Colorado Rockies v.. San Diego Padres: Dexter Fowler Is Running

Scotty KimberlyAnalyst IApril 28, 2009

PHOENIX - APRIL 08:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Colorado Rockies is congratulated by teammate Troy Tulowitzki #2 after Fowler hit a lead off solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the game at Chase Field on April 8, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

As I write this, the San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies are in the seventh inning of a Coors Field-esque showdown. Through six innings, the two teams have combined for 18 runs, 24 hits, seven extra base hits, and a whopping 13.50 ERA.

The headline of the night, however, has nothing to do with the batter’s box. Instead, the most eye-popping statistics have come from the base paths. The Rockies have eight steals as a team, including five from Dexter Fowler OF.

Here is an example of the Rockies’ mindset on the base paths tonight:

  1. D. Fowler singled to shallow right
  2. D. Fowler stole second
  3. R. Spilborghs walked
  4. D. Fowler stole third, R. Spilborghs stole second

The game plan seems simple: get on base and start running. I am most impressed because this is happening in an era of baseball where prominent base stealers have all but died off.

My dad used to tell me about how Rickey Henderson simply dominated games from the base paths. Henderson would take a walk to lead off the game, steal second, then steal third, leaving the opposing team with no option but to concede the run.

Fowler’s performance tonight hearkens back to the days when base runners regularly dominated baseball games. This isn’t to say that stolen bases aren’t significant anymore, but that there is no star-caliber player who is heralded for running wild nearly every time he is on base.

So far tonight, Fowler has ran nearly every opportunity he has had. He is five-for-five in steal attempts, and there is every chance he could end up with six or seven.

In the fourth inning, he singled and stole second, and had it not been for Ryan Spilborghs singling on an early pitch in his at-bat, Fowler would have probably made another run at third base.

Will Dexter Fowler end the drought of 100-plus steal seasons in Major League Baseball? Probably not. But maybe Major League Baseball needs more base runners to run wild; it adds another dimension to the game that most fans aren’t used to seeing.

In a completely unrelated matter, there is still no news on the whereabouts of missing Padres Catcher Nick Hundley.

He was last seen behind home plate in tonight’s game, but after the Rockies went eight-for-right on the base paths, Padres Manager Bud Black filed a missing person report in order to determine, as Black put it, “just where in the hell he was for the first six innings of the game.”