WASHINGTON -- The Nationals didn't hit a home run Monday, and only three of their 17 hits went for extra bases. Nevertheless, they scored plenty in an 11-4 win over the Mets, thanks in part to one of the best basestealing nights in Nationals history.Washington tied a Nationals record with
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals didn't hit a home run Monday, and only three of their 17 hits went for extra bases. Nevertheless, they scored plenty in an 11-4 win over the Mets, thanks in part to one of the best basestealing nights in Nationals history.
Washington tied a Nationals record with six stolen bases, taking advantage of Mets starter Noah Syndergaard's slow delivery to the plate to jump-start the offense early in the game. After falling behind, 4-0, the Nationals stole four bases off Syndergaard in a five-run third inning.
"All year we've ran the bases really well, ran them hard," said Bryce Harper, who swiped his 10th base of the season after stealing only six last year. "[Third-base coach] Bobby Henley, he loves to send guys. We love to have a guy like that at third base who really takes that approach of pushing the envelope."
Leading the basestealing charge was Ben Revere, who collected four hits, swiped three bags (tying a career high) and came around to score three times.
Revere has struggled this season after missing essentially all of April with an oblique injury, with his batting average hovering by the Mendoza line, but Monday showed what the Nationals' lineup looks like when he's rolling.
"Ben got us going big time," manager Dusty Baker said. "That's something we had hoped [for]. And no finer time than tonight."
Revere and Harper both credited first-base coach and former MLB basestealing maestro Davey Lopes with fueling the team's aggressiveness on the basepaths. Harper said Lopes "knows the key on every single [pitcher] in the league," and Revere called the coach a "stolen-bases genius."
It also helped that Syndergaard is notoriously poor at holding runners. The righty has now allowed 29 stolen bases this season, more than twice as many as the next worst pitcher. He became only the 13th pitcher since 1913 to allow at least five stolen bases in three innings on the mound.
The Nationals' baserunning opportunism was especially important on a night when the typically homer-happy lineup was spraying singles across the ballpark. Revere, whose game has always been based on contact and speed, said he enjoys seeing the team play that style.
"I mean, you look at what the Royals did last year," Revere said. "They're world champions and that's all they did. Especially when I was with the Blue Jays, they just killed us with single, single, single. ... You [have to produce in] the key situations and get a runner over or a sac fly or a little blooper base hit. That still counts."
Alex Putterman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington.