Whenever a baserunner somehow evades a tag in a rundown, the question that immediately pops up is: Was it a great baserunning play or was it just terrible execution by the fielding team?
After watching this play from Monday’s Orioles-Brewers game at Miller Park, the answer is clearly yes:
The Brewers’ Orlando Arcia provided some early fireworks one day prior to the Fourth of July thanks to some nifty baserunning. Arcia was on first base at the start of the play and made it all the way to third on an infield single by pitcher Brent Suter. Just think about that for a second: Arcia took two bases on an infield single!
But Arcia’s aggressiveness left him in an awkward position when he reached the hot corner as he overslid third base. Seeing a fielder with possession of the ball standing between him and the bag, Arcia figured he had no choice but to try to score.
That started a rundown consisting of three throws by the Orioles as Arcia was running back and forth down the third base line. O’s shortstop Ruben Tejada then appeared to get in the way of catcher Welington Castillo, who was the next in line to receive the throw to continue the rundown.
That slight confusion was all Arcia needed to sneak by both Tejada and Castillo, evade the tag, and slide into home plate for the Brewers’ eighth run of the game. Arcia was greeted by his teammates before he could even make it into the dugout as if he had just hit a go-ahead home run in the ninth inning. Junior Guerra and Manny Pina then cooled down Arcia in the dugout by fanning him with towels.
Even though the scorebook will show that Arcia went 270 feet from first to home, it was more like 400 feet with all of the twists and turns he needed to reach his goal of home plate.
As an added bonus, Arcia was in the rundown long enough that the batter, Brent Suter, was able to advance to second base.
That run by Arcia was just icing on the cake for the Brewers as they defeated the Orioles 8-1. Milwaukee is now 2.5 games ahead of the Cubs in the NL Central.
Even though it was clearly an unbelievable, heads-up play by Arcia, blame must also be given to the Orioles for bungling the rundown. Either Tejada or Castillo was clearly in the wrong spot, which allowed Arcia to run right past them for the score. Perhaps the struggling Orioles (40-42, fourth place in the AL East) will revisit their rundown responsibilities over the All-Star break.
Arcia has made a name for himself over the past few days, but this time it was for something he did during the course of play. On Saturday Arcia put himself into the animated gif Hall of Fame by treating himself to a scoop of ice cream from an unsuspecting fan:
After his play Monday, Arcia should have his pick of ice cream waiting for him once he returns to the clubhouse.
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