In this case, the Reds had momentum. Hatteberg was ahead 2-1. With Freel stealing, it appeared 'Berg swung to protect Freel (because if he gets thrown out, I puke blood). It was clearly a ball, but instead of being a 3-1 count, it's 2-2. Plus, with Freel on 1st, you have the 1st baseman holding him, which leaves a much bigger hole in the right side for Hatteberg to enjoy.
There is something to be said about being aggressive and a single would have put them ahead. I just don't think this was the right time.
Narron is not smart (although he is scrappy) and I am sure he never thought of any of this. Freel probably stole on his own.