Jean Segura and the Phillies had a wild ride on Friday night, but somehow escaped with a victory. It was an up and down affair all night, as the Phillies hopes ended up resting on the shoulders of Jean Segura. Luckily, his successes outweighed his mistakes, and the Phillies came away with a win.
Ranger Suárez was his usual pinpoint self, settling down mightily after a rough outing in Atlanta last week. Suarez really didn’t run into any trouble, with the Padres only scoring off of seeing eye singles and poor Phillies defense. Fans second guessed Rob Thomson’s decision to pull Suárez after 5.0 innings and only 68 pitches, but it worked out splendidly as the bullpen held the Friars scoreless.
As for Segura, it wasn’t such a flawless night, as he experienced both the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Segura started off his day with an excellent diving stop on a ground ball from Trent Grisham in the third inning. Then, one inning later, he just plain missed an easy double play feed from Bryson Stott, not only failing to record an out, but also allowing the Padres to tie the game at one.
Boos rained down on Segura after his blunder, but he was soon given a chance to redeem himself. In the bottom half of the frame he strode to the plate with runners on second and third and two outs. In classic Segura fashion, he swung at a pitch well outside and just above the dirt and somehow blooped it into right field for a two-run single. Much like Rhys Hoskins a week before, Segura had atoned for his mistake. And then, only seconds later, he was picked off of first base to end the inning. After such a whirlwind inning, fans weren’t sure how to feel about Segura. He had two costly mental lapses that could have a profound impact on the outcome of the game. However, he also drove in two runs to put the Phillies in the driver’s seat.
For those still frustrated with Segura, he made a heck of a play in the top of the sixth. The Padres had runners on the corners with one out when pinch hitter Josh Bell grounded one to second base. Segura quickly threw to Stott covering second, who fired it over to first to beat Bell by a hair, ending the inning without allowing the run to score. Then, one inning later, Segura put one more exclamation point on the night. With two down and a runner on first, shortstop Ha-Seong Kim grounded one into hole between first and second base. Segura ranged to his left and laid out, snaring the ball in his outstretched glove and throwing over to first to retire the side.
The last two innings were shut down by Seranthony Domínguez, who has been this team’s Brad Lidge all year. The Phillies ultimately won 4-2, and now possess a crucial 2-1 series lead heading into Saturday night’s contest. Jean Segura provided a perfect analogy for what this Phillies team has been all season. Suspect defense, but also some highlight reel plays, timely hitting, and also baserunning blunders. It certainly wasn’t pretty, but Jean Segura found a way to get the job done, despite his flaws. That’s what this Phillies team has been as a whole, bludgeoning opponents while working around their deficiencies. Hopefully, Friday’s victory will lead to an appearance in the World Series next week. If that comes to pass, Jean Segura will have been a key cog in the machine, for better and for worse.