Jacoby Ellsbury reached base in five of his six plate appearances last night and wreaked havoc on the Phillies once he was there, setting a Red Sox record with five steals.
Ellsbury stole all five off catcher Erik Kratz, who came into the game having thrown out 40 percent of steal attempts during his career. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said afterward that much of the blame was on the Phillies’ pitchers for letting Ellsbury “get a walking lead.”
Not only did Ellsbury set the Red Sox record for steals in a game, he became just the 20th player since 1970 to swipe five or more bases in a game. No one had done it since Carl Crawford and Dexter Fowler in 2009 and Ellsbury is just the fifth player to do it in the past decade. Baseball-Reference.com’s indispensable “Play Index” has the full list, which includes Alex Cole and Eric Young doing it twice each.
Ellsbury, who led the league in steals in 2008 and 2009, has swiped 21 bags in 54 games while being caught just twice.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)