Nationals burning up the basepaths, creating 'havoc'

April 10th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Jessica Camerato's Nationals Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Lane Thomas did it first on Sunday at Nationals Park against the Phillies. When the Nats got to San Francisco, No. 16 prospect Trey Lipscomb followed suit on Monday, and No. 18 prospect Jacob Young made it a trifecta on Tuesday at Oracle Park.

The Nationals became only the third team since 1900 to have a player record three stolen bases in three consecutive games.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, they joined the 1983 Athletics (Rickey Henderson, July 3, 4, 8) and the 1914 Indianapolis Hoosier-Feds (Benny Kauff, Game 1 on Aug. 15; Charlie Carr, Game 2 on Aug. 15; Vin Campbell and Bill McKechnie, Aug. 16).

“They’re playing with their hair on fire, and I like it,” manager Dave Martinez said. “They’re being aggressive, but they’re being aggressive smart. We’re trying to create havoc when we get on the bases, but in the right way.”

Including CJ Abrams on March 30 at Cincinnati, four Nationals players have recorded a three-stolen-base game this season.

Compared to all players in the Major Leagues, only three others have reached that feat in a game in 2024: Brewers second baseman Brice Turang, Red Sox left fielder Jarren Duran and Braves right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr.

“I was on [X] and I saw the stat that Trey, Lane, me and CJ all got it, so that’s really cool,” Young said of’s Sarah Langs’ post. “I think it shows the versatility we have, we can do it all down the lineup and kind of find different ways to win ballgames.”

The Nationals are tied with the Reds for the most stolen bases among all clubs (23) entering play Wednesday. Washington has only been caught stealing twice, compared to four times by Cincinnati. Thomas is tied with the Reds' Elly De La Cruz, the Rays' Jose Siri and Duran for the second-most stolen bases (6) in the Majors.

“We do our work with [first-base coach Gerardo] Parra, looking at video and stuff like that,” Abrams said. “Staying aggressive on the basepaths always helps.”

On a developing team, the Nationals are not letting their levels of experience hold them back from jumping on their opportunities. Martinez noted, “We push our young guys to fit in.”

Lipscomb, 23, has played in 10 games for the Nationals since debuting on March 30. On Monday, he became the fourth rookie in Nats team history (2005-present) to steal home, along with Abrams (2022), Trea Turner ('16) and Bryce Harper ('12).

Young, 24, made his Major League debut Aug. 26 last season and has appeared in 39 games for Washington. He is 17-for-17 in his career stolen-base attempts. On Tuesday, Young joined Lipscomb and Juan Soto (2018) as the only rookies in team history to nab a trio of bases in a game.

“I love the way they’re playing,” Martinez said. “They run the balls out hard, they’re thinking [two bases], so it’s been fun to watch."