Jacoby Ellsbury finished the first half by swiping his 40th base
yesterday, joining Hall of Famer Tris Speaker as the only players in
Red Sox history to steal at least 40 bases in back-to-back seasons.
Ellsbury is also just 15 steals away from breaking the Red Sox’s
single-season record of 54 steals, which was set by Tommy Harper in
Ellsbury is on pace for 73 steals, which would make him just the
third player this decade to top the 70 mark along with Jose Reyes in
2007 and Scott Podsednik in 2003. Of course, with 44 steals already
Carl Crawford may join the club before Ellsbury. The last time two
players stole at least 70 bases in the same season was way back in
1991, when Marquis Grissom swiped 76 and Otis Nixon swiped 71.
Before that Rickey Henderson and Vince Coleman both topped 70 in
1988 and Henderson, Coleman, Tim Raines, and Eric Davis all did it in
1986. In fact, with Henderson, Coleman, and Raines all in their primes
at least two players stole 70 bases in 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984,
1985, 1986, and 1988. Incidentally, Ellsbury was born in 1983 and
Crawford was born in 1981.
Double plays come in an assortment of combinations, from the standard 6-4-3 combo to some more unusual patterns. During the Mets’ 5-3 win over the Nationals on Saturday, however, what made this double play strange was less the product of an unorthodox route and almost entirely due to an unexpected collision on the basepaths instead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, with the Mets trailing 1-0, Zack Wheeler caught Jose Lobaton swinging for strike three. Mets’ backstop Travis d'Arnaud fired the ball to second base, where the ball slipped out of Asdrubal Cabrera‘s glove as Jayson Werth slid into the bag for a stolen base. Second baseman Neil Walker fielded the ball in shallow center field, then tossed it to third base, and Jose Reyes tagged Werth easily for the second out of the play.
The Mets complimented their defensive efforts with a strong showing at the plate, reclaiming the lead with three home runs from Michael Conforto and Jose Reyes to clinch their tenth win of the year.
It’s been a miserable weekend for Nationals’ outfielder Adam Eaton, who stumbled over first base and injured his leg while running out an infield single in Friday’s 7-5 loss to the Mets. While the team officially placed the outfielder on the 10-day disabled list with a left knee strain on Saturday, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Eaton has been diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee and is expected to miss the remainder of the 2017 season. The team has yet to confirm the diagnosis or announce a definite timetable for the 28-year-old’s return, perhaps due to extended evaluations by Eaton’s orthopedic doctor:
The Nationals appear to have several outfield options with Eaton on the disabled list, though they have not pinned down a long-term solution. Center fielder Michael Taylor replaced Eaton on the field during the tail end of Friday’s game, and returned on Saturday to man center and bat second in the lineup. The club also promoted top outfield prospect Rafael Bautista, who slashed .291/.325/.354 with five doubles and a .680 OPS through 19 games in Triple-A Syracuse this season. He’ll assume Eaton’s roster spot and looks to be available for a backup role in the outfield going forward.