Phillies Chip Away Until a Veteran Breaks Them Free

Jean Segura has played a decade in the major leagues. He is about halfway to 3,000 hits and has earned almost $80 million. 

He has toiled for five teams in four divisions, and twice played in the All-Star Game.

In all that time — 1,328 games — Segura had never reached the postseason. 

No active player in the majors had played as many games as Segura without doing so. The distinction has shadowed him.

“I really want to be there,” Segura said in August, by his locker in Philadelphia. “For me, it’s just about winning games, because I’ve got the money, I’ve got the time in the game, I’ve had success in my career.

I just want to go there, I want to see how it feels with the stadium packed, 43,000 people in the stadium. In ’17, I got a little bit of experience in the W.B.C., and it was really fun.”

The World Baseball Classic in March is one thing. The opening game of the playoffs at Busch Stadium is another. 

Segura made that delicious discovery on Friday, when his two-run, ninth-inning single put the Phillies ahead in a 6-3 comeback victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. The best-of-three series continues on Saturday.

The Phillies became the first team ever to enter the ninth inning of a postseason game with no runs and then erupt for so many.

They are built on power, but patched together the winning rally with, in order: a single, two walks, a hit batter, a single, a fielder’s choice, a single and a sacrifice fly.

“That was the most exciting inning I’ve ever been a part of, and it didn’t even take a big home run,” said catcher J.T. Realmuto, whose one-out hit to left started the stampede.