Tuesday, September 30, 2008

2008 NL HBP award winners

Since the National League had the courtesy to finish their season on schedule, lets hand out he 2008 awards for outstanding achievement in the field of HBP excellence.

Most Plunkable Player Award - NL (most HBPs by a batter):

Chase Utley (PHI) - 27

Chase Utley set a new record for the Phillies by getting hit by 27 pitches in a season. He set the previous record last year with 25. 27 HBPs is the 3rd most by a left handed batter in major league history. Kevin Kouzmanoff was 2nd with 15 HBPs, and he was the top right-handed National Leaguer in HBPs. Augie Ojeda was the National League's top switch get-hitter with 10 HBPs.

The Phil Knell Award - NL (most batters plunked by a pitcher):

Edinson Volquez, Cincinnati Reds - 14
Kyle Kendrick, Philadelphia Phillies - 14
Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds - 14

Volquez and Cueto tied for the Reds, along with Kendrick for the Phillies all with 14 hit batters. Randy Wolf of the Padres and Astros was the top left handed pitcher, with 12 batters plunked.

Mitch Williams Award - NL (most hit batters by a relief pitcher):

Aaron Heilman, New York Mets - 9

Heilman finished just ahead of Keiichi Yabu and Billy Sadler - both of the Giants - who had 8 each. Chase Utley led the NL in getting hit by relief pitchers, with 12.

Plunked Rookie of the Year - NL (most HBPs by a rookie):

Ian Stewart, Colorado Rockies - 7

Stewart edged out Houston's JR Towles and Atlanta's Gregor Blanco who each got hit 6 times as rookies.

The Gus Weyhig Award - NL (most plunks thrown by a rookie):

Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds - 14

Cueto tied for most hit batters in the NL, along with being the rookie leader. John Lannan of the Nationals was the top left-hander, with 7 hit batters.

Sandy Alomar Award - NL (most plate appearance without an HBP):

Derrek Lee, Chicago Cubs - 698

The Chick Fraser Award - NL (most batters faced without hitting anyone)

Glendon Rusch, Padres and Rockies - 367

Rusch was 81st in the National League in total batters faced, but every other pitcher who faced more than 367 batters hit at least 1 of them.

Most Plunked Team - NL (the plunk pennant):

Florida Marlins - 69
Milwaukee Brewers - 69

(If you hate ties, we can give this one to the Brewers on the head-to-head plunks tie breaker. The Brewers got hit 3 times by the Marlins, and only plunked back twice.)

Least Plunked Team - NL:

New York Mets - 39

Most Plunks Thrown - NL:

New York Mets - 70
San Francisco Giants - 70

(Give it to the Mets on the tie breaker - they hit 3 Giants and the Giants hit only 2 Mets.)

Fewest Plunks Thrown - NL:

San Diego Padres - 39

National League All Plunk Team:

1st Base: Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers - 12

2nd Base: Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies - 27

Short Stop: Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins - 8

3rd Base: Kevin Kouzmanoff, San Diego Padres - 15

Left Field: Josh Willingham, Florida Marlins - 14

Center Field: Lastings Milledge, Washington Nationals - 14

Right Field: Jeff Francoeur, Atlanta Braves - 10

Catcher: Chris Iannetta, Colorado Rockies - 14

Pitcher: Mike Pelfrey, New York Mets - 1,
Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds - 1,
Garrett Mock, Washington Nationals - 1,
Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies - 1,
Collin Balester, Washington Nationals - 1,
Brandon Backe, Houston Astros - 1

Pinch Hitter: Chris Burke, Arizona Diamondbacks - 2

Monday, September 29, 2008

The 2008 Cleveland Indians

I wrote about this years Cleveland Indians over at Let's Go Tribe on Friday, but now that the final totals are in, I thought it would be good to go into a little more depth. You know, 'cause I never quite go into enough depth on these various matters of people getting hit by pitches.

First, let's take a look at those Cleveland Indians who got hit by so many pitches this year:
Ryan Garko - 15
Kelly Shoppach - 11
Grady Sizemore - 11
David Dellucci - 11
Jamey Carroll - 9
Franklin Gutierrez - 8
Casey Blake - 7
Ben Francisco - 6
Shin-Soo Choo - 5
Travis Hafner - 5
Asdrubal Cabrera - 4
Jhonny Peralta - 4
Sal Fasano - 3
Jason Michaels - 1
Andy Marte - 1
Jason Tyner - 1
Victor Martinez - 1

The Indians got the most get-hitting out of the designator get-hitter position, with 16, but another 15 HBPs were racked up by Indians playing 1st Base or Catcher. Really the only part of the defensive lineup that didn't pull an equal load was the left side of the infield - they got just seven HBPs from their third basemen and four from the shortstops. Every other position had at least 10 HBPs and they got two as pinch hitters. Although, none of the Indians pitchers managed to get hit by a pitch. The Indians at least tied for the American League lead in HBPs at 3 different positions (although Jermaine Dye could take the RF lead today or tomorrow if he gets hit twice). Shin-Soo Choo was there most versatile plunk victim, having been hit by a pitch while playing 4 different positions (RF, LF, DH, PH). He's tied for the league lead in that category.

The Indians were hit 103 times by 72 different pitchers. Those pitchers were, on average, 28 year and 10 months old, 6 ft 2.9 inches tall, and 208 pounds. They averaged 4.7 years of major league experience before this year, but 19 of their plunks were thrown by pitchers in their first season in the league. 57 of the plunks were thrown by pitchers with 3 years of prior experience of less. The pitches they plunked Indians with left their hands at an average of 86.9 miles per hour, and hit the Indians at an average of 79.8 miles per hour.

Here's the full list of pitchers with how many Indians they plunked this year:
Justin Verlander (DET) - 6
Josh Beckett (BOS) - 3
Freddy Dolsi (DET) - 3
Armando Galarraga (DET) - 3
John Lackey (LAA) - 3
Kenny Rogers (DET) - 3
Chad Billingsley (LAD) - 2
Daniel Cabrera (BAL) - 2
D.J. Carrasco (CWS) - 2
Alberto Castillo (BAL) - 2
Johnny Cueto (CIN) - 2
Jorge De La Rosa (COL) - 2
Jeff Francis (COL) - 2
Mark Lowe (SEA) - 2
Darren O'Day (LAA) - 2
Darren Oliver (LAA) - 2
Vicente Padilla (TEX) - 2
Scott Richmond (TOR) - 2
Carlos Silva (SEA) - 2
Javier Vazquez (CWS) - 2
Edinson Volquez (CIN) - 2
Jered Weaver (LAA) - 2
Scott Baker (MIN) - 1
Brian Bass (MIN) - 1

Miguel Batista (SEA) - 1
Denny Bautista (DET) - 1
Nick Blackburn (MIN) - 1
Shawn Camp (TOR) - 1
Manny Delcarmen (BOS) - 1
Lenny DiNardo (OAK) - 1
Justin Duchscherer (OAK) - 1
Scott Feldman (TEX) - 1
Keith Foulke (OAK) - 1
Jason Frasor (TOR) - 1
Chad Gaudin (OAK) - 1
Roy Halladay (TOR) - 1
Felix Hernandez (SEA) - 1
Fernando Hernandez (OAK) - 1
Jim Johnson (BAL) - 1
Chris Lambert (DET) - 1
Jon Lester (BOS) - 1
Aquilino Lopez (DET) - 1
Javier Lopez (BOS) - 1
Mike MacDougal (CWS) - 1
Greg Maddux (SD) - 1
Shaun Marcum (TOR) - 1
Dustin McGowan (TOR) - 1
Zach Miner (DET) - 1
Mike Mussina (NYY) - 1
Joel Peralta (KC) - 1
Elizardo Ramirez (TEX) - 1
Clay Rapada (DET) - 1
Dennys Reyes (MIN) - 1
Greg Reynolds (COL) - 1
Josh Rupe (TEX) - 1
Adam Russell (CWS) - 1
Ervin Santana (LAA) - 1
Joe Saunders (LAA) - 1
Bobby Seay (DET) - 1
Greg Smith (OAK) - 1
Joakim Soria (KC) - 1
Justin Speier (LAA) - 1
Ryan Speier (COL) - 1
Matt Thornton (CWS) - 1
Ramon Troncoso (LAD) - 1
Tim Wakefield (BOS) - 1
Chien-Ming Wang (NYY) - 1
Jarrod Washburn (SEA) - 1
Ehren Wassermann (CWS) - 1
Chris Waters (BAL) - 1
Jamey Wright (TEX) - 1
Barry Zito (SF) - 1
Eight of those guys hit Cleveland Indians exclusively this season - Elizardo Ramirez, Scott Richmond (twice), Clay Rapada, Ehren Wasserman, Keith Folke, Jason Frasor, Freddy Dolsi (three times), and Fernando Hernandez. Also, eight of those pitchers threw their first career HBP at the Indians this year - Chris Lambert, Scott Richmond, Clay Rapada, Freddy Dolsi, Armando Galarraga, Zach Miner, Fernando Hernandez and Darren O'Day. The next best team in that category got hit by just 4 pitchers with their first career plunk. There are some repeats in those lists, including Freddy Dolsi who has now hit three batters in his career - all Indians. Also, 5 of those 8 guys who hit an Indian for their first hit batter play for the Detroit Tigers, who plunked the Indians a total of 21 times this season. That's more than any team has hit any other team since sometime before 1957, if it ever happened at all.

Here's the list by team:
DET - 21
LAA - 12
CWS - 8
BOS - 7
SEA - 7
TOR - 7
BAL - 6
COL - 6
OAK - 6
TEX - 6
CIN - 4
MIN - 4
LAD - 3
KC - 2
NYY - 2
SD - 1
SF - 1

Detroit's impressive 21 plunkings of the Indians includes 5 of those pitchers who had never hit a batter before. Detroit's Justin Verlander hit 6 Indians, for the league lead, and he's one of only two pitchers to hit an Indian this season that they had also plunked in a previous season. And the other is also a Detroit Tiger.
Kenny Rogers hit Casey Blake on June 7th of this year and on September 23, 2003. Justin Verlander hit Ryan Garko on August 28 and April 17 this year, and July 5th last year... and May 31st last year. But no other time... so far. Garko vs Verlander was the only matchup that resulted in two HBPs for the Indians, even though there were 28 other matchups league-wide where a pitcher hit a batter twice, and one 3 plunk matchup. So Garko was the only Indian to get hit twice by the same pitcher among all 103 HBPs. Also, Detroit's Christ Lambert was the only pitcher to plunk an Indian in his first Major League appearance. Cleveland only hit the Tigers 7 times, so it remains unclear what the Tigers were so angry about.

Maybe the Tigers wouldn't have hit the Indians so much if they saw the following stats about how much better the Indians bats work in games in which they get hit by pitches.
HBPs in gameGamesRunsRBIHitsHRtotal HBPs
1 or more7239336366667103

1 or more7224580.2710.4280.3570.785

Yes, that's 365 RBI in 90 games without a plunk and 363 RBI in 72 games with at least 1 plunk. The only they they do slightly worse when they're getting hit by pitches is hit homers. But, they're not much better in games when they hit homers than in games when they get hit by a pitch - they were 57-39 (.594) when they hit a home run in 2008, and 42-30 (.583) when they got hit by a pitch. And anyway setting the MLB hit by pitch record is much more important than those wins and loses, and they weren't going to set any home run records now that they test for steroids.

If you check out the splits page over at baseball-reference.com you can find out a whole bunch of other interesting stuff about the Indians 103 HBP season. Such as, they got hit 44 times on two strike counts, but only 5 times on 3 ball counts. They never got hit on a 3-0 count, or even during an at-bat that started with 3 balls. Only 17.4% of the Indians plunks occured on the first pitch of the plate appearance, but for the rest of the league, 18.1% of plunks occur on the first pitch. The Indians got hit 25 times in plate apperances that lasted 5 or more pitches - 6 more than the next best team in that category this year.

Once again, it was a great season for the Indians - the 8th best in major league baseball history, and the best in Major League Baseball history (the capitalized version considers such records to begin in the year 1900, except sometimes when the don't). But they could get hit by even more pitches next season. Ryan Garko, for example, was 5 HBPs short of his career high of 20 last season (when he broke the Indians franchise record). Grady Sizemore was 6 short of his 2007 total. So, we can only hope that 2009 will bring even more amazing HBP achievements for the Cleveland Indians. (As long as they don't get hurt... nobody sets HBP records from the disabled list.)


HBPs of note - Sept 28, 2008

Yesterday was the last day of scheduled play for the 2008 major league season, but do to rain-outs and the close race in the AL central, we'll have one and possible two more games. Brandon Duckworth of the Royals may have swung that race yesterday by plunking Delmon Young and Brendan Harris of the Twins. The Twins were previously 3-0 when they got hit by 2 pitches in a game, and now they're 4-0 after yesterday's plunk fueled win. So, we get the rare treat of seeing the the White Sox play the Tigers in a makeup game, with the chance that if Chicago wins they'll play the Twins in a one game playoff Tuesday. See? Nobody wants the baseball season to end.

Meanwhile, Tim Wakefield hit two batters and Randy Johnson hit 1 batter, which means the two of them have hit a combined 351 batters in their careers, including 25 on days when they have both hit a batter.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

HBPs of note - Sept 26, 2008

Kelly Shoppach and Franklin Gutierrez got hit by pitches for the Indians, extending their MLB team record to 103 HBPs this season.

Jason Giambi got his 22nd of the season, which is a new single season record for left-handed Yankees. Only Don Baylor has been hit by more pitches in a season for the Yankees.

And, David Wright got hit by a Chris Volstad, making that 25 HBPs for Wright's career.

Mike Pelfrey also got hit for the Mets, which makes that the 5th time this season the Mets got hit at least twice in a game. Kelly Shoppach and Frankin Gutierrez got hit in the same inning for the Indians, making that the 9th time this season Cleveland has had a two plunk inning. Cleveland has been hit at least twice in a game 27 times this season.

For more stuff on the Indians amazing record breaking season, I have a guest post up over at Let's Go Tribe.

Friday, September 26, 2008

more odds and ends (mostly odds)

On September 9th when Jason Giambi collected his 155th HBP, he passed Brady Anderson to become the all time HBP leader among players with the astrological sign Capricorn. Jose Guillen (Taurus) is the only other active player who holds the record for his zodiac sign.

Can someone please break the 13 way tie for the season lead in HBPs recorded on Fridays? Kurt Suzuki, Carlos Quentin, Rickie Weeks, Nate McLouth, Hanley Ramirez, Kelly Shoppach, Chase Utley, Jeff Francoeur, Jason Bay, Jason Kendall, Alex Cora, David Eckstein and Melvin Mora all have 3 HBPs on Fridays this year.

Frank Thomas only hit 1 sacrifice fly this season, leaving him still 8 short of the all time sacrifice fly record, and confirming I made the right choice in not starting a sacrifice fly record chase blog. If he had done it though, he'd be the 2nd Frank Thomas to hold the Sacrifice Fly record. So that's interesting.

So far this year, teams have won about 56.7% of games in which they were hit by a pitch, but they've also won 64.9% of games in which they hit a sacrifice fly. Maybe I should have gone with the sacrifice fly blog after all... Oddly, teams that hit into a triple play are 2-0 this season.

The Rays hit 45 batters this season, but only 4 of them scored a run. Only 3 of those were earned runs. On the other end, Baltimore gave up 26 earned runs scored by batters they plunked, which means their team ERA would be 0.17 lower without all those hit batters.

Prince Fielder has hit into one Fielders Choice this season, and only 2 in his career.

Asdrubal Cabrera has batted .255 this season, but in games when he had at least one hit he batted .453. That's the biggest gap in the league between a batter's overall average and his batting average on days when he could actually hit. Kenji Johjima is 2nd in that category with a .415 average when he hits, and a .223 average overall, and Jason Giambi is third. Giambi has batted .438 54% of the time and 0.000 46% of the time for a total of .251. (I know, nobody used batting average anymore, but it is - usually - still the measure of how often a batter does what he's trying to do at the plate when given a fair chance. Except for the smart ones who go up trying to get hit by a pitch.)

The combined batting average of all major league players this season is 0.264, which means that Jeff Keppinger currently has the lead for the most average batting average. Keppinger's average is actually .263858, which is just 0.000079 off of the league average to six decimal places, which is .263779. But, Rick Ankiel, Robinson Cano, Cesar Izturis, Jose Guillen, Kevin Kouzmanoff, David Ortiz and Brendan Harris all might be close enough to win the average batting title.

BatterAVGDiff from MLB AVG
Jeff Keppinger0.2638580.000079
Rick Ankiel0.2639220.000143
Robinson Cano0.264150.000371
Cesar Izturis0.2641970.000418
Jose Guillen0.2632470.000532
Kevin Kouzmanoff0.2630710.000708
David Ortiz0.2645630.000784
Brendan Harris0.2647750.000996
Carlos Gomez0.2624110.001368
Dan Uggla0.2620420.001737

HBPs of note - Sept 25, 2008

Grady Sizemore got hit by Jon Lester in Boston last night, making that the 101st HBP for the Indians this year, which is a new MLB record! Being an MLB record means that it's a post-1900 record, as there are still 7 teams who got hit over 100 times in seasons between 1891 and 1899 in the National League and American Association. But 101 HBPs in this age is absolutely amazing, especially since the league-wide plunk rate as down this season. With only 3 regularly scheduled days left, this season's batters are 114 HBPs short of last years total of 1755. But still, the Cleveland Indians have been hit by 101 pitches and counting.

In other HBP news, Johnny Cueto hit Geoff Blum in Houston, which give Cueto 14 hit batters on the season, and probably locks up the season lead among rookie pitchers. Josh Rupe is the second most plunk-prone rookie with 10.

AJ Pierzynski got hit by Kevin Slowey, marking the 85th plunking of Pierzynski's career, and rumors persist that he deserved every one of them.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

were you born on a Friday?

So far this season, batters born on Fridays have been hit by 313 pitches. Batters born on Thursdays have been hit by only 168 pitches. This might not make much sense to you now, but someday you might come across enough other facts that it will all come together. Then you'll be glad you read this, assuming you haven't forgotten it by then... or already.

2008 HBPs by batters' weekday of birth:
Sunday - 202
Monday - 232
Tuesday - 297
Wednesday - 236
Thursday - 168
Friday - 313
Saturday - 187

2008 HBPs by pitchers' weekday of birth
Sunday - 247
Monday - 232
Tuesday - 293
Wednesday - 189
Thursday - 240
Friday - 204
Saturday - 230

HBPs of note - Sept 24, 2008

The Cleveland Indians didn't get hit by any pitches last night in Boston, so they'll have just 4 more games to see if they can pass the 1997 Astros at that 100 HBP mark on the season. But, Fausto Carmona hit Alex Cora in that game, and that was Cora's 80th career plunk. That's 10 plunks per letter in his name - which is pretty good, but still well short of Ron Hunt's mark of 34.7 HBPs per letter in his name.

Jason Giambi got hit by a pitch in Toronto, thrown by Jesse Carlson, bringing his career total to 156 and his season total to 21. If he could get hit 4 more times by Sunday he'd break the Yankees single season record, which currently stands at 24 by Don Baylor in 1985. (Baylor, by the way, set the Yankees record in '85 and the Red Sox record in '86). Giambi's 2008 season currently ranks tied for 3rd among the best HBP seasons for the Yankees, behind Baylor's 24 in '85 and Baylor's 23 plunks in 1984. 3 other Yankees have been hit 21 times in a season - Alex Rodriguez in 2007, Chuck Knoblauch in 1999 and Giambi himself in 2003. One more plunk for Giambi would set a new Yankees record for plunks by a left handed batter in a season.

Josh Whitesell got hit by the first pitch of his career, which means that 440 different batters have been hit by a pitch this season. If pitchers can find 11 more batters to hit, who they haven't already plunked this season, the league records for most different batters plunked in a season will be broken. 450 different batters were plunked in 2004.

9 of last nights 13 plunks occurred in even numbered innings, but plunks in odd numbered innings still lead 847 to 788 on the season. Batters are getting hit slightly more often, per plate appearance, in even numbered innings this season, but since games are normally scheduled for 9 innings, there have been about 14,000 more odd numbered inning plate appearances.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

HBPs of note - Sept 23, 2008

Not surprisingly, when the team with 99 HBPs this season faced the pitcher who's hit 160 batters in his career, someone got hit by a pitch. Tim Wakefield hit Kelly Shoppach to push the Cleveland Indians into triple digits for the season. That ties the MLB record held by the 1997 Houston Astros. (This being an HBP record, we're back to distinguishing "MLB records" from "all time records" - in this case, 100 is the post-1900 record. The Dodgers actually had a 125 plunk season in the pre-MLB national league in 1899, and the defunct pre-1900 National League Baltimore Orioles had 6 seasons over 100 plunks including a ridiculous 160 in 1898). But still, it's an amazing accomplishment for the Indians, to reach that milestone - 100 HBPs in a single season.

In Houston, Brad Ausmus got hit by the 66th pitch of his career - that leaves him just 5 HBPs away from Mo Vaughn's career record for players born in Connecticut. Edinson Volquez contributed that one, bringing his own season total to 14.

David Dejesus got hit by a pitch thrown by the Detroit Tigers Freddy Garcia, and that makes this the 2nd consecutive season in which David Dejesus has been plunked by the Detroit Tigers on September 23rd.

In all, 7 batters got hit by pitches in 7 different games yesterday, and 5 of the 7 were in the 5th inning.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

pitchers who can plunk and still win

If you saw the Red Sox game last night, or the box score, or the note here about Josh Beckett hitting three batters you may have wondered how often a pitcher can his 3 batters in a game and still expect his team to win... well, this year it's been done just once, by Shaun Marcum. He hit 3 Royals batters on May 26th, but the Blue Jays still won 7-2. Only 5 other pitchers, including Beckett, have hit 3 batters in a game this season, but their teams all lost.

Overall, teams that hit at least one batter are 576-752 (.434) when they hit at least one batter, 95-151 (.386) when they hit two or more, and 9-26 (.257) when the team hits a total of 3 batters or more. But, there are some pitchers who seem to be able to hit batters fairly consistently without costing their team wins. For example, the Cubs are 6-0 when Carlos Zambrano hits a batter. The Indians are 5-0 when Cliff Lee hits a batter, and the Blue Jays are 16-2 when either AJ Burnett or Roy Halladay hits at least one batter.

Here are some lists of the pitchers who have been the best this season at hitting batters without causing their team to lose:

Best win-loss record when a pitcher hits at least one batter, no minimum plunks:
PitcherW-L*Total HBPs
Carlos Zambrano - CHC6-06
Cliff Lee - CLE5-05
Kyle McClellan - STL4-04
Sidney Ponson - NYY4-05
Todd Jones - DET4-04
Chien-Ming Wang - NYY3-03
Jeremy Bonderman - DET3-03
Joe Blanton - PHI3-03

*these are the win-loss records for the team in those games when the pitcher hit someone, not the pitchers' personal win-loss record.

Same thing, but with a minimum of 5 HBPs for the pitchers:
PitcherW-L*Total HBPs
Carlos Zambrano - CHC6-06
Cliff Lee - CLE5-05
Sidney Ponson - NYY4-05
A.J. Burnett - TOR8-19
Roy Halladay - TOR8-112
Daisuke Matsuzaka - BOS6-17
Ryan Dempster - CHC6-17
Dan Haren - ARI5-16
Jonathan Sanchez - SF5-16
Zach Miner - DET5-16

And, here it is in the 10+ plunk category:
PitcherW-L*Total HBPs
Roy Halladay - TOR8-112
Jamie Moyer - PHI7-211
James Shields - TB7-312
Brandon Webb - ARI6-310
Edinson Volquez - CIN7-413
Roy Oswalt - HOU5-310
Ubaldo Jimenez - COL5-310
Kyle Kendrick - PHI7-514
Daniel Cabrera - BAL7-718
Mike Pelfrey - NYM6-613

So Roy Halladay hasn't just hit 12 batters this season, he's done it without losing more than one game. He's also a very impressive 3-0 when he hits 2 batters in a game. Also, there are only 8 pitchers this season who have hit 10 batters or more while their teams stayed over .500 in those games when they were hitting all those batters. I'm sure there are times, though, when hitting a particular batter just becomes more important than winning. And also, there are certain batters who some pitchers just can't miss.

Now here's the guys who just can't win when they hit a batter:
PitcherW-L*Total HBPs
Aaron Heilman - NYM0-89
Pedro Martinez - NYM0-66
Luke Hochevar - KC0-55
Jensen Lewis - CLE0-55
Alberto Castillo - BAL0-57
Dennis Sarfate - BAL0-57

I guess that's not the sort of stat that's going to help convince the Mets to bring Pedro back next season so he can hit just one Colorado Rocky, and become the first pitcher to hit a batter from all 30 teams.

HBPs of note - Sept 22, 2008

Josh Beckett made an excellent effort at being the first American League pitcher to throw the pitch that became the opposing team's 100th plunk of a season, but he only made it to 99, plunking three Cleveland Indians last night. Ryan Garko, Kelly Shoppach and Ben Francisco all got hit by Beckett's pitching. Those three have accounted for 30 of the Indinas 99 HBPs this season. 99 HBPs is already an American League record for most HBPs by a team in a single season. They need 1 more to join the 1997 Houston Astros as the only teams since before the year 1900 to get hit by 100 pitches in a season.

Luis Castilo and Jose Guillen also got hit by pitches last night. Castillo's was his 11th career plunk which leaves him just 112 plunks short of the record for players born in the Domican Republic, behind... Jose Guillen who extended that record to 123. Zach Miner threw the one to Guillen, and Neal Cotts hit Castillo.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

HBPs of note - Sept 21, 2008

Chase Utley got hit by another one, this time thrown by Chris Volstad, bringing his Phillies record season total to 27. Only Steve Evans has been hit by more plunks than that while batting exclusively left handed, with 31 in 1910.

In New York, the Yankees played their final game at the current Yankee Stadium, but nobody got hit by a pitch. That means that the last player to get hit by a pitch in Yankee Stadium was Derek Jeter, who got plunked by Jim Miller on Saturday. That was the 138th of Jeter's career and his 66th at Yankee Stadium.

Also in plunk milestone news, Mike Cameron got hit by Danny Herrera for his 80th career HBP, and Seth McClung hit Jerry Hairston Jr. for McClung's 20th career hit batter. On Saturday, Justin Verlander threw his 40th career plunk, and CC Sabathia threw his 50th.

And, Mark Teixeira got hit by Scott Feldman yesterday, giving Teixeira a career total of 53. That moves him into 2nd place on the all time list among players with the letter X in their names, passing Richie Sexson. Only Nellie Fox has been hit by more pitches than Teixeira, among players with X in their last name, but he's got a pretty good lead, at 142 caree HBPs.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

HBPs of note - Sept 19, 2008

Jason Kendall got hit by a Ramon Ramirez pitch last night in Cincinnati, which moved Kendall into sole possession of 6th place on the all time hbp list, with 231. That was Ramirez's 1st career hit batter, making him the 9th pitcher ever to throw his first career plunk at Jason Kendall.

Kevin Kouzmanoff got hit again, this time by Levale Speigner, giving him 15 on the season, and extending the Padres record. Kouzmanoff got hit to lead off the 14th inning and scored the go ahead run, but still managed to strike out to end the inning. He's the first player since Geoff Jenkins on August 23, 2006 to get hit by a pitch and strike out in the same inning against the same pitcher. Also, that plunk was the 25th of Kouzmanoff's career.

David Eckstein collected his 125th career HBP, on a 9th inning plunk from Brian Fuentes. That moves Eckstein into a tie for 39th place on the all time list. That was Eckstein's first plunk since joining the Diamondbacks, and was also the 40th of Fuentes career.

Gary Sheffield moved into a tie for 32nd place on the all time list, with his 132nd HBP, but he wasn't in the mood to celebrate. It was the second time this season that he's been hit by Fausto Carmona out of 4 total plunks for Sheffield. After taking first base, and watching Carmona throw over to 1st to hold Sheffield close to the bag, Sheffield finally remembered that he was planning to charge the mound. You know a guy is getting up there in years when he can't even remember to charge the mound in a timely manner.

Also in that game, Travis Hafner of the Indians got hit for the 55th time in his career, on a 2nd inning plunk by Armando Galarraga. That makes 94 for Cleveland this season.

In Florida, the Phillies lost in a key playoff race matchup with the Marlins, but more importantly, Chris Coste got hit by a pitch to give the Phillies the lead in the race to be the most plunked team in the National League. The Phillies have 66, but they're just one plunk ahead of the Marlins, Brewers and Nationals who all have 65.


Friday, September 19, 2008


Today is "talk like a pirate day", and that's the only reason I can think of to talk about the Pittsburgh Pirates. Plus, it allows for excessive use of the phrase "plundered booty".

The Pittsburgh Pirates may not be actual pirates, but they have plundered the booties of something like 4,266 opposing batters in franchise history (by plundering their booties of course I mean that they hit them with pitches. What did you think it meant?). In return, they've received a franchise total of 4,692 cannon balls in their midships. Only the Giants have taken more cannon fire, and only the Reds, Tigers, Cardinals and Phillies have decked more opposing swabs. They are the only modern team that's had two different players with 30 HBPs in a season (Jason Kendall and Craig Wilson), and three of the past four 30 plunk seasons in the majors have been recorded by Pirates. Kendall had 31 in '97 and '98, Wilson had 30 in 2004, and the non-Pirate was Craig Biggio with 34 in '97.

The Pirates unfortunately don't play baseball on a pirate ship, they play in PNC Park, which is named after a financial institution, and that probably reminds a lot of people of pirate ships these days. Since opening, 571 batters have been plunked at PNC Park, beginning on April 9, 2001 with Dmitri Young of the visiting Cincinnati Reds getting plunked by Todd Ritchie. Jason Kendall was the first Pirate plunked at PNC, later that game. Since PNC Park opened in 2001, the only place where more batters have been hit is Tropicana Field in the Tampa Bay area (where pirates once roamed the seas). This season, PNC park has been a relatively safe harbor, with only 46 plunks occuring there (tied for 22nd in the league), at a rate of 7.3 plunkings per 1000 plate appearances (25th in the majors).

Unfortunately, the Pirates haven't been very good at winning baseball games this season. They're 12th in HBPs this season, which isn't bad, but they're 28th in stolen bases, thanks largely to all those unnecessary peg legs. And, only 65.6% of the pitches they don't swing at, and that don't hit them, are called Balls by those scurvy land lubbing umpires. That's the worst ratio of balls to called strikes in the league, which makes you think maybe they should take off the eye patches.

HBPs of note - Sept 18, 2008

Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies collected his 30th career HBP in Atlanta last night, but what was more interesting about that was that it was thrown by the re-animated corpse of Mike Hampton. Okay, maybe it was just his career that was dead, but Hampton hasn't hit a batter since July 19, 2003, also against the Phillies. After showing that he has the ability to hit Jimmy Rollins with a pitch, I'm sure Atlanta will now jump at the chance to pick up Hampton's $20mil contract option for 2009.

Also of note, Oriole Greg Olson threw his 10th career HBP, hitting Curtis Thigpen, and Dodger Chan Ho Park threw the 130th plunk of his career, plunking Nyher Morgan.

And, 4 other batters got plunked by 4 other pitchers, but they didn't do it in any statistically interesting ways.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Plunk Kouzmanoff - Padres new record

Kevin Kouzmanoff has been hit by more pitches this season than any other San Diego Padre has ever been hit by in a single season. He's been plunked twice by the Mets, Giants and Rockies, and once each by the Nationals, Phillies, Dodgers, Marlins, Cubs, Braves, Diamondbacks and Mariners. That means he's been plunked by every team in the NL East and West (except the Padres of course), but only one of the 6 NL Central teams. He's been hit 3 times by pitchers born in February, but hasn't been plunked by anyone born in April, July, November or December. 57% of his 14 HBPs were thrown by pitchers born after 1980, and he's one of only 4 players this season who has been hit by 3 pitchers who are under 6 feet tall. Kouzmanoff has score 5 runs after reaching base on a plunk, but he hasn't been hit with the bases loaded this year.

In the 14 plate appearances in which Kevin Kouzmanoff has been plunked, he's managed to swing at 16 pitches. That leads the league in the category of total swings in plate appearances that end in a plunking. Chase Utley, despite being hit 26 times, only swung the bat 9 times in those trips to the plate. Here's the top 10 list for most swings in HBP plate appearances:
Kevin Kouzmanoff1416
Chris Iannetta1315
Scott Rolen1015
Carlos Quentin2014
Ryan Garko1414
Jason Giambi2014
David Dellucci1114
Lance Berkman713
Nate McLouth1213
Kevin Youkilis1212

In the 14 games Kouzmanoff has been plunked, he's only had 1 home run, and 10 total hits. His batting average goes from .271 in games with no plunks to .208 in games when he gets hit. His slugging goes from .445 to .313, but of course his OBP goes up from .293 to .406. But, the Padres are still 9-5 when he gets hit by a pitch, so it appears to be better for the team when Kouzmanoff gets hit, than when he hits.

But once again, congratulations to Kevin Kouzmanoff for becoming the first Padre to get hit by 14 pitches in a single season, and for being the 2nd player this season to break a franchise single season plunk record. If Kouzmanoff can get hit by another 14 pitches next season, and the next 18 seasons after that, he'll break the all time career record for getting hit by pitches. Unless someone else breaks it first... then he'll need more. He only needs 12 more to be the Padres all time career leader.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

HBPs of note - Sept 17, 2008

Kevin Kouzmanoff got hit by pitch number 14 this season, breaking the San Diego Padres single season record, previously held by Gene Tenace. Livan Hernandez of the Rockies threw the pitch that gave Kouzmanoff the record.

9 other batters got hit by pitches, but none of them broke their team's single season record.



Okay, so yesterday I was working under the impression that not only had the Tampa Bay Rays changed their name from Devil Rays to Rays, but they had also changed the name of all their players to have Ray in them. Turns out that part was an unfounded rumor. In fact, the Rays don't have anybody on their roster named Ray, and they've never had a single Ray in franchise history.

There are only two actual Rays in the league right now, and neither of them play for the Rays. Ray Durham has been hit by two pitches this season, both with the Giants before he was traded to the Brewers. Ray King hasn't been hit by any pitches, by he has hit one batter while pitching for the Nationals. So there is a Ray playing 2nd base for the Brewers and a Ray pitching for the Nationals, but no Rays playing for the Rays.

But then, there isn't anyone named National playing for the Nationals or anyone named Brewer playing for the Brewers either, so it's not clear why I'd expect the Rays to be any different. There's never been anyone named National in the major leagues (or Expo for that matter), but there have been 7 Brewers (Billy, Jack, Jim, Mike, Rod, Tom and Tony Brewer). None of them ever played for the Brewers. Billy, the most recent Brewer, played for the Yankees, Oakland, and ended with the Phillies in 1999.

You know something about the Phillies? They don't have a single player named Phil on their roster. Even though they play in Philadelphia - which is Greek for "the City of Phil". Phil Dumatrait plays for the cross-state Pirates - he's hit two batters, but not been hit. Phil Coke and Phil Hughes have both pitch for the Yankees this year (Hughes hit one batter), and Phil Stockman hit a batter the Braves.

There's nobody in the league named Pirate, Brave, or Yank - but there have been two guys named Yank in major league history. Yank Robinson last played in 1892 for the bronze age version of the Washington Senators. He got hit by 65 pitches. Yank Terry played for... the Red Sox. From 1940 to 1945. If he played there now, they'd probably make him go by his given first name, which was Lancelot, and that might get him hit by more than his 0 career HBPs.

There's never been a major league player named Sock, but there have been 88 different players named Red. Some of them even played for the Red Sox, and more appropriately, the Reds. Red Steiner, Red Nonnenkamp, Red Kellett, Red Ruffing, Red Rollings, Red Shannon, Red Bluhm, Red Kleinow, and Red Morgan got hit by a total of 21 pitches for the Red's Sox, but they haven't had a Red on the roster since 1945. The Reds have had 8 Reds on their roster, but non since Red Barrett in 1940. Red Killefer got hit by 32 pitches for the Reds, but he and Red Ehret with 1 are the only Reds who have been plunked for the Reds. The last Red to get hit by a major league pitch was Red Schoendienst who got hit 14 for the 1963 Red Birds - aka the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals, while we're on the subject, have never had a player named Cardinal. The only Cardinal in major league history was Conrad Cardinal who pitched just one year for Houston in 1963 (he never hit a batter or got hit). There obviously has never been a player named Astro, but in 1963 Houston was known as the Colt 45s - and the only Colt in major league history played for the Padres. Colt Morton has played 10 games for the Padres in the past 2 seasons, and is till in their organization, but he hasn't been hit by a pitch yet.

There haven't been any Padres in the major leagues, but there have been 7 Deacons, including Deacon White, who got hit by 41 pitches, but never played for the White Sox. He played briefly for the stone age version of the Cubs, but Cub Stricker never played for the Cubs, but he did get hit by 34 pitches. Getting back to the Whites, there have been 3 who played for the White Sox - Rick, Ed and Doc. But none of them ever got hit by a pitch for the White Sox. The sum total of all the players named White have been hit 353, but the only White currently in the league plays for the Rangers. There's never been a player named Ranger in the majors, but there are a lot of the same letters in Angels. There have been 18 Angels in the majors, including 4 currently in the league, and they've been hit by a total of 36 pitches. But none of those Angels was ever hit by a pitch while playing for the Angels. Angel Moreno was the only Angel to play for the Angels, and he hit one batter for them. That's 1 more than all the players name Rocky have ever thrown for the Rockies. Their have been 9 players named Rocky in the majors, but none of them ever played for the Rockies. Rocky Cherry is the only current Rocky in the league, but he pitches for the Orioles. There has never been a player named Oriole in the majors, but the Orioles were the last stop in the career of Marlin Stuart, who is the only Marlin ever to play in the majors, but he retire 39 years before the Marlins became a franchise. He hit 14 batters, which is 10 more plunks than all the guys in the majors named Jay have had this year. But, neither Jay Bruce nor Jay Payton plays for the Jays. (Neither of them are Blue either, as far as I know). Jay Bruce is the 40th Jay to play in the majors, but none of them has ever played for the Blue Jays. Jays have been hit by 253 pitches, which is pretty good, even if it is 32 less than Craig Biggio had by himself.

There have never been any major league players named Met or Indina or Twin or Royal (though Royal Ivy plays basketball). There has never been a major leaguer named Mariner or Dodger or Diamond (front of back), but there probably could be some day (along with Ranger or Brewer as a first name). And there have been a lot of names that start with A, but none that are just A.

Hopefully that clears things up on the Rays issue.


HBPs of note - Sept 16, 2008

The Colorado Rockies rookie center fielder Dexter Fowler got hit by a pitch last night, in Denver, thrown by Charlie Haeger of the Padres. It was Fowler's first career plunking, and it makes him the first Dexter in major league history to be hit by a pitch.

In Washington, Jose Reyes of the Mets entered the game with 701 unplunked plate appearances this season, with his eyes on Sandy Alomar single season record for most plate appearances without being hit by a pitch (739). Odalis Perez hit him with a 6th inning pitch, which should make Alomar's record safe for another season, unless Derrek Lee and the Cubs play a lot of extra innings. Lee has 659, and no HBPs.

Also, Josh Beckett hit Justin Ruggiano with a pitch, in Tampa, making that the 30th hit batsmen recorded by a pitcher named Josh this season.

Ten other batters were hit by by pitches, and some of them were probably notable as well, but I just haven't figured out why. Yet.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008


You've probably noticed that the Tampa Bay Rays are having their best season ever. Many people have guessed that this has something to do with changing their name from the Devil Rays to the Rays (which I heard was in honor of Billy Ray Cyrus), or the controversial move to demand all their players either be named Ray or add Ray to their existing names. But the real key to this year's campaign is that they're having their best season ever in terms of plunk plus/minus. They've been hit 58 times so far, and only thrown 42 at opposing batters, for a plus 16. They've only had one other season in which they've been plunked more times than they plunked, and the franchise average for their first 10 years is -23. Those among you who are quick on the math will immediately know that that means they've hit their opponents 230 more times than they've been hit, prior to 2008.

YearHBPopp HBPplus/minusRecord

On the batting side, they've been hit 58 times this season, led by Carlos Ray Pena's 11, and Jason Ray Bartlett and Jonny Ray Gomes with 7 each. Evan Longoraya has chipped in with 5, and the Rays have gotten 4 plunks each from Cliff Ray Floyd, Willy Ray Aybar, and Akinoray Iwamuray. This is already there 3rd highest plunk total in franchise history, but it will be a stretch for them to break the single season record. But the more important side of things is the pitching - they've only hit 42 batters this season, which ranks them 25th in the league. Previously their lowest league rank in hitting batters was 11th - and they've led the majors 5 times in the past 10 years.

From 1998 to 2007, the (Devil) Rays had 143 wins and 164 losses (.466) in game when they got hit by more pitches than the other team did. That's still pretty awful, but way better than their 645-972 (.399) overall record, and their 154-313 (.330) record when they handed out more plunks than they received. This season, they're 31-17 (.646) when they get plunked at least once in a game, and they're 25-13 (.658) when they get hit more than their opponent. Clearly the power of positive plunking can't be overestimated.


HBPs of note - Sept 15, 2008

(the complete list of yesterday's plunks can be found on the interactive bruise board on the right-hand side of this site, but since that little piece of javascript doesn't get along with Safari or Chrome browsers, I'll be running this HBPs of Note feature, to keep you up to date on the days notable plunkings. Also useful for you feed-readers who don't like visiting the actual site.)

Evan Longoria got hit by a pitch thrown by Daisuke Matsuzaka in Tampa last night - it was Longoria's 5th of his rookie season, but more notably it was his first since injuring his wrist on a JJ Putz plunk on August 7th, which put him on the disabled list for most of August. Nice to see the rookie getting back on the horse, and he looks like he took it without major damage. It was also the 20th of Matsuzaka's career.

Also in Tampa, Mitch Talbot hit Mike Lowell, making Talbot the 12th rookie this season to hit a batter in his major league debut. At least he waited until he'd been through the lineup once, plunking Lowell on their second encounter. Only Eric Hurley and Charlie Morton faced more batters before plunking someone in their major league debut. Greg Smith is the only rookie this season to hit the first batter he faced.

4 other batters were plunked yesterday, and those were probably all notable to them.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Chase Utley breaks Phillies single season record

Chase Utley got hit by pitch for the 26th plunk of the season, during yesterdays game against the Brewers, breaking the single season record for the Phillies, which Utley set last year. He's just the third left-handed batter ever to get hit by 26 or more pitches in a season, behind Fernando Vina (28 in 2000) and Steve Evans (31 in 1910). Both Evans and Vina played for the Cardinals when they got hit that many times, so Chase Utley is the first non-Cardinal ever to get hit 26 times in a season while batting exclusively left-handed. (Dan McGann and Tommy Tucker got hit that many times in a season as switch-hitters).

If you ever wondered exactly where Chase Utley got hit all those times, MLB.com's gameday has the data on where each plunk was in space as it crossed the front of home plate. Below is that data, in chart form, showing each of Utley's 26 HBPs. The units on the graph are inches, and the red box is the approximate location of the strikezone. Sadly, the dots don't quite draw a perfect silhouette of Chase Utley.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

13 - Kouzmanoff ties Padres single season record

Back in July, Kevin Kouzmanoff looked like he was going to shatter the Padres record for getting hit by pitches. He had been 10 times by the end of June, and was up to 12 by July 8th. Then he didn't get hit by a pitch... for the next 56 games and 245 plate appearances. Which is fine, if you're into that sort of thing. But finally, yesterday, Tim Lincecum plunked Kouzmanoff. If Kouzmanoff can get hit once more, the Padres will no longer be tied with the Mets for the lamest single season plunk record in the league. It will leave the Mets alone as the only team that's never had a player get hit 14 times in a single season. But, the question still remains if Kevin Kouzmanoff can get hit by another pitch.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Jose Reyes and not getting hit by pitches

The New York Mets have 17 games left to play this season, and if Jose Reyes plays in all of them, and more importantly, avoids getting hit by a single pitch, he'll probably break the record for most plate appearances in a season without getting hit by a pitch. Sandy Alomar had 739 PAs in 1971, without getting plunked, and Reyes is already up to 682. He just needs to average 3.4 plate appearance per game in the final 17 to break the record. That, and he needs to avoid getting hit by a pitch.
Unfortunately there's a chance that he'll break the record for most plate appearances without a plunk, but not break the record for most at-bats in a season without getting hit. Which is just going to be confusing whenever someone wants to look up the single season record for not getting plunked... because it can reasonably be defined either way, even though using plate appearances maked more sense. Alomar got had 689 at-bats in 1971, but Reyes is only 614. Reyes will need to average 4.5 at-bats per game for all 17 remaining games to reach that record, which will be somewhat more difficult than the plate appearances record.

Friday, September 12, 2008

the right time and the wrong time to get hit by a pitch

Getting hit by a pitch will usually help your team, if you can do it without getting seriously injured, and without the umpire deciding not to award you first base for some perceived lack of effort to avoid the pitch. But, it seems that getting hit in certain innings is more effective for helping your team win.

Overall, teams that get hit by a pitch at least once in a game have won those games 57% of the time this season. But, teams that get hit in the 8th inning have won 61.4% of games, while teams that get hit in the 9th inning have won just 46.3% of games. Teams that get hit by a pitch in the 10th or 11th inning win their game 71.4% of the time, but the overall win rate for teams that get plunked in extra innings is just 53.8%, because teams that get plunked in the 12th inning or later have just 4 wins against 8 loses.

Here's the chart of win-loss records, by inning with a plunk:
inningW-Lwin pct
all extra14-120.538
1 to 9696-5250.57

Of course not every team conforms to these averages particularly well. The Seattle Mariners, for example, are in last place in the American League with a .393 win pct. They're a bit better, at .419 in games when they get hit by a pitch, but when they've been plunked in the 2nd inning this year, they're 6-1 for an .857 win pct. On the other hand, if you plunk the Mariners in the 6th inning, they seem to pack up and go home. They're 0-7 when plunked in the 6th. That's the worst record in the league for games with plunks in any particular inning. On the other end of that scale, the Toronto Bluejays are 6-0 when they get hit in the 6th.

Here the listing of how each team does when they're hit in each inning, sorted by overall record in games when they've had at least 1 plunk.

Chicago Cubs
overall record:
88-58 (.603)
in games with an hbp:
29-10 (.744)
inningW-Lwin pct

Houston Astros
overall record:
80-67 (.544)
in games with an hbp:
29-11 (.725)
inningW-Lwin pct

Tampa Bay Rays
overall record:
88-58 (.603)
in games with an hbp:
31-16 (.660)
inningW-Lwin pct

Toronto Blue Jays
overall record:
88-58 (.603)
in games with an hbp:
30-16 (.652)
inningW-Lwin pct

LA Angels of someplace
overall record:
89-57 (.610)
in games with an hbp:
28-15 (.651)
inningW-Lwin pct

Baltimore Orioles
overall record:
65-80 (.448)
in games with an hbp:
22-12 (.647)
inningW-Lwin pct

Arizona Diamondbacks
overall record:
71-74 (.490)
in games with an hbp:
21-12 (.636)
inningW-Lwin pct

Minnesota Twins
overall record:
80-66 (.548)
in games with an hbp:
17-10 (.630)
inningW-Lwin pct

New York Yankees
overall record:
77-69 (.527)
in games with an hbp:
34-21 (.618)
inningW-Lwin pct

Milwaukee Brewers
overall record:
83-64 (.565)
in games with an hbp:
29-18 (.617)
inningW-Lwin pct

Boston Red Sox
overall record:
85-60 (.586)
in games with an hbp:
30-19 (.612)
inningW-Lwin pct

Atlanta Braves
overall record:
65-82 (.442)
in games with an hbp:
21-14 (.600)
inningW-Lwin pct

St. Louis Cardinals
overall record:
78-68 (.534)
in games with an hbp:
19-13 (.594)
inningW-Lwin pct

Colorado Rockies
overall record:
67-80 (.456)
in games with an hbp:
23-16 (.590)
inningW-Lwin pct

LA Dodgers
overall record:
75-71 (.514)
in games with an hbp:
21-15 (.583)
inningW-Lwin pct

Chicago White Sox
overall record:
81-65 (.555)
in games with an hbp:
30-22 (.577)
inningW-Lwin pct

Cleveland Indians
overall record:
71-74 (.490)
in games with an hbp:
37-28 (.569)
inningW-Lwin pct

Philadelphia Phillies
overall record:
80-67 (.544)
in games with an hbp:
27-21 (.563)
inningW-Lwin pct

Florida Marlins
overall record:
74-72 (.507)
in games with an hbp:
29-24 (.547)
inningW-Lwin pct

San Francisco Giants
overall record:
65-81 (.445)
in games with an hbp:
20-17 (.541)
inningW-Lwin pct

Oakland A's
overall record:
67-79 (.459)
in games with an hbp:
17-15 (.531)
inningW-Lwin pct

Kansas City Royals
overall record:
62-83 (.428)
in games with an hbp:
20-18 (.526)
inningW-Lwin pct

Cincinnatti Reds
overall record:
66-80 (.452)
in games with an hbp:
18-17 (.514)
inningW-Lwin pct

San Diego Padres
overall record:
57-90 (.388)
in games with an hbp:
22-22 (.500)
inningW-Lwin pct

New York Mets
overall record:
82-63 (.566)
in games with an hbp:
13-15 (.464)
inningW-Lwin pct

Detroit Tigers
overall record:
70-76 (.479)
in games with an hbp:
15-18 (.455)
inningW-Lwin pct

Washinton Nationals
overall record:
56-90 (.384)
in games with an hbp:
23-29 (.442)
inningW-Lwin pct

Texas Rangers
overall record:
72-75 (.490)
in games with an hbp:
21-27 (.438)
inningW-Lwin pct

Pittsburgh Pirates
overall record:
60-86 (.411)
in games with an hbp:
19-25 (.432)
inningW-Lwin pct

Seattle Mariners
overall record:
57-88 (.393)
in games with an hbp:
13-18 (.419)
inningW-Lwin pct

As you can see from that list, the Rangers, Tigers and Mets are the only teams that do worse when they get hit by a pitch. And, if only games in which teams got hit by a pitch counted in the standings (the way it should be), the division leaders would be the Braves, Cubs, and D-backs in the NL and the Rays, Twins, and Angels in the AL. The wild card leaders would be Houston and Toronto.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

plunks and winning

Chase Utley has taken 25 plunks for the team this season, but unfortunately the Phillies haven't been able to put them to very good use. Those 25 plunks have come in 21 games, and the Phillies have just 10 wins against 11 loses in games when Chase Utley has been plunked. Of the 24 players with over 10 hbps this year (as of Sept. 9th), only 2 have a worse winning percentage in games with an hbp. The Phillies are, however 2-1 when Utley gets hit at least twice, and 1-0 when he gets hit 3 times in a game, so obviously he needs to get hit more to help his team win.

Aramis Ramirez has been the best at insuring victory for his Cubs by getting hit by pitches. The Cubs are 10-1 in the 11 games in which Ramirez has been plunked. So he's won just as many games when he's been plunked as Utley, but has had 10 less losses while being struck by pitches.
Nate McLouth has seen his efforts at getting hit by pitches wasted the most, with the Pirates winning pct dipping to .272 in the 11 games in which he's been hit by a pitch. Finding a way to make the Pirates winning percentage even worse is an impressive feat in itself.

Here's all the players with over 10 hbps (as of Sept 9th), and the win-loss records in games when they get hit:
Aramis Ramirez (CHC)1110-10.909
Prince Fielder (MIL)117-20.778
Kevin Kouzmanoff (SD)129-30.75
Jason Kendall (MIL)129-30.75
Melvin Mora (BAL)118-30.727
Kevin Youkilis (BOS)118-30.727
Reed Johnson (CHC)128-30.727
Jeff Francoeur (ATL)107-30.7
Chris Iannetta (COL)139-40.692
Aaron Rowand (SF)148-40.667
Alex Rodriguez (NYY)148-50.615
Kurt Suzuki (OAK)106-40.6
Edwin Encarnacion (CIN)106-40.6
Scott Rolen (TOR)106-40.6
Carlos Quentin (CHW)2012-80.6
Josh Willingham (FLO)126-40.6
Rickie Weeks (MIL)147-50.583
Jason Giambi (NYY)2011-80.579
Lastings Milledge (WAS)137-60.538
Carlos Pena (TB)115-50.5
Ryan Garko (CLE)147-70.5
Chase Utley (PHI)2510-110.476
David Dellucci (CLE)115-60.455
Nate McLouth (PIT)123-80.273

Mark Grudzielanek (KC), Jose Molin (NYY), Mike Napoli (LAA), Marco Scutaro (TOR) and Gerald Liard (TEX) are all tied with the most HBPs this year without having lost a game in which they got hit by a pitch. Surely getting plunked is that much more painful when you lose, but those 5 guys are all 5-0 in the games in which they've been hit by pitches.

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Kendall reaches 230

Jason Kendall got hit by a pitch last night, making it 230 for his career, moving him into a tie for 6th place on the all-time list with Dan McGann. McGann got hit 230 times from 1896 to 1908, while Kendall's career so far has included just as many plunks a century later, from 1996 to 2008.

Also last night, Jason Giambi got hit by the 155th pitch of his career, which moves him past Brady Anderson for sole possession of 16th place on the all time list. He's just two away 15th place, which is currently held by Fernando Vina with 157 hbps.

And, Josh Hamilton got his 10th career HBP last night, which moves him into a 156 way tie for 2,336th place on the all time HBP list.

Okay, that last one wasn't so great, but two out of three is pretty good in baseball.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

25 for Utley - ties Phillies record

Chase Utley got hit again last night in Philadelphia against the Marlins, making that his 25th of the season. That ties the single season record for the Phillies, set last year by Chase Utley. He's the first major league player to get hit at least 25 times in back to back seasons since Jason Kendall racked up 31 in both 1997 and 1998. Utley is only the 7th player ever with back to back 25 plunk seasons. Craig Biggio had 27 plunks in 1996 and followed that with 34 in 1997. Ron Hunt got hit 25 times in 1968 and 1969, and then 26 in 1970, 50 in 1971 and 26 in 1972. Before that you need to go back to 1898 and the great Hughie Jennings, who got hit over 25 times each season from 1894 to 1898. Curt Welch had back to back 30+ plunk seasons in 1891 and 1892, and Tommy Tucker stayed over 25 plunks from 1889 to 1892. So, prior to Utley joining the group, the average career HBPs for batters with back to back 25 plunk seasons was 248, and includes 5 of the top 7 on the all time HBP list. Also, Chase Utley bats left handed - none of those other guys did, except Tucker who was a switch hitter.

Chase Utley also needs just 8 more HBPs to break the career record for the Phillies, which is currently 88 by Mike Leiberthal.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

the last 1000 plunks in Astros History

On July 27, 1994, Craig Biggio got hit by a pitch thrown by Tim Fortugno of the Cincinnati Reds. That was just one of 285 times Craig Biggio got plunked - actually it was his 34th - but it was also the 1000th plunk in Astros franchis history. The Astros got from 0 to 1000 HBPs from 1962 to 1994 but it only took from 1994 to 2008 to get from 1000 to 2000. Humberto Quintero got hit last night for number 2000.

In their past 1000 plunks, the Astros have been hit by 28 major league teams, and 470 different pitchers. But, only 87 Astros batters have been hit by pitches between 1001 and 2000. 251 of those landed on the body of Craig Biggio, which didn't leave a lot of work for everyone else. 97 more were Jeff Bagwell's and Lance Berkman had 60 of them. The Cardinals were the only team to throw over 100 plunks in the span of 1000, with 108, and Pittsburgh came in second with 94, and the Colorado Rockies threw 87 of them... including numbers 1,999 and 2,000. The only team not to hit the Astros with a pitch in that span is the Toronto Bluejays. Kerry Wood threw 13 of the 2nd 1000 plunks in astros history, and Pedro Astacio and Jamey Wright threw 11 each. Also, 100 of those 1000 plunks all came in 1997, when the Astros became the only 20th century team to get hit 100 times.

Here's all the guys who have been plunked among the 2nd 1000 plunks in Astros franchise history:

Craig Biggio - 251
Jeff Bagwell - 97
Lance Berkman - 60
Richard Hidalgo - 58
Brad Ausmus - 37
Derek Bell - 36
Adam Everett - 32
Chris Burke - 28
Morgan Ensberg - 21
Sean Berry - 21
Willy Taveras - 18
Ricky Gutierrez - 15
Tony Eusebio - 15
Orlando Miller - 15
Carl Everett - 14
Jason Lane - 13
Tim Bogar - 12
Jeff Kent - 11
Julio Lugo - 11
Ty Wigginton - 11
Moises Alou - 10

Luis Gonzalez - 9
Bill Spiers - 9
John Cangelosi - 9
Orlando Palmeiro - 9
Brian Hunter - 7
Aubrey Huff - 7
Carlos Lee - 7
J.R. Towles - 7
Chris Truby - 6
James Mouton - 6
Luke Scott - 6
Scott Elarton - 5
Carlos Beltran - 5
Geoff Blum - 5
Mark Loretta - 5
Humberto Quintero - 5
Miguel Tejada - 5
Mike Lamb - 4
Jose Vizcaino - 4
Mike Hampton - 4
Mike Simms - 4
Mitch Meluskey - 4
Darryl Kile - 4
Ken Caminiti - 4
Glen Barker - 4
Roy Oswalt - 4
Eric Bruntlett - 3
Vinny Castilla - 3
Thomas Howard - 3
Eric Munson - 3
Derrick May - 3
Gregg Zaun - 3
Hunter Pence - 3
Daryle Ward - 2
Cody Ransom - 2
Craig Shipley - 2
Shane Reynolds - 2
Preston Wilson - 2
Raul Chavez - 2
Orlando Merced - 2
Kirt Manwaring - 2
Roger Clemens - 2
Chuck Carr - 2
Josh Anderson - 2
Brandon Backe - 2
Darin Erstad - 2
Michael Bourn - 2
Chris Holt - 1
Andujar Cedeno - 1
Dave Clark - 1
Ramon Garcia - 1
Pat Listach - 1
Mendy Lopez - 1
Randy Knorr - 1
Russ Johnson - 1
Matt Mieske - 1
Phil Plantier - 1
Phil Nevin - 1
Bobby Abreu - 1
Scott Servais - 1
Rick Wilkins - 1
Milt Thompson - 1
Keith Ginter - 1
Ron Villone - 1
Reggie Abercrombie - 1


Rockies hit their 1000th batter, and Astro get hit for 2000th time - in the same game!

well, not all 2000 were in the same game - that would be a record... and a really long game.

In Denver last night, in the top of the 6th inning, Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez plunked Miguel Tejada, making that the 1000th plunk thrown by the Rockies in franchise history. One inning later, Jimenez plunked Humberto Quintero, and making him the 2000th batter plunked in Astros history.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

2008 inning leaders

Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler hasn't been hit by very many pitches compared to the league leaders, with only 6 this year, but 3 of those plunks were recorded in the third inning. That's enough to tie him for the league lead in 3rd inning plunks with Dave Dellucci. Jeff Salazar of the Diamondbacks has only been hit by 2 pitches this season, but since they were both in the 9th inning, that ties him for the league lead with a bunch of other guys who have been hit by a lot more pitches than that. Also Khalil Greene of the Padres has only been hit 5 times this season, but he's the only player whose been hit twice in extra innings this year, and the only active player who's been plunked in the 22nd inning of a game.

HBP batting leaders by inning:
17Chase Utley (PHI)
25Aaron Rowand (SF)
33David Dellucci (CLE),
Ian Kinsler (TEX)
44Carlos Quentin (CWS),
Torii Hunter (LAA)
54Scott Rolen (TOR)
66Jason Giambi (NYY)
75Chase Utley (PHI)
84Alex Rodriguez (NYY),
Chris Iannetta (COL)
92Carlos Quentin (CWS),
Jeff Salazar (ARI),
Melvin Mora (BAL),
Cesar Izturis (STL),
Jason Kendall (MIL),
Aramis Ramirez (CHC),
Chase Utley (PHI),
Marlon Byrd (TEX),
Ty Wigginton (HOU),
Prince Fielder (MIL)
extra innings2Khalil Greene (SD)

On the pitching side of things, there's a lot more structure around which innings certain pitchers work in, for some reason. So it's not surprising that Kerry Wood has hit 7 batters, exclusively in the 9th inning. But it is kind of weird that Paul Byrd has thrown 5 plunks in the 2nd inning and only 1 in an inning that wasn't the 2nd.

Hit batsmen leaders by inning:

Hit Batsmen
14Vicente Padilla (TEX),
Roy Oswalt (HOU),
Matt Cain (SF),
Chad Billingsley (LAD)
25Randy Wolf (HOU),
Paul Byrd (BOS)
36Daniel Cabrera (BAL)
44Brandon Webb (ARI),
John Lackey (LAA)
54Gavin Floyd (CWS),
Jon Garland (LAA),
Max Scherzer (ARI)
64Roy Halladay (TOR),
Fausto Carmona (CLE)
74Sean Green (SEA)
84Aaron Heilman (NYM),
Jamey Wright (TEX)
97Kerry Wood (CHC)
extra innings2Octavio Dotel (CWS)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


So far this season, 464 batters have been hit by pitches with no outs in the inning, 469 have been hit with two outs, and 496 have been hit with 1 out. So it sounds like batting with 1 out is the best way to get hit by a pitch. However, there have been about 2000 more plate appearances this year with no outs on the board than with 1 outs, and around 2000 more plate appearances with 1 out than with no outs, so it works out that batters are getting hit at about the same rate with 1 or 2 outs - once per 108 plate appearance with 1 out and once per 109 PAs with 2 outs, while the no out plunks trail them at once plunk per 120 plate appearances. So from that, it would seem that getting hit by a pitch with no outs in the inning is slightly more difficult than getting hit after an out has been recorded.

So who has been best at getting hit with no outs? The same guy who's been best at getting hit overall - Chase Utley with 7 plunks with no outs. He's tied with Rickie Weeks, who's also been hit 7 times with no outs, but he's only been hit 13 times in all - so more than half of his HBPs have come with no outs. Aaron Rowand has been hit 6 times with no outs, with just 12 plunks overall. But among batters with 5 or more HBPs, Chris Coste has been hit the most per no-out plate appearance - he's been plunked 5 times in 93 plate appearances with no outs - so about 5.4% of his plate appearances with no outs result in a plunk. Chase Utley has been hit by a pitch in 4.3% of the times he's stepped to the plate with no outs.

Randy Wolf is the top pitcher in plunking batters with no outs, having hit 7 in those situations. Daniel Cabrera and Justin Verlander are right behind him with 6 each.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

plunked by everyone... almost

Gary Sheffield and the Detroit Tigers played their final game of the season against the Yankees yesterday, but Sheffield failed to get plunked by a Yankee pitcher. If he had, he would join Rondell White as the only players to get hit by a pitch by all 30 major league teams.
Jason Kendall also had a chance to claim that distinction over the weekend, but he failed to get hit by the Pirates in a three games series with them. He'll have another chance in September, though. Sheffield will have to wait until next year. David Eckstein and Jose Guillen have also been plunked by 29 of 30 major league teams, with Eckstein only missing the Angels for the complete set and Guillen only missing (or missed by) the Atlanta Braves. Guillen is the only one of the 4 active players who have been hit by 29 teams who has never played for the one team that hasn't plunked him.

So far, no pitcher has hit a batter on all 30 teams, but Pedro Martinez is only missing a Colorado Rocky for the full collection. Randy Johnson has hit everyone but Atlanta and Arizona, but he's going to have a tough time hitting a Diamondback at this point in his career. Javier Vasquez is only missing the White Sox and Rangers, and Vicente Padilla has hit everyone except the Reds and Pirates.


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