The art of stealing a steal

With the Mets up one run and two outs in the eighth, Jason Bay crept off first base. No one cared. So he bolted.

Ultimately, the stolen base proved inconsequential — Jeff Francoeur flew out to end the inning, stranding Bay at second. But the fact that Bay, an average runner, was able to swipe his third bag in seven games was telling. Every stolen base attempt for Bay is a calculated risk, with an emphasis on the calculation.

“It’s a part of my game,” said Bay, who stole 21 bases with the Pirates in 2005. “A few years ago, it was a big part of my game and I’ve gotten away from it a little bit. Jerry’s been really good about saying, ‘Hey, it’s up to you.’”

It’s another weapon for a player who right now, despite an 11-game hitting streak, is not hitting with nearly the type of power that everyone expects. For Bay, every small contribution has become significant.

“We have a team with Jose and Luis and David,” he said, “and all these guys that we can make things happen when things haven’t been going well.”

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