The Atlanta Braves struck first with a productive 1-0 top of the third inning in Game 3 of the NLDS. From there, it was all Philadelphia Phillies, with Nick Castellanos and Bryce Harper blasting moonshots en route to a six-run third inning for the home team. Philly never looked back.
In the end, the Phillies hit six home runs — two for Harper, two for Castellanos, one for Trea Turner, and one for Brandon Marsh. The final score was 10-2, with the Phillies taking a commanding 2-1 series lead ahead of Game 4 right back in Citizens Bank Park.
The crowd was raucous and the Phils' hitters were on a heater all night. There is plenty of blame to go around for Braves, but here's who will face the brunt of the vitriol as fans react to this undesirable outcome.
Braves' Orlando Arcia deserves blame for free bulletin board material
On the surface, Orlando Arcia was one of the few bright spots for the Braves. He went 1-for-4 with an RBI and made a couple nifty plays in the field at shortstop. It's what Arcia did off the field, in the aftermath of Game 2, that lands him on this list.
Arcia was widely quoted as yelling "ha ha, atta-boy Harper" in the Braves locker room following the team's Game 2 victory. There's nothing wrong with celebrating a win, and a little smack talk is only natural in the MLB playoffs. What you can't do is parade your smack talk around the locker room with the prying ears of reporters there to document it.
Harper hit two home runs on Wednesday night, and he appeared to stare down Arcia while rounding second base in the third inning.
Harper refused to acknowledge the Arcia comments in his postgame interview, but it's not difficult to read between the lines of Harper's actions and demeanor. If there's one MLB player you can't hand bulletin board material to, it's Harper. Especially not with the Philadelphia home crowd at his back.
Arcia didn't lose the game on the field, but half the battle is mental. He may have handed the mental edge to Philly.