The Boston Red Sox have come a long way since Marty Barrett used to lead them in stolen bases with 15 for an entire season. Jacoby Ellsbury swiped a team-record five on Thursday night alone against the Philadelphia Phillies, becoming just the 21st player since 1916 to steal at least that many in a game (H/N: Aaron Gleeman of Hardball Talk).
The major league record for steals in a game is six, done three times, and most recently by Carl Crawford in 2009.
All five of Ellsbury's steals came against catcher Erik Kratz, though Phillies manager Charlie Manuel blamed his pitchers for allowing Ellsbury such big leads. The best Kratz could do was hit Ellsbury (accidentally) with his first two throws. As you heard Red Sox broadcaster Don Orsillo note, Ellsbury tied Nate McLouth of the Orioles for the AL lead in steals with his first theft of the game, and then just kept on going until he reached 21 for the season. No tacos this time, though, unless you paid for them yourself.
Ellsbury went 3 for 4 with a walk and a hit by pitch, though he only scored one run in Boston's 9-2 victory. Hey, Ellsbury did what he could to get in position. The Phillies acknowledged his achievement by presenting him with a base. Hey, they weren't using it anyway — they dropped to 8-23 when scoring three runs or fewer.