TOP PLAY (WPA):
The top play of this game happened in the first inning. The Brewers were batting and Jonathan Villar was leading off the inning. On the fourth pitch of the at-bat, he pulled a ground ball past the second baseman for a leadoff single.
Villar then stole second base, his 49th steal of the season. The next batter was Keon Broxton, and he grounded out to second base. On the play, Villar advanced to third base. Ryan Braun then hit a groundball to shortstop Daniel Descalso. Descalso botched the play, allowing Braun to reach first base safely and Villar to score, tying the game up at one apiece.
Scooter Gennett followed by working a walk, and so did Chris Carter, loading the bases with only one out for Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
Nieuwenhuis, after taking the first pitch for a ball, singled on a line drive to center field. Braun and Gennett were able to score on the play, putting the Brewers ahead 3-1. The Brewers wouldn’t score again in the inning, but they would not relinquish the lead.
WORST PLAY (WPA):
The worst play of this game happened in the second inning. The Brewers were still up 3-1, and after eight men batted in the first, Jimmy Nelson had to lead off the second. He started the inning by predictably grounding out.
Jonathan Villar, who had a good start to the game, worked a walk, and the stole second base. He later would move to third on an error made by Nick Hundley.
Keon Broxton who’s shown some big improvements since being recalled worked a walk. There was, therefore, a man on third base and first with only one out and Ryan Braun was coming up to bat. Braun, who’s been the best Brewers hitter all year took a ball on the first pitch. But, after fouling off the next pitch, he grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Orlando Arcia’s Poor At-Bats:
It’s not secret that Arcia is struggling at the plate. He’s got a .152/.233/.197 slash line and his TAv is at .165. Those aren’t very good numbers. In fact, they are abysmal.
This game wasn’t a whole lot better. Arcia went 0-4 with two strikeouts, and chased a number of bad pitches.
In the fifth inning, Arcia was up with bases loaded and two outs. He worked an eight-pitch at-bat and then struck out. Now, that doesn’t sound so bad, right? Getting into a long battle with a pitcher is important it can drive the pitch count up, and perhaps make him more susceptible to making a mistake. It may also mean that the batter is just missing his pitches. But, take a look at this pitch chart.
In the eight pitches that Bettis threw to Arcia, only two of them were in the strike zone. Some of them weren’t even close to the strike zone, and the sixth pitch was right down the middle. Plus, he swung and missed three times in the at bat.
Now, look at the pitch chart for his last at bat.
The only pitch Arcia didn’t swing at was one that wasn’t even in the pitch chart. It was way out of the strike zone. None of those pitches were even close. This is basically the definition of a non-competitive at bat.
Now, take a look at the final pitch in each at-bat.
The fifth inning strike out:
The eighth inning strike out:
Both of those were similar pitches that had the same result. A slider down and away and instead of letting that pitch go, Arcia swung through it and struck out.
Baseball is a game of adjustments. When most young players come up to the big leagues, they struggle. This is normal. The ones that don’t stick don’t make the necessary adjustments. If Arcia wants to be successful he’s going to have to lay off of those sliders down and away, or else, teams will keep exploiting that weakness.
Coming Up Next:
The Brewers will be in action once again Tuesday at 8:10 (ET) PM versus the Rockies. This time, they will be facing Jon Gray, who’s been one of the better pitchers for the Rockies this season. He’s currently sporting a 3.60 DRA and has the best PWARP among all Rockies pitchers. Therefore, even though the Brewers won this game pretty handily, better performances will be needed from the likes of Arcia and Braun if the Brewers want to get another win.