I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream — and Jean Segura screams out his favorite flavor during high-leverage at bats in the top of the ninth inning.
Yes, that’s what happened when Segura stepped to the plate with the tying and go-ahead runs on base during the Phillies’ ninth-inning comeback rally against the Washington Nationals Monday night. Following singles from Ronald Torreyes and Travis Jankowski to lead off the frame, Wander Suero came on in relief, and Segura took his first pitch for a ball.
As Suero was getting the signs for his 1-0 offering, a fan somewhere in the Nationals Park crowd asked Segura the question that was, obviously, on everyone’s mind at the moment:
“SEGURA, WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR?”
The Phillies’ second baseman wasn’t about to use the pressure of the moment as an excuse to dodge the hard-hitting question.
“Vanilla,” he yelled back in response, smirking as Suero came set.
The next pitch was a 92-mph cutter for a called strike. The next pitch was a game-tying RBI double.
It’s not exactly new information that Segura doesn’t like to take himself too seriously on the field. He’s one of the more easygoing players on the Phillies’ roster — but his brief conversation with a fan about ice cream in the middle of one of the game’s biggest at bats took that to a whole new level. That approach clearly hasn’t hurt him this season, and it certainly didn’t on Monday, either.
In addition to being one of the more laid-back players in baseball, Segura is also one of the most creative. His ability to put bat on ball and shoot it to any part of the field in any count is a big reason why he’s posted a .308 batting average this season while striking out just 14.5% of the time. He’s also been creative in the field, amassing seven defensive runs saved to anchor an oft-shaky Phillies infield defense.
The only thing that could perhaps use some creativity? His favorite ice cream flavor. That said, if Segura continues to perform at the level that he has so far this season, even the most ardent mint chocolate chip and Rocky Road lovers who also happen to be Phillies fans will tolerate it.
Hunter Pence once coined the catchphrase “Let’s go eat” in Phillies circles, describing his thoughts rounding third base on a Raúl Ibañez walk-off double in 2011. Segura didn’t walk off Monday’s game (the Phillies were on the road, after all), but when he tied it up with the double — or when he rounded third to score the Phillies’ fifth run on J.T. Realmuto’s go-ahead two-run single moments later — perhaps he had similar aspirations.
Specifically: “Let’s go eat vanilla ice cream.”
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