Jean Segura tastes the highs and lows of playoff baseball — all in one night


He waited 11 years to make the playoffs, so it's fitting that Jean Segura is getting a taste this month of everything postseason baseball has to offer.

The highs, the lows, the crowds, the national attention, the shifts in momentum.

Segura had the most eventful night of any Phillie Friday as the Phils beat the Padres, 4-2, in Game 3 to take a lead in the NLCS. He heard cheers and boos as he was involved in a series of impactful plays -- most good, some bad.

Segura missed a catch on a potential inning-ending 6-4-3 double play in the fourth inning, allowing the Padres to tie the game. He tried to make the turn too quickly and just never caught the ball. It was the Phillies' fifth error in their last five games and their second in this NLCS caused by trying to turn two before ensuring one.

"That's a play that I've probably made 3,000 times in my life, but for some reason I missed it," Segura said afterward.

Fortunately for Segura and the Phillies, Ranger Suarez was able to work out of that fourth-inning jam and keep the game tied by retiring Wil Myers and Jurickson Profar in short order.

Segura immediately atoned for his mistake in the field with a big two-out hit against Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove. Always aggressive, Segura swung at a low-and-away slider well off the plate but was able to loop it over second baseman Jake Cronenworth's head into right-center for a two-run single. Though Segura was quickly picked off, his hit put the Phillies ahead for good.

"I like the pressure," Segura said. "The way I've handled pressure since I was a little kid, I love it. It's just the way we handle the pressure in the Dominican Republic. Even when we play winter ball, we've got guys in the stands saying, 'Hey, if you get out, we're going to kill you. We're going to do something bad to you.' Compared to here, when you come here, dude, it's a completely different type of game. When you come from DR, it's nothing.

"Even when I made a mistake early in the game, it was a lot of things going through my mind. Maybe I get an opportunity later to win the game or maybe to do something special tonight. I didn't let that error affect my next two, three at-bats."

He also didn't let it affect the rest of his night in the field. Segura was involved in three tremendous defensive plays, two of which came in crucial situations. He dove to his left to field a ball and retire Trent Grisham to start the second inning. He started a rapid, inning-ending double play of Josh Bell with runners on the corners in the sixth. And he made another diving play to rob Ha-Seong Kim and prevent the Padres from putting runners on first and third in the seventh.

In a game that was within two runs from start to finish, all three plays loomed large.

"Tonight he goes to the mound and says to Ranger, 'Get me another one,'" Rhys Hoskins relayed. "That's the kind of mentality you have to have. It was awesome to see Jean come through."

Segura flexed his muscles like Scott Steiner after the Kim play ended the seventh inning.

"I mean, I'm fired up," he said. "I don't know how to explain that, but it's like fire inside my body. I just want to get it out, like explosive, like 'Ahhh!'

"If you don't get emotional with 46,000 people in the stands, you're playing the wrong sport."

Entering September, no active big-leaguer had played more regular-season games than Segura without reaching the playoffs. Despite the lack of postseason experience, he's been right at home in October, playing like himself.

Segura has hit .286 in the playoffs and gone 4 for 10 with seven RBI with runners in scoring position.

"He's enjoying soaking up every moment of this because he's waited for so long, competed for so long," Hoskins said. "Worked his tail off for 15-16 straight offseasons, most likely. How many big hits have we seen him get? I'm not surprised at all."

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