NEW YORK -- Trea Turner sprinted his way into Nationals history Sunday by stealing four bases, which stands as the team record since the franchise moved to D.C. in 2005.Turner now has 26 stolen bases on the season and tied the Expos/Nationals single-game record. Marquis Grissom swiped four bags for
NEW YORK -- Trea Turner sprinted his way into Nationals history Sunday by stealing four bases, which stands as the team record since the franchise moved to D.C. in 2005.
Turner now has 26 stolen bases on the season and tied the Expos/Nationals single-game record. Marquis Grissom swiped four bags for Montreal on July 21, 1992, against San Francisco.
"Any time you can do something like that, it's special and not something you want to take for granted," Turner said following the Nationals' 5-1 loss to the Mets at Citi Field.
Turner reached base in his final three at-bats, going to work against New York's battery of Jacob deGrom on the mound and Travis d'Arnaud behind the plate.
In the third inning, Turner took second base easily, then slid into third without a throw. He stole second twice more in the fifth and eighth innings. Turner averaged a secondary lead of 25 feet on his four steals, making it nearly impossible for d'Arnaud to throw him out.
However, Turner said that with the reams of data available to him, he mostly concentrates on the pitcher's tendencies, unless someone like Cardinals backstop Yadier Molina is catching. He saw a weakness in deGrom and took advantage of it.
"I don't really look at the catcher at all," Turner said. "I think you steal bases off the pitcher."
That was somewhat of a surprise, given that d'Arnaud had only thrown out three runners on 13 steal attempts this season entering Sunday's game.
The problem for Turner and the Nats, though, is that deGrom never really let Turner's presence on the basepaths unnerve him. Turner's teammates were unable to drive him in, despite the speedster consistently being in scoring position. The Nationals' only run of the game came on Ryan Zimmerman's sacrifice fly in the first inning.
Still, the rest of the team knows how Turner's prowess on the basepaths can make their lives at the plate easier.
"Even when a pitcher does put all his focus over there, he's still able to get some bases," Nationals catcher Matt Wieters said. "It's big for our lineup. One, it gets him in scoring position. Two, it can give us better pitches to hit when you're hitting behind him, because the pitcher always has to think about him when he's at first."
Nationals manager Dusty Baker pointed to the work Turner puts in with Washington's first-base coach Davey Lopes on a variety of skills required for the art of stealing bases, such as timing, reads and even sliding. Turner also praised Lopes.
"For me it's all about confidence," Turner said. "He gives you the confidence to run, and I think that's something I never really had. I had coaches that gave me the green light. But it's always been on me. [Lopes] pushes me to run. That's huge for me, personally. I think that helps on a day-to-day basis."
Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com based out of New York and covered the Nationals on Sunday.