“Arcia tomorrow night!”~EVERY BRAVES FAN
There’s something special about our shortstop. It was Orlando Arcia who predicted Ronald Acuña, Jr. and Matt Olson would hit back-to-back jacks to open a game in earlier in the week, and it was Arcia who told his teammates he was going to walk it off if he got the last at-bat Thursday night against the Padres.
Braves Country was scratching its collective head when both Vaughn Grissom and Braden Shewmake were sent to Gwinnett a couple of weeks ago and Arcia was named the starting shortstop. A week and a day into the season, everybody’s like “Dansby who?,” Arcia is balling, and the Braves are 6-1 after a dramatic, come-from-behind, 7-6 win over the San Diego Padres.
Arcia is hitting .370/.414/.667 and leaving no doubt about the genius of AA and Brian Snitker, at least this early in the season. He’s taking advantage of the opportunity he has been given and is grateful for the opportunity. “I want to do whatever I can to help the team win,” he said after Thursday’s game. To this point, he has been great – holding off Vaughn Grissom who is pummeling AAA pitching at a .400 clip with an OPS of 1.260.
Our shortstop has been so great, in fact, that we are three paragraphs in and there has been no mention of Spencer Strider, who battled through five innings and left the game with a 4-3 lead. Strider struck out nine, walked three, and allowed four hits, the big one being a three-run shot from Matt Carpenter in the top of the fourth inning. Strider has 18 strikeouts through 11 innings.
Lucas Luetge looked human in his one inning and Nick Anderson was brilliant again before Kirby Yates hopped on the struggle bus in the top of the eighth. Yates walked the first two hitters he faced, wild-pitched in a run, and then should have eaten the ball on a bunt that he threw into rightfield, giving San Diego a 6-4 lead.
But the Braves have proven their mettle in recent years, often rallying in the game’s late inning. Arcia started a rally in the eight, Olson doubled him home, Austin Riley legged out an infield single, and Travis d’Arnaud laced a single through the four-hole to score Olson and set the stage for Arcia’s heroics with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.