BOSTON (CBS) – Jacoby Ellsbury is running away from his slump, and right into the record books.
“To have a single-game record like that is pretty special,” Ellsbury told reporters after the game.
Ellsbury swiped his first base of the night in the second inning, another in the fourth, two in the sixth and capped it all off swiping second in the eighth. His final steal of the night came after four throw-overs to first from reliever Michael Stutes, which was par for the course for Phillies pitchers when Ellsbury was dancing around the bag.
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After the game, the Phillies gave Ellsbury the second-base bag — likely cutting off the speedster before he had a chance to swipe another from them.
“It’s pretty neat,” said Ellsbury. “They told me they were going to give me the bag. I wasn’t expecting that. I’m sure I’ll have the Red Sox make me something nice to put at the house.”
Ellsbury can now add it to a collection of bases he’s received from the Red Sox over the years; one for breaking Tommy Harper’s team record of 54 steals in a season and one for stealing his major-league leading 70th base — both in 2009.
After a slow start in a contract year, Ellsbury now has his season average up to .268. Just over a week ago there was talk of dropping him from the leadoff spot, but Ellsbury is batting .400 over his last 10 games and is riding a five-game hit streak since he hit a walk-off double on Sunday against the Cleveland Indians.
More importantly than his swing, his confidence has returned.
“I knew it was just a matter of time before stuff starts falling,” said Ellsbury. “You just try to continue to grind ABs. I knew over the long haul, good things were going to happen when you work hard and stay confident in yourself.”
With that confidence, Ellsbury is once again wreaking havoc in the batter’s box and on the base paths.