With the Tampa Bays Rays running amok on the base paths, my mind took me back to the Matt LeCroy game, way back in 2006.
LeCroy allowed seven stolen bases against him (he also committed two fielding errors) in just seven innings of work, and was removed in a game the Nationals eventually won.
Have to love manager Frank Robinson. After the game an emotional Robinson took the blame, for embarrassing his catcher, after the Houston Astros ran all over him.
As the game against the Tampa Bay Rays went on last night, I began to garner visions of Matt LeCroy crouched behind the plate in Nats gear. Only, it wasn’t LeCroy back there, it was Kurt Suzuki.
We know Suzuki struggles with base stealers. Well documented. In the past two years Suzuki has nabbed just 11% of attempted base stealers. Entering last night he had allowed 65 stolen bases in 99 regular season games with the Nationals. And we play in an era which doesn’t emphasize the stolen base.
The Rays ran, and ran, and ran some more. Five stolen bases before the night was over. Manuel Margot, sure, he’s going to steal some bases. His swipe against the Nats, was his 12th of the year. Michael Brosseau, though? Last night was just the second stolen base of his career. Nate Lowe? He picked up the first stolen base of his career.
When a leadoff single is a guaranteed double at the expense of the catcher’s throwing arm, there is a problem. When it happens multiple times a night, problem. When a team is taking bases at will, something needs to be done.
Suzuki is a free agent at the end of the year and most likely will not be back in a Nationals uniform. For the sake of forgetting the Matt LeCroy game, the Nationals need to sign a catcher who can keep opposing runners at bay.