If you have followed the Red Sox for a while, you know that base stealing has rarely been a big part of their offense. The Red Sox were long a team of plodding power hitters, with occasional flashes of speed from players like Tommy Harper, Otis Nixon, and, of course, Jacoby Ellsbury.
That Carl Yastrzemski is fourth in team history with all of 168 steals illustrates the point.
So get this. The Red Sox are 23 for 23 in stolen bases since Aug. 9. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the longest streak for a Red Sox team in at least 85 years. Prior to that, nobody thought to keep track.
It’s the longest streak for any team in the majors since the Marlins had 23 straight steals during the 2010 season. The last streak that was longer came from the Phillies in 2009. They had 25 in a row.
Shane Victorino is 4 for 4 with the Red Sox in their streak. He was 6 for 6 in the streak put together by the 2009 Phillies.
The Sox are 107 of 126 (.849) this season. They are fourth in baseball in steals and first in steal percentage.
The 107 steals are the most since the 2009 Red Sox had 126. Since 1935, only three Red Sox teams have had more steals than the 2013 team.
Elllsbury is 51 of 55 this season, so the bulk of the credit goes to him. But seven other Red Sox players have stolen at least two bases this season. Outside of Ellsbury, the Sox are 56 of 71 (.788).
The 56 steals would be good for 24th in the majors and the percentage would be fourth.