Phillies stun Cardinals with wild 9th-inning rally to open wild card

ST. LOUIS — Jean Segura‘s profession spanned 11 seasons and 1,328 video games prior to he in the end reached the postseason, the longest lively streak within the primary leagues. On the morning of his first playoff recreation, the Philadelphia Phillies’ 2nd baseman slightly slept. He aroused from sleep at 7 a.m. “with adrenaline in my body.” Friday wore on, and that edge by no means left.

“I was mentally focused on every play, every pitch,” Segura stated. “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 loaded, one out within the most sensible of the 9th and the St. Louis Cardinals scrambling to substitute their wounded nearer, Segura snuck a grounder previous a quite drawn-in infield, plating two runs and propelling the Phillies to an unbelievable 6-3 win within the opening recreation in their best-of-three wild-card sequence, striking them at the cusp of advancing into the National League Division Series.

The Cardinals, subsidized by way of a stellar efficiency from Jose Quintana and an electrifying pinch-hit homer by way of Juan Yepez, held a 2-0 lead heading into the general inning and had each and every reason why to consider they had been headed towards a Game 1 victory. They had been at house, with a sold-out Busch Stadium crowd in a frenzy, and their lights-out nearer, Ryan Helsley, used to be at the mound.

What adopted strained credulity.

The Cardinals had been 93-0 in postseason historical past when main by way of more than one runs coming into the 9th inning. The Phillies, in the meantime, had been 0-54 throughout the common season in that very same scenario. They wound up scoring six occasions — essentially the most by way of a crew trailing coming into the 9th in postseason historical past. None in their runs got here on laborious touch. Alec Bohm used to be plunked with the bases loaded, Brandon Marsh hit a chopper that bounced previous the glove of Nolan Arenado, Kyle Schwarber produced a sacrifice fly and Bryson Stott introduced in a run after Paul Goldschmidt made a diving play on his grounder however threw overdue to house.

The largest runs got here off the bat of Segura, who lunged towards a slider low and clear of Andre Pallante and hit a four-hopper to the best facet that snuck via a sprawling Tommy Edman, who used to be enjoying quite in to account for Segura’s pace. The Cardinals had a floor ball pitcher towards a floor ball hitter and were given a grounder that can have produced a game-ending double play — but it surely used to be hit only a tad too a ways to the best.

“That’s just kind of how the inning went,” Arenado stated. “It wasn’t going our way.”

And all of it appeared to stem from Helsley’s proper center finger, the only he jammed whilst accumulating himself on a fielding play within the penultimate recreation of the common season. Helsley threw some pitches off the mound throughout Thursday’s exercise, and even though he admitted to his finger feeling quite stiff, he knowledgeable the Cardinals that he can be in a position to shut out video games within the postseason.

Cardinals supervisor Oliver Marmol became to Helsley with one on and one out within the 8th and watched him make fast paintings of Marsh and Schwarber. Shortly after the 9th inning started, even though, Marmol stated Helsley “started to lose a little bit of feel for his pitches.”

Helsley, who emerged this season as one of the most game’s maximum dominant closers, started to leave out smartly large of the strike zone and in the long run threw most effective 9 of his 23 pitches for moves within the 9th. J.T. Realmuto contributed a one-out unmarried, then Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos drew back-to-back walks, the latter on pitches that had been both method up and in or method low and out of doors. By that time, the Cardinals had Pallante and Jack Flaherty warming within the bullpen. Bohm can be Helsley’s final batter — and Helsley hit him at the left shoulder with a 101 mph fastball.

After throwing a warm-up pitch smartly out of doors, Helsley exited, then departed Busch Stadium to get imaging performed on his difficult finger.

He may well be misplaced for the sequence.

“We’ve had guys step up all year,” Marmol stated. “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 most sensible of the 9th marked the one half-inning in baseball this season the place a crew allowed a minimum of six earned runs on 3 hits or fewer, with no extra-base hits allowed, in accordance to ESPN Stats & Information analysis. There have now been 5 video games in postseason historical past by which a crew that led by way of two or extra runs after the 8th inning misplaced by way of two or extra runs — and the Cardinals had been serious about 3 of the ones. It marked the primary time the Phillies had scored six or extra runs in any postseason inning.

They picked the very best time.

“It was special,” stated Zack Wheeler, who threw 6⅓ scoreless innings towards the Cardinals, exiting 3 batters prior to 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 stated of the highest of the 9th. “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.”

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