I don’t remember my 23rd birthday. It was that unremarkable.
Orlando Arcia certainly will.
Arcia was almost singlehandedly responsible for the Milwaukee Brewers’ 2-0 victory over the Tampa Bay
Devil Rays Friday night.
The video doesn’t really do this play justice. Ryan Braun, normally a strong arm from the outfield, is essentially ceding the run with a less-than-100% throw to Arcia.
Arcia clearly had different plans, taking the throw and adding an afterburner to it. Corey Dickerson, who isn’t slow and looked like he was imminently contributing to yet another late-inning blown Brewers’ lead, was nailed at home in a play that was confirmed by video replay.
Not content with merely staving off a tie game, Arcia took the first pitch in the top of the 8th, a hanging Sergio Romo breaking pitch, and hammered it into the left field seats.
In all, Arcia went 3-3 with both Brewers runs scored and missed a cycle by a double. He has hit safely in four of the last five games, during which he has also raised his slugging percentage by 22 points and has generally exceeded expectations at the plate in his sophomore campaign.
Further, the series of events was rare in that Arcia kept a run off the board with the Dickerson put-out and then added a run with the first-pitch home run. With research ongoing, a two-run swing in two pitches by the same player appears to be a baseball first.
His recent play in the field and at the plate is helping the Brewers keep pace with the Chicago Cubs jockeying for first place in the NL Central. One could also reasonably and justifiably point to Arcia’s ongoing development as a key component to the Brewer rebuild being ahead of schedule.
Winning games by one’s self will do that, too.
Brent Sirvio is a Co-founder and lead writer for Bronx to Bushville.