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Blue Jean baby: Phillies 4, Braves 3

Jean Segura’s clutch hit gives the Phillies a harder than necessary win

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies
Jean Segura’s three hits led the Phillies to victory
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off Wednesday night’s thrilling walk-off win, the Phillies seemed poised to squelch those good feelings with a dispiriting loss. But in the bottom of the 10th inning, the offense finally came to life, and Jean Segura’s single off the fence gave them a come-from-ahead-then-come-from-behind 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves.

This should have been an easy win the way Zack Wheeler pitched. His line on the day: Eight innings, four hits, zero walks, twelve strikeouts, and zero runs. There was a time when that kind of line would have let you start the ninth inning even if your pitch count was at 105. But 2021 is not that year, and so Hector Neris was put in the game.

Neris had the top of the Braves order to deal with, and facing Ronald Acuña, Jr. and Freddie Freeman in succession is always tough. He got Acuña to strike out, but Freeman fared a little better:

Maybe Herrera should have been able to snag that, but if you’re depending on a fielder to catch a dead center ball over the fence, then something’s gone wrong.

Also in the “something gone wrong” category was the Phillies’ offense for most of the game. For the second straight day, they spent much of their time not reaching base, and consequently, not scoring any runs. In the eighth, they finally got on the board when Odubel Herrera and Jean Segura hit back to back doubles to give the team an all-too-brief 1-0 lead.

In the top of the 10th, Jose Alvarado continued to erase any goodwill he once held with Phillies fans. Thanks to a slew of walks and a couple of passed balls/wild pitches, the Braves took a 3-1 lead.

The good feelings from Wednesday were all but forgotten at this point, but to my surprise, the offense rallied. Thanks to the “runner starts on second” rule, Alec Bohm drove in one run with a single, and then Odubel Herrera’s double put the tying and winning runs in scoring position. And that’s when Segura struck again:

A series win over a division opponent is always nice. Two straight walk-off wins over a division opponent is even better. And thanks to Friday’s oddly scheduled off day, we’ll have two days to bask in the glow of victory.