WASHINGTON — Shortstop Trea Turner is arguably the most prolific base-stealer in Washington Nationals history, and he has only played 165 career games.
In that minuscule sample size, Turner has stolen 30 bases in consecutive seasons, the first Nats players to do so. He is one of just four players to ever steal 30 bases in one season and is now just eight away from tying Alfonso Soriano (40) for the Nats’ single-season record.
On Tuesday night, Turner stole four bases, tying his own Nationals/Expos franchise record that he set last week. In doing so, he became the first player in franchise history to complete the feat twice, and the first MLB player in two years to do the feat twice in one season (Billy Hamilton, Dee Gordon).
Now that Turner has been officially unleashed on the base paths, it is not inconceivable to see him challenging that record again this season, and possibly even breaking it. Especially when he has to deal with Davey Lopes on first base.
After the game, Turner explained to MASN’s Dan Kolko how his first base coach has empowered him to run.
“He gets mad when I don’t go,” Turner said with a laugh. “He doesn’t really say anything, he just looks at me like, why are you still here?”
Turner’s success on the base paths is loosening up opportunities for other players as well. The Nats stole seven bases vs. Jake Arrieta and the Cubbies on Tuesday night, setting a new Nats record and tying a franchise mark set three times by the Expos:
Arrieta is known for being slow to the plate. Catcher Miguel Montero came in throwing out 0-of-24 baserunners. Now, he is 0-for-31.
And stealing seven bases becomes much easier when one player contributes more than half of the team output.