Score Cardinals vs. Phillies, innings: Jean Segura sparks stunning ninth-inning comeback in Game 1

The Philadelphia Phillies shocked the St. Louis Cardinals with a ninth-inning comeback in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series on Friday afternoon in St. Louis. It was 2-0 Cardinals leading into the ninth, but it would end in a 6-3 Phillies victory.

Here’s how it went down.

Helsley falters in furious Phillies comeback

The Phillies offense was completely unstoppable for most of this. Before the ninth inning, Alec Bohm’s double to lead off the fifth inning was the biggest scoring threat and he was stranded at third base. It seemed elementary that Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley would close things out in the ninth inning because the Phillies really hadn’t given anyone reason to believe they had a rally in them.

And yet, what a rally it was.

Rhys Hoskins led off the inning with a hit, but then the rally began. JT Realmuto singled, followed by walks to Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos.

During those two at-bats, it became apparent that Helsley had lost command, especially with his triple-digit fastball. He’s been dealing with a cut on his hand recently, so it’s possible that was at least part of the problem. He stayed in the game and hit Bohm with a pitch to bring home a run. With a 2-1 lead, the Cardinals had no choice but to remove Helsley.

Rookie Andre Palante came in and Jean Segura found a way to get through the infield.

Segura, prior to this game, had the most regular season games played without a playoff appearance among active players. Pretty excited for his first one, huh?

The Phillies would get three more runs.

It was a six-run ninth despite scoring zero runs through the first eight innings. Ridiculous and surprising here on the first day of the playoffs.

Yepez looked like a hero

Rookie Juan Yepez pinch hit for Corey Dickerson against Phillies lefty Jose Alvarado in the bottom of the seventh and walked on his first career playoff pitch:

The two-run shot was the first pinch-hit, go-ahead homer in Cardinals history. It was also a “breathe a sigh of relief” moment for the Cardinals, as missed opportunities had been the theme up until that point in what had previously been a scoreless game.

Nolan Arenado flied to deep left center in the bottom of the fourth. It looked like a clock at home and Arenado reacted like he thought it was gone after it ended up 388 feet out. He was very well hit, with an expected batting average of .840.

Then in the bottom of the sixth, Albert Pujols came in with two on and no outs and grounded into a double play. He’s the career leader in double plays, but he also has a lot of RBIs in the record, so it felt like a huge moment for the Phillies at the time.

Instead, Yepez came through and looked like the hero … until the ninth.

Quintana deals for Cardinals, again

José Quintana was traded from the Pirates to the Cardinals ahead of the deadline, and it wasn’t exactly the sexiest acquisition, but it was a nail-biter for the Cards. He made 12 starts with the Cardinals and never once allowed more than two runs. He gave up just three total runs in his last six starts and going back to his Pirates days had a 1.67 ERA in his last 14 starts.

He went 5 1/3 innings Friday, allowing just two singles and a walk. He only struck out three, but he induced weak contact all day and kept the ball on the ground, throwing six pitches. In the immortal words of The Dude, freaking “Quintana, that creep can roll, man.”

So does Wheeler

Not to be outdone, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler threw 6 1/3 scoreless frames, also allowing just two singles. He actually gave up some hard contact, but he was the beneficiary of some good fortune. All in all, though, it was a great, hard-working outing. He put his team in position to win the ball game despite a lackluster offense and that’s all you can ask of a starter.

The ninth inning offense will rightfully make headlines, but let’s not forget Wheeler’s work. He was a huge part of this win.

Next: Game 2 Saturday

They’ll do it again in St. Louis on Saturday night with a 7:37 local kickoff time, which is 8:37 ET and the last game of the day. The scheduled starting pitchers are Aaron Nola (11-13, 3.25) for the Phillies and Miles Mikolas (12-13, 3.29) for the Cardinals.

A Phillies win means they advance to face the Braves in the NLDS, starting in Atlanta on Tuesday. A Cardinals win keeps them alive and provides the entertainment of a Game 3 on Sunday.

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