In an abysmal night filled complete with a rain delay, a shutout, and a broken win-streak, Jean Segura stood as the only bright spot for the Phillies’ offense Tuesday night. Following the Phillies’ 5-0 loss to the Dodgers Tuesday night, the Phillies’ (59-54) lead over the Atlanta Braves for the NL East title is down to one game.
A Light in a Void
In total, the Phillies’ offense only managed six hits on the night against a formidable Dodgers pitching core. Jean Segura accrued three of those hits while batting in the two-hole.
Segura’s first hit of the night came in the bottom of the first. With one out and a 2-2 count, the Dodgers’ latest acquisition, Max Scherzer, tried to catch Segura off-guard with a slider on the outside half of the plate. Segura managed to pull the ball, hitting into left field for his first single of the day. He would later attempt to steal second base but would get thrown out by catcher Will Smith.
His next time up at the plate would come to lead off the bottom of the fourth. With a 1-2 count, Scherzer tried to elevate Segura on a cutter high and away. Segura stuck with the cut-fastball, knocking it into right field for his second base hit off Scherzer.
Segura’s success against Scherzer was shortlived, however, as after his second single, the game entered what would be a 90+ minute rain delay. This dealy would take both Scherzer and Phillies’ starter Aaron Nola out of the ball game.
Segura’s third and final single of the night came in the bottom of the sixth against Dodgers’ reliever Corey Knebel. Knebel entered the game at the start of the inning, allowing a lead-off walk to Odubel Herrera. With a runner on first base and zero outs, Segura found himself in a 2-2 battle against the right-hander. Segura connected on a knuckle curve low and away, a dribbler up the third base line. Third baseman Chris Taylor made the play but could not beat Segura with the throw, resulting in an infield single.
Unfortunately for Segura, he was the only bat going in the Phillies’ lineup on the night. Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto combined to go 0-for-7 with five strikeouts out of the three and four-spots while Brad Miller was 1-for-4 batting fifth.
Hot As Of Late
While future MVP Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins (prior to his injury) have attracted most of the attention lately due to their offensive performances, Segura has been just as important to the Phillies’ offense. PSN’s own Alec Kostival recently called Segura the “sparkplug of the Phillies’ offense“
And it’s easy to see why.
Over his past 12 games, Segura has racked up 14 hits for a strong .341 batting average a 1.023 OPS. He has scored nine runs and recorded seven RBI while hitting for two home runs and earning four walks at the plate.
On the year, Segura is hitting for a .314 batting average and an OPS+ of 130. Unlike a majority of Major League batters, however, Segura is able to hit the ball to every field, as demonstrated in last night’s game.
Not only has Segura been hitting the ball well, but he has also proven to be one of the hardest hitters to strike out across Major League Baseball. With a K% of only 14.3%, Segura is in the top 7% of Major League batters when it comes to not striking out.
In addition to his sublime offensive output this season, he has been an anchor in an otherwise sketchy year of defensive play in the Phillies’ infield. With an OAA (Outs Above Average) of 10 on the year, Segura ranks in the 99th percentile across the Major Leagues.
When the Phillies traded J.P. Crawford for Jean Segura, they traded potential for a bona fide player. With how Segura has played this season, there is no doubt in my mind that the Phillies won that trade.
If the Phillies are to remain in first place in the NL East and make the postseason for the first time since 2011, they will need their second baseman to continue producing both on the field and in the batter’s box.
Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire