PHILS INSIDER

Segura saves the day, leads huge win after sloppy Phillies blow big lead

PHILS INSIDER

Rhys Hoskins walked by Jean Segura's locker 90 minutes before the first pitch of Monday's Labor Day matinee against the New York Mets.

Segura was already in full uni.

Usually, Segura doesn't change from his batting practice gear to his game uniform until about 45 minutes before the game.

Hoskins sensed Segura was ready to rumble.

"How many hits today?" he asked.

"I need five," Segura responded.

Segura came up short of his goal, but he still had a pretty good day in leading the Phillies to an important 9-8 win. Segura helped the Phils build an early 6-0 lead with a three-run double in the first inning, then, after the Phils squandered that lead under the weight of poor defense and bullpen work, drove a two-run homer over the wall in left-center in the top of the 10th to put the Phils back on top for good.

It was a crucial win for the Phillies (20-17) because it stopped a two-game losing streak, gave them a split of a four-game series with the Mets and pulled them to within two games of the first-place Atlanta Braves (24-17) in the NL East with 23 games to play.

Losing this game would have been crushing for the Phillies on a number of levels.

Segura would not let them lose.

"I needed a day like that," he said after his four-hit, five-RBI performance.

"Today, I was super-early getting dressed and I think my teammates were freaking out. Maybe tomorrow I'll get dressed two hours before the game."

 

The week only gets more difficult for the Phillies from here. They play two at home against Boston on Tuesday, then on Thursday begin a seven-games-in-five-days series against the Marlins in Miami. That series includes two doubleheaders. The Marlins are 18-18, 3½ games behind Atlanta and 1½ game behind the second-place Phillies.

It's no time for a slip-up.

But that's just what the Phillies were headed for Monday when Zack Wheeler didn't exactly put a deadbolt on a 6-0 lead and the Mets came all the way back, then went ahead 7-6 on a three-run homer by Jeff McNeil against reliever David Phelps in the seventh inning.

Rookie Alec Bohm, who mostly had a miserable long weekend in New York (he was 2 for 17 with 10 strikeouts), came through big with a game-tying single in the eighth and relievers Tommy Hunter and Brandon Workman kept things in check until Segura's two-run homer with two outs in the 10th against Miguel Castro.

"We lost the last two so, for me, this was one of those games you bring it," Segura said. "I was able to do some damage and I'm happy about it.

"There was pressure for everybody. We gave up the lead after leading 6-0, then they went ahead. As soon as we tied it again, it gave us momentum to stay in the game.

"It was a very important win. We're close to making the playoffs. It would be big for us to make the playoffs. Man, I'm waiting for that moment. I'd love to be in the playoffs. I've never been in my career and it's time to go there."

Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto also homered for the Phillies. Realmuto leads the club with 10 homers. Hoskins, who did not hit his first homer until August 18, is now hitting .254 with nine homers, 22 RBIs and a .945 OPS after a slow start. Bryce Harper, who got off to a fast start, has slipped to .272/7/21/.934.

Segura, who played shortstop last season then moved from third base to second this season, is hitting .261 with five homers and 17 RBIs.

"I think he's having a better year than the numbers," Girardi said. "When we look at numbers, we don't see the willingness of a guy to do whatever you ask him to do. You're going to play third. OK, I'll make the change, I'm good with that. Well, now we're going to move you to second and you have to play short today. 

"What Jean has done has been so important to us because he's given us so much flexibility. He's probably been overlooked a little bit but not by us. He's been special for us this year."