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.
In 2016, late pitcher Roy Halladay was asked if he would prefer to wear a Blue Jays or Phillies cap on his plaque if he were to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Per Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star, Halladay said, “I’d go as a Blue Jay.” He added, “I wanted to retire here, too, just because I felt like this is the bulk of my career.”
Obviously, circumstances have changed as Halladay tragically died in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida in November 2017. Halladay was elected to the Hall of Fame yesterday, becoming the first player to be posthumously elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility since Christy Mathewson in the Hall of Fame’s inaugural year.
Today, Arash Madani reports that Halladay’s wife Brandy said her late husband will not wear a cap with the emblem of either team on his plaque. He will instead be portrayed with a generic baseball cap. Brandy said, “He was a Major League Baseball player and that’s how we want him to be remembered.”
Halladay spent 16 years in the majors, 12 with the Blue Jays and four with the Phillies. He meant a lot to both teams. He was a six-time All-Star and won the AL Cy Young Award in 2003 with the Jays. He won the NL Cy Young in 2010 with the Phillies and was a runner-up for the award in 2011, making the All-Star team both years and helping the Phillies continue their streak of reaching the postseason, which lasted from 2007-11. Halladay authored a perfect game in the regular season against the Marlins and a no-hitter in the postseason against the Reds as a member of the Phillies in 2010 as well.
In aggregate, Halladay won 203 games with a 3.38 ERA and 2,117 strikeouts in 2,749 1/3 innings during his storied 16-year career which was unfortunately cut a bit short by injuries.