Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis entered play Wednesday without a stolen base in his nine-year Major League career. Despite not being the fleetest of foot, it was difficult to fathom Ellis didn’t at least once luck his way into a swiped bag.
The 35-year-old had 381 career hits in the Majors and 239 career walks. He attempted to steal second base on only four occasions. Once in 2011, twice in 2013 and once earlier this season, but he had been cut down each time.
In the second inning of Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Dodger center fielder Joc Pederson walked with two outs. Ellis followed with a single, putting runners at the corners with two outs and Brandon McCarthy at the plate.
With a 2-2 count to McCarthy, Ellis did the unthinkable and took off for second base. While it appears Ellis would have probably been safe regardless, Maile’s throw went into center field allowing Pederson to score.
The run was rule unearned due to the error, but Ellis was awarded his first career stolen base:
Rays pitcher Matt Moore struck out McCarthy on the next pitch, so if it were not for Ellis’ aggressiveness the Dodgers would have likely been held scoreless in the inning. Unfortunately it didn’t make much of a difference for the Dodgers as they lost to the Rays, 3-1.