Now Commenting On:

Ellsbury ends stolen-base drought

Ellsbury ends stolen-base drought

KANSAS CITY -- It was hard enough to believe that speedster Jacoby Ellsbury went 26 games without stealing a base before recording two thefts on Tuesday. But perhaps even stranger is that Ellsbury, entering play on Wednesday, still led the American League with 37 stolen bases.

"I was thinking, 'Yeah, the league kind of tightened down on the bases.' I hadn't even looked at it and I was like, 'How am I still in first place? I haven't stolen a base in a month.' I don't know. I was surprised," said Ellsbury.

Manny Delcarmen joked that the entire bullpen gave Ellsbury a standing ovation when he broke the dry spell.

Much like hits, stolen bases can come in bunches and disappear for a while. Ellsbury's drought on the bases went from July 2 to Aug. 4.

He notices how much tighter opponents are playing him.

"Definitely, you can see they have a little game plan, and I'm seeing a lot more pitchouts and a lot more slide steps," said Ellsbury. "A lot more [pickoff attempts]. The biggest thing is just getting on base and giving myself opportunities to steal."

Ellsbury, a rookie, still has a shot of tying or passing Tommy Harper for most stolen bases in a season by a Red Sox player. Harper stole 54 bases for the 1973 Red Sox.

One thing Ellsbury didn't lose during his stolen-base sabbatical was confidence.

"I knew it was just a matter of time before I got back on track and got in a rhythm and going again," said Ellsbury.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español