PHILADELPHIA — Jean Segura muffed a soft relay toss at second base on a play he made “3,000 times” over his baseball career. The Phillies second baseman even got picked off first, yes, in the same inning as his fielding miscue.
He heard a few boos, but it’s Philly. Segura shook it off during Game 3 of the NL Championship Series on Friday night because he has played in scarier environments.
“It’s just the way we handle the pressure in Dominican Republic. Even when we play winter ball, we’ve got guys in the stands, hey, when you get out, we’re going to kill you,” he said. “We’re going to do something bad to you. It’s just the way we play the game out there.”
Segura simply had to survive an error and mental miscue — and no threats of violence — and also thrived in the chaos with a Gold Glove-worthy dive to save one hit and added a clutch knock of his own — one that moved Philadelphia a win closer to the World Series.
Kyle Schwarber led off with his latest scintillating home run, Segura atoned for a run-scoring error with a go-ahead single and the Phillies edged the San Diego Padres 4-2, giving them a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven matchup.
Game 4 is Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park.
The Phillies returned home to another packed house for the first NLCS game in the city since 2010 and are now only two wins away from playing for their first World Series championship since 2008.
The Phillies can take solace they survived the Padres without playing their best baseball. Outside of Schwarber’s homer — Schwarbombs as they’re affectionately known in Philly — the big bats were pretty quiet. Segura and Rhys Hoskins also made costly errors that made the game closer than it ever needed to be.
“I made a lot of mistakes, but it’s part of baseball,” said Segura, in his first postseason after 11 years in the majors. “You keep going forward. I came through.”
“It happens,” he said.
Phillies starter Ranger Suarez survived shoddy fielding to earn the win. He walked none and allowed only two hits and one earned run over 68 pitches in five sharp innings. Zach Eflin and Jose Alvarado each tossed scoreless innings and Seranthony Dominguez earned a six-out save as the Phillies head into a Game 4 expected to be largely a bullpen game.
After Josh Bell led off the ninth with a single, Jurickson Profar struck out on a full-count check swing that sent the outfielder into a rage. Profar, who already had slung his bat aside and headed toward first, cursed out third-base umpire Todd Tichenor for ringing him up.
Profar threw his helmet and kicked it as he stormed off the field, and was ejected by plate umpire Ted Barrett.
“Originally it looked like it might have gone,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “Go back and look at it, maybe the bat didn’t get out there. It’s a close call, tough one. But maybe not.”
“It’s a big moment, obviously,” he said.
Padres postseason ace Joe Musgrove couldn’t get out of the sixth inning and left the mound to Alec Bohm exhorting the crowd to get louder after his RBI double to right in the sixth past a diving Juan Soto made it 4-2.