Carl Crawford Does Dexter Fowler One Better, Steals Six

Since 1954, baseball has seen a total of 18 occurrences where one player steals at least five bases during one game. We’ve seen two this week. Last week Dexter Fowler took five against the Dan Diego Padres and on Sunday, Carl Crawford stole six against the Boston Red Sox.

So let’s talk about stealing five or more bases from a historical aspect.

Eric Young pulled the feat twice, once in 1996 and once in 2000. Kenny Lofton also took five in 2000, about three weeks earlier then Scarborough Green – who? – nabbed five against Seattle in 2000. Otis Nixon snagged six against Montreal in 1991. Ryan Freel managed five in 2005. Willy Tavares took a handful against the White Sox last season as well.

Most of the accomplished players were center fielders or middle infielders, but there are a few corner outfielders who pulled the trick, including Tony Gwynn, Rickey Henderson, and Alex Cole, the only player besides Young to steal five twice, and the only to do so while playing two different positions. Damian Jackson is the only player to manage from a lineup slot lower than third, during his game he batted 8th.

12 of the 19 happened at the player’s home park. I would’ve expected the number to be a bit higher honestly. You always hear jokes (most of the time) about how teams water down the basepaths a little extra when a known speedster is in town. Having the homefield advantage certainly can’t hurt, unless of course your team is winning

As you may have guessed, 2000 was the year of five+ steals. No other season has two cases, let alone three. Although, it seems like 2009 could be the season to knock 2000 off the throne, especially since Fowler gets to feast on Chris Young a few more times.



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kris
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7 years 1 month ago

not along = let alone?

Nice article though, at least until the editing-clusterf*#ck that is the final paragraph. :D

KingKirkpatrick
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KingKirkpatrick
7 years 1 month ago

Scarborough Green? Sounds like an Irish pirate.

Dane
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Dane
7 years 1 month ago

I was gonna go with racehorse but yours works too.

TomG
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TomG
7 years 1 month ago

I thought that’s where they held the eponymous fair.

dbuff
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dbuff
7 years 1 month ago

A tremendous performance no doubt. As Crawford has matured his basestealing has grown increasingly biased toward right handers. In 07, 08 and 09 he has stolen 77 bases on righthanders and only 9 on lefthanders. In fact, in that time period he’s only attempted 13 steals against lefthanders.

Kevin S.
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Kevin S.
7 years 1 month ago

Not really related to the feat discussed here, but rather baserunning philosophy in general. Aggressive managers such as Mike Scioscia and Ozzie Guillen put runners in motion often to “put pressure on the defense.” Has anybody ever broken this down? Presumably, the effect would show itself in the BAbip difference, controlling for the hitter at the plate (hit-and-runs are more likely to be called with high-contact hitters, for example). Does anybody know if this has been studied before?

dan
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7 years 1 month ago

Yea it has, by John Dewan I think. No clue where it is on the net though.

Kevin S.
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Kevin S.
7 years 1 month ago

Do you remember his conclusion?

Kyle
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Kyle
7 years 1 month ago

Wouldn’t it make more sense that visiting players would get more steals because they’re guaranteed a 9th inning of batting?

fanOFdefenseAGAIN
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fanOFdefenseAGAIN
7 years 1 month ago

the study found zero “pressure” effect. pitchers did not pitch less successfully nor did defenses defend less successfully in the face of base stealers or “small ball” tactics.

kris
Guest
7 years 1 month ago

That seems like a rather shocking conclusion, considering you’re creating huge gaps in the defense.

Theoretically, you’re probably giving the hitter an extra 10? feet as the first baseman holds the hitter on. You’re also giving him an extra 10-15 feet? as the covering MI, pretty much gives up whatever range he has to the side he’s running away from (2nd basemen covering second gives up any range he has towards first base)

The only way I can explain zero net change, is the batters crumbling under the pressure to hit the ball to the hole created by the covering defender. I suppose there’s a very real possibility that the hitter would hit substantially worse while trying to pick a spot, than if he was just hitting.

I’m still not buying it though, and if I wasn’t lazy I’d definitely look to see what the variables are.

dbuff
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dbuff
7 years 1 month ago

I believe the hit and run is employed primarily to reduce the probability of a double play on a ground ball hit with a runner on 1st, and not to increase the probability of a hit per se. With a right handed hitter, and therefore the second baseman probably covering the bag, it also increases the probability of the runner advancing to third on a ground ball to the right side. For these reasons it’s not normally used with 2 men out, which would be the case if it were used to increase the chances of a hit. With a ground ball pitcher and a contact hitter it can be a smart play.

Kmoney
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Kmoney
7 years 1 month ago

I expect the probability of the base runner is caught stealing if no contact is made with two outs would usually outweigh the increased probability of a hit. Especially if the hit and run is not guaranteeing a run. If he has CC’s speed than he could score on a double/triple/hr.

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