inning rally to open wild card
LOUIS – – Jean Segura’s vocation spread over 11 seasons and 1,328 games before he at last came to the postseason, the longest dynamic streak in the significant associations. On the morning of his most memorable season finisher game, the Philadelphia Phillies’ second baseman scarcely dozed. He arose at 7 a.m. “with adrenaline in my body.” Friday wore on, and that edge won’t ever leave.
“I was mentally focused on every play, every pitch,” Segura said. “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.”
With the Phillies down a run, the bases stacked, one out in the highest point of the 10th and the St. Louis Cardinals scrambling to supplant their injured nearer, Segura snuck a grounder past a marginally attracted infield, plating two runs and moving the Phillies to an unrealistic 6-3 dominate in the initial match of their best-of-three special case series, putting them on the cusp of progressing into the Public Association Division Series.
The Cardinals, backed by a stellar performance from Jose Quintana and an electrifying pinch-hit homer by Juan Yepez, held a 2-0 lead heading into the final inning and had every reason to believe they were headed toward a Game 1 victory. They were at home, with a sold-out Busch Stadium crowd in a frenzy, and their lights-out closer, Ryan Helsley, was on the mound.
What followed strained credulity.
The Cardinals were 93-0 in postseason history while driving by various runs entering the 10th inning. The Phillies, in the mean time, were 0-54 during the normal season experiencing the same thing. They ended up scoring multiple times – – the most by a group following entering the 10th in postseason history. None of their runs came on hard contact. Alec Bohm was plunked with the bases stacked, Brandon Swamp hit a chopper that bobbed past the glove of Nolan Arenado, Kyle Schwarber created a fielder’s choice and Bryson Stott got a pursued Paul Goldschmidt made a plunging play on his grounder yet tossed late to home.
The biggest runs came off the bat of Segura, who lunged toward a slider low and away from Andre Pallante and hit a four-hopper to the right side that snuck through a sprawling Tommy Edman, who was playing slightly in to account for Segura’s speed. The Cardinals had a ground ball pitcher against a ground ball hitter and got a grounder that could have produced a game-ending double play — but it was hit just a tad too far to the right.
“That’s just kind of how the inning went,” Arenado said. “It wasn’t going our way.”
Furthermore, everything appeared to originate from Helsley’s right center finger, the one he stuck while collecting himself on a handling play in the penultimate round of the normal season. Helsley lost a few pitches the hill during Thursday’s exercise, and however he owned up to his finger feeling somewhat firm, he informed the Cardinals that he would be prepared to finish off games in the postseason.
Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol turned to Helsley with one on and one out in the eighth and watched him make quick work of Marsh and Schwarber. Shortly after the ninth inning began, though, Marmol said Helsley “started to lose a little bit of feel for his pitches.”
Helsley, who arose this season as one of the game’s most prevailing closers, started to miss well wide of the strike zone and at last tossed just nine of his 23 contributes for strikes the 10th. J.T. Realmuto contributed a one-out single, then, at that point, Bryce Harper and Scratch Castellanos stepped consecutive strolls, the last option on pitches that were one way or the other up and in or way low and outside. By that point, the Cardinals had Pallante and Jack Flaherty warming in the warm up area. Bohm would be Helsley’s last player – – and Helsley hit him on the left shoulder with a 101 mph fastball.
After throwing a warm-up pitch well outside, Helsley exited, then departed Busch Stadium to get imaging done on his troublesome finger.
He might be lost for the series.
“We’ve had guys step up all year,” Marmol said. “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 top of the 10th denoted the main half-inning in baseball this season where a group permitted no less than six procured runs on three hits or less, with no extra-fair hits permitted, as per ESPN Details and Data research. There have now been five games in postseason history in which a group that drove by at least two pursues the eighth inning lost by at least two runs – – and the Cardinals have been engaged with three of those. It denoted whenever the Phillies first had scored at least six runs in any postseason inning.
They picked the perfect time.
“It was extraordinary,” said Zack Wheeler, who tossed 6⅓ scoreless innings against the Cardinals, leaving three players before Jose Alvarado surrendered the two-run homer to Yepez.
“That was probably the most exciting inning I’ve ever been a part of,” Realmuto said of the top of the ninth. “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.”