LOS ANGELES -- In judging Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia by his putrid offensive stat line from the 2018 regular season, one wouldn't really be getting the full story. He's actually, at least right now, a good offensive player. It was on display in the top of the seventh inning in Game 3 of the NLCS, when he went deep to give the Brewers two very important insurance runs in a 4-0 victory.
That shot allowed for Brewers manager Craig Counsell to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. That's huge and Arcia had a big hand in it.
Actually, Arcia would have played a significant part in a Game 2 Brewers win, had the bullpen not blown the lead in taking the loss.
Arcia got the Brewers on the board first with a shot to center field off of Hyun-Jin Ryu, who had been in complete control until that very swing. Ryu would then allow a hit to Wade Miley and a double to Lorenzo Cain and he was done, just like that. Arcia started the rally that got into the Dodgers' bullpen.
The slick-fielding shortstop is now hitting .250 in the in the postseason, but he's slugging .700 with three homers. Again, keep in mind his huge 4-4 against the Cubs in the tiebreaker. This after a regular season that saw him hit only three home runs with a .236/.268/.307 slash. That was good for an OPS+ of 55, tantamount to saying Arcia was 45 percent worse than an average hitter.
Now, I wouldn't have said above that Arcia is a good hitter right now based upon the postseason. That's a six-game sample and that would be ignorant to how baseball works. He would simply be "hot" or "locked in at the moment." Arcia has been hitting well for a while, though. In September and Game 163 -- when Arcia went 4 for 4 and played offensive catalyst in the Brewers vanquishing the Cubs -- Arcia hit .329/.360/.443. So he's now been a stud for six weeks. He had a minor-league history of being a good hitter, too.
To have a player with his defensive prowess now hitting like this gives the Brewers a weapon toward the bottom of their batting order and really inspires at least a small bit of confidence that the former top-10 prospect can become a superstar after all. He's been a star to this point since the end of August.
And now, his Brewers are two wins away from the World Series and -- dare I say it? -- six wins from the first-ever Brewers World Series title.
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