Orlando Arcia electric in Braves home opener
Atlanta had to fight their way back into the game before Orlando Arcia completed a magnificent evening with a walk-off single to win their home opener
Atlanta are a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. They refuse to get drawn into a spending war with other clubs for the top names. They develop their own young talent. They come into most games as either the slight underdog or at best even odds. And then they find a way to win.
For the 2023 MLB season’s home opener, 42,000 fans were in attendance to see this puzzle play out yet again. They went down 6-4 before clawing their way back to tie the game in the eighth, setting up a ninth-inning walk off.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Eddie Rosario pinch hit for Kevin Pillar and slapped a double down the right field line. Orlando Arcia game to the plate and poked a single to center field, allowing Rosario to score and give the Braves a 7-6 win.
This was just the icing on the cake for Orlando Arcia. In all, he went 3 for 3 with a walk, hitting a double and a solo home run as well.
This season has been golden for Arcia, as he emerged from Spring Training as the surprise winner of the battle for the shortstop job in Atlanta.
Dansby Swanson left the Braves for a massive deal with the Cubs in the off season, and Atlanta showed no real interest in either keeping him or bidding for a high-ticket replacement. Many fans and commentators were left scratching their heads at how a team only one year removed from being World Series champions could be so blasé about a key infield spot.
Vaughan Grissom was seemingly their answer, but his swoon at the end of last season meant that the shortstop question was far from settled. Arcia emerged from the battle with Grissom and Braden Shewmake for the job as the Opening Day starter.
Outside of the organization, Arcia was something of a surprise, but Brian Snitker insists that the Braves always knew what they had on their hands.
“As long as he’s been here, he’s been a really good player. I’ve said it for a long time. He’s been an everyday shortstop on division winning teams. He’s got a slow heartbeat, really confident in his abilities. It didn’t surprise anybody.”
For now, the fans in Atlanta are believers too.