Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hit Batsmen records by ballpark

Here's the list of pitchers who have hit the most batters in each current major league ballpark, with data through April 29, 2009:
Angel Stadium of AnaheimChuck Finley - 38
AT&T Park (Giants)
Jason Schmidt - 11
Busch Stadium (Cardinals)
Jason Marquis - 13
Chase Field (D-backs)
Randy Johnson - 44
Citi Field (Mets)
Oliver Perez - 1,
John Maine - 1,
Nelson Figueroa - 1,
Bobby Parnell - 1,
Jordan Zimmermann - 1,
Matt Lindstrom - 1,
Yovani Gallardo - 1
Citizens Bank Park (Phillies)
Brett Myers - 16
Comerica Park (Tigers)
Justin Verlander - 19
Coors Field (Rockies)
Pedro Astacio - 29
Dodger Stadium
Chan Ho Park - 42
Dolphin Stadium (Marlins)
Dontrelle Willis - 25,
Kevin Brown - 25
Fenway Park (Red Sox)
Tim Wakefield* - 80
Great American Ball Park (Reds)
Aaron Harang - 18
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (Twins)
Brad Radke - 34
Kauffman Stadium (Royals)
Mark Gubicza - 29
Miller Park (Brewers)
David Bush - 19
Minute Maid Park (Astros)
Roy Oswalt - 22
Nationals ParkJohn Lannan - 6
Oakland Coliseum (A's)
Barry Zito - 33
Oriole Park at Camden YardsScott Erickson - 31
PETCO Park (Padres)
Jake Peavy - 18
PNC Park (Pirates)
Kip Wells - 22
Progressive Field (Indians)
Charles Nagy - 24
Rangers Ballpark in ArlingtonKenny Rogers - 31
Rogers Centre (Blue Jays)
Roy Halladay - 26,
Todd Stottlemyre - 26
Safeco Field (Mariners)
Jamie Moyer - 27
Tropicana Field (Rays)
Paul Wilson - 24
Turner Field (Braves)
Greg Maddux - 26
U.S. Cellular Field (White Sox)
Mark Buehrle - 26
Wrigley Field (Cubs)
Carlos Zambrano* - 43
New Yankee StadiumCliff Lee - 1,
Carl Pavano - 1,
Damaso Marte - 1,
A.J. Burnett - 1,
Rafael Perez - 1,
Masahide Kobayashi - 1

* - The Wrigley and Fenway records can't be confirmed, but there isn't much chance Wakefield's 80 has been beaten by anyone. Roger Clemens is the only other Red Sox pitcher who hit over 80 batters in his career, and he only had 41 at Fenway, including his time with Toronto and the Yankees. On the Wrigley record, Charlie Root hit 73 batters for the Cubs between 1926 and 1941, which is one more than Zambrano's total, so their's a good chance he could have done better than Zambrano's 43 hit batters at home.

Many of these records are very breakable this season. The Miller Park record was broken on Wednesday when Dave Bush passed Ben Sheets, but Sheets has 18 so he could easily get the record back in his next home start. Kevin Correia is 1 hit batter away from Jason Schmidt's record at AT&T park. John Lannan's record at Nationals stadium has three other players within 2 plunks of it. And if Pedro Martinez re-signs with the Red Sox and hits 44 batters at Fenway Park, he'll tie Wakefields total. It could happen. Paul Maholm is only two plunks behind Kip Wells PNC Park record too.

Quentin plunked twice, takes league lead

HBPs of Note: April 29, 2009

The Mariners played the White Sox last night, and one of the game's highlights had to be Erik Bedard becoming the first pitcher to plunk Carlos Quentin twice in one game. That gave Quentin a total of 6 for the season, and 45 for his career. Quentin also got hit 6 times last April, making him just the third player to get hit 6 times in consecutive Aprils since 1986 (the Jamie Moyer Era). Craig Biggio got 6 plunks in April in 2001 and 2002, and Reed Johnson got plunked 6 times in April of 2005 and 2006.

Speaking of Reed Johnson, he's now been plunked 95 times, after last nights plunking by Doug Davis. That would have moved Johnson into a tie for 13th place with Aaron Rowand on the active HBP list, but Rowand got plunked by Guillermo Mota. That puts Rowand into a 12th place tie with Manny Ramirez among actives, at 96 HBPs. Johnson (95), Rowand (96), Ramirez (96), Miguel Tejada (97), and Chase Utley (85) all have an excellent chance of crossing the 100 HBP milestone this season.

Also yesterday, Cleveland's Kelly Shoppach and Boston's Nick Green both got hit by a pitch in the Red Sox-Indians game. Green has now been hit 5 times in 56 plate appearances, or once per 11.2 plate appearances, while Shoppach has been hit 4 times in 44 plate appearances, or once every 11 times he steps to the plate. When Ron Hunt got hit 50 times in 1971, he only got hit once every 12.76 plate appearances, so Shoppach and Green are on a very impressive pace.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

HBP records by Ballpark

Here's the list of all the current major league ballparks, and their HBP record holders in games at those parks. As of April 28, 2009.
Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Brian Downing - 50
AT&T Park (Giants)
Barry Bonds - 27
Busch Stadium (Cardinals)
David Eckstein - 13
Chase Field (Diamondbacks)
Luis Gonzalez - 30
Citi Field (Mets)
Jason Kendall - 1,
Gary Sheffield - 1,
Wil Nieves - 1,
Ryan Church - 1,
Josh Willingham - 1,
Hanley Ramirez - 1
Citizens Bank Park (Phillies)
Chase Utley - 35
Comerica Park (Tigers)
Brandon Inge - 24
Coors Field (Rockies)
Larry Walker - 55
Dodger StadiumAlex Cora - 26
Dolphin Stadium (Marlins)
Alex Gonzalez - 32
Fenway Park (Red Sox)
Carlton Fisk* - 45
Great American Ball Park (Reds)
Jason LaRue - 33
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (Twins)
Chuck Knoblauch - 39
Kauffman Stadium (Royals)
Mike Macfarlane - 44
Miller Park (Brewers)
Geoff Jenkins - 32
Minute Maid Park (Astros)
Craig Biggio - 56
Nationals Park
Nick Johnson - 5
Oakland Coliseum (A's)
Jason Giambi - 38
Oriole Park at Camden YardsBrady Anderson - 66
PETCO Park (Padres)
Khalil Greene - 13
PNC Park (Pirates)
Craig Wilson - 52
Progressive Field (Indians)
Travis Hafner - 33
Rangers Ballpark in ArlingtonAlex Rodriguez - 29
Rogers Centre (Blue Jays)
Carlos Delgado - 61
Safeco Field (Mariners)
Ichiro Suzuki - 21
Tropicana Field (Rays)
Jonny Gomes - 26
Turner Field (Braves)
Andruw Jones - 42
U.S. Cellular Field (White Sox)
Frank Thomas - 35
Wrigley Field (Cubs)
Ernie Banks* - 35
New Yankee StadiumJohnny Damon - 1,
Mark Teixeira - 1,
Hideki Matsui - 1,
Shin-Soo Choo - 1,
Nick Swisher - 1,
Kelly Shoppach - 1

*- Not confirmed. There is a chance that someone might have been plunked more at these oldest parks, just not a very good chance. This is at least the post-1960 People just didn't get hit by a lot of pitches for the major portion of the 20th century.

Kevin Kouzmanoff is one plunk behind Khalil Green for the PETCO record. Rickie Weeks could catch Geoff Jenkins for the Miller Park record with anothe 6 plunks at home. Several players are within one plunk of the Nationals Park record, including Chase Utley, who only visits that park. Kenji Johjima is also fairly close behind Ichiro for the Safeco record, with 17.

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Dave Bush plunks 3 Pirates

HBPs of Note: April 28, 2009

Dave Bush became the first pitcher in the 2009 season to plunk three batters in a game when he hit Freddy Sanchez, Eric Hinske and Adam Laroche last night. That's Bush's first 3 plunk game of his career, and it moves him past Bill Travers into 2nd place on the Brewers franchise hit batsmen list. Bush is only 5 plunks away from tying Jamey Wright for the Brewers record of 49 hit batters. Bush has hit 63 batters in all, but only 44 have been with the Brewers. Bush also took the league lead with 5 hit batters this year. No word yet on whether Bush's ability to hit Pirates with pitches will get him drafted by the merchant marine to protect shipping in the Gulf of Aden.

Red Sox pitcher Brad Penny threw his 40th career plunk, hitting Jhonny Peralta, possibly out of frustration over confusing everyone with the spelling of his first name.

Brandon Inge and Kevin Youkilis both got their 45th career plunk, but Inge got hit by the Yankees, who have hit Youkilis 9 times, and Youkilis got hit by Cleveland, who have hit Inge 5 times. Brandon Inge is 10th on the Tigers all time plunks list, and Youkilis is 11th on the Red Sox list. Inge is the Tigers active leader, but Youkilis is 2nd among active Red Sox, behind Jason Varitek.

Brian Buscher, Travis Ishikawa and Colby Rasmus all got their first career plunking yesterday. Buscher's plunk was the 7th of the season for the Twins, which is a big improvement from last season when they didn't get their 7th HBP until May 27th.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jason Kendall plunked by 30th team (twice)

HBPs of Note: April 27, 2009

Jason Kendall
got plunked twice yesterday, bringing his career total to 235, but he had never before been plunked by his former team, the Pittsburgh Pirates. He's now been plunked by all 30 major league teams - the only other player to accomplish that feat was Rondell White. That was Kendall's 10th career game with 2 HBPs, and his first 2 plunk game since July 17, 2005. Jesse Chavez became the 183 pitcher to plunk Jason Kendall, and Tyler Yates became the 184th.

Chase Utley collected his 86th career plunk yesterday, leaving him 2 short of tying the Phillies franchise record. Washington's Michael Hinkley contributed that plunk.

Tim Wakefield threw his 167th career plunk, breaking the Red Sox franchise record for career plunking, which was 166 by Tim Wakefield. He hit Cleveland's Shin-Soo Choo, who became the first Korean born player plunked by Wakefield. Tim Wakefield has now plunked batters from 10 different countries.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

David Eckstein passes Honus Wagner

HBPs of Note: April 26, 2009

David Eckstein got hit by a Ross Ohlendorf pitch yesterday, bringing his career total to 126. The moves him ahead of Jeff Kent and Honus Wagner on the all time plunk list to 38th all time. Jose Guillen also got plunked yesterday, giving him 124 for his career. He needs one more to break into the top 40 on the all time list.

Jason Kendall got also got plunked yesterday, for the 233rd plunk of his career. It was his second plunk by Russ Ortiz, his 2nd plunk on April 26th, and his 17th plunk against the Astros.

Jason Bay got hit by a pitch as well yesterday, which was thrown by Mark Melancon in his first major league outing. Bay has now been hit 3 times for the Red Sox, which ties the franchise record for plunks by players born in Canada. Frank O'Rourke and Bunk Congalton where the only other Canadians to get plunked 3 times for the Red Sox.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chase Utley collects 85th HBP

HBPs of Note: April 25, 2009

Chase Utley got hit by a pitch yesterday, giving him a career total of 85 plunks. Only Mike Lieberthal has been plunked more times in a Phillies uniform, with 88.

Chan Ho Park hit another batter, bringing his career total to 132, which is 131 more plunks than Matt Daley, who threw his first career plunk yesterday in his first major league appearance (he waited for the 4th batter).

Kevin Youkilis got hit by a pitch thrown by the Yankees, which is the 9th time he's been hit by them - but that's still one short of cracking the top 5 list for active batters being plunked by the Yankees. Nick Green also got plunked for the Red Sox, which ties him for the league lead at 4 plunks. He's 4 plunks ahead of Don Baylor's Red Sox (and American League) single season record pace, because when Baylor got hit 35 times in 1986, he did not get his first plunk until May 1st. Green's plunk was also the 20th of his career.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Baseballs attracted to Californians

So far in the 2009 season, 154 pitches have hit batters, and 48 of them have hit batters who were born in California. That's 31.2% of 2009 plunks. Last season Californian batters got hit the most, but they only collected 21.8% of 2008 plunks. And yes, there are a very large number of major league players who were born in Californian, but they only account for 18.5% of plate appearance this year.

In 1990, Californians took 28.5% of league plunkings, but no other state or foreign country in the Jamie Moyer Era* has broken the 25% mark.

* - The Jamie Moyer Era is 1986 to present, which encompasses the careers of all active players, and is also the span of time for which I have this sort of data.

Carlos Quentin takes the league lead

HBPs of Note: April 23, 2009

Carlos Quentin became the first batter to reach 4 plunks this season, making him the league leader. He got hit by the Baltimore Orioles, which means the Orioles lead all teams in plunking Quentin with 6 in his career.

In Houston, Geoff Blum collected his 25th career plunk, and in Philadelphia Dave Bush threw his 60th career hit batsman(after throwing his 59th).

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Johnny Cueto still doesn't like third basemen

Johnny Cueto threw his first HBP of the 2009 season yesterday, plunking Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Last season (his first in the big leagues), Cueto threw 14 plunks, and 8 of them landed on batters who were playing third base. So, 60% of Cueto's career plunks have been thrown at third basemen.

Also yesterday, Jamey Wright hit Kelly Shoppach with a pitch, making him the 25th catcher plunked by Wright. Wright is the active leader in plunking catchers, ahead of Tim Wakefield's 21 catchers plunked.

Tim Wakefield reaches 10 plunked Twins

HBPs of Note: April 22, 2009

Tim Wakefield threw two plunks against the Twins yesterday, hitting Alexei Casilla and Denard Span. That brings Wakefield's career total to 166, and his total against the Twins to 10. The Twins are the 7th team Wakefield has reached double figures in hit batsmen against. Wake's 2nd plunk was also his 80th thrown at Fenway Park.

Yesterday was the first day since July 28, 1989 on which the Twins got hit by a pitch at least once in both games of a double-header.

Adrian Gonzalez
got hit by a pitch for the Padres yesterday, which means that all 30 teams now have at least 1 HBP. The Padres were a stubborn holdout from the 2009 HBP stats column, avoiding all plunks for their first 14 games, despite having David Eckstein and Kevin Kouzmanoff on the team. But, they didn't last as long as last year's Braves, who made it to their 26th game before getting a plunking. Gonzalez got plunked by Barry Zito, who despite that plunk pitched 7 shutout innings. Really. Barry Zito.

And, Jamey Wright threw the 128th plunk of his career, but only his 2nd against Cleveland. That's still 12 short of Justin Verlander's plunk total against the Indians.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Prince Fielder gets to 40 before 25

HBPs of Note: April 21, 2009

Jamie Moyer hit Prince Fielder twice in yesterdays game, which brought Moyer's career total up to 130, and Fielder's total to 40. Moyer passed Frank Tanana and Dave Stieb on the all time hit batsmen list, and moved into a tie with Jesse Tannehill for 23rd place (give or take a few guys with unclear totals from the 19th century).
Fielder is the youngest active player with 40 career HBPs (he turns 25 next month) and is the first batter to reach 40 HBPs before turning 25 since Grady Sizemore got his 40th plunk on August 23, 2006, 21 days after his 24th birthday.
Moyer also hit Fielder once in their previous matchup, on September 11, 2008. Moyer has also plunked David Ortiz and Mo Vaughn twice in the same game, so he may have something against large-sized power-hitting lefties. (Then again, the other two players he's plunked twice in a game are Damion Easley and Mark Ellis). Moyer never hit Prince Fielders father Cecil though, in 39 plate appearances.

Also in HBP action yesterday, Brad Bergeson threw the first plunk of his career, and Robinson Tejada threw his 20th.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ryan Freel

Orioles utility-man Ryan Freel has been hit by 42 pitches in his career, and hasn't been plunked yet in 2009, but he's the only active player who has been plunked twice by pitchers born in the State of Maine. Matt Kinney was born in Bangor, Maine and plunked Ryan Freel on April 28, 2004. Tim Stauffer was born in Portland, Maine and hit Freel with a pitch on May 11, 2005.

This information will come in handy one of these days... you'll see.

Nick Green chases Red Sox record

HBPs of Note: April 20, 2009

Nick Green got hit by a pitch for the Red Sox yesterday. That's his 2nd of the season, which leads the team. He only needs to get hit 34 more times this year to break Don Baylor's single season record with Boston. That could be just the piece of information the Red Sox need to keep Green in the lineup when Julio Lugo returns from his injury. Green got plunked by Radhames Liz, who also threw David Ortiz his 25th career plunk later in that same inning.

Also yesterday, Rafael Soriano of the Braves threw his 10th career hit batsmen, plunking Washington's Josh Willingham. And Houston's LaTroy Hawkins plunked Paul Janish of the Reds, but it is not yet clear what significance that might have had. Yet.


Monday, April 20, 2009

HBPs of note - April 19, 2009

Jason Kendall got hit by a pitch for the first time in his 2009 season yesterday, making a total of 232 for his career. Nelson Figueroa became the 182nd pitcher to hit Jason Kendall with a pitch. Kendall needs 11 more to tie Ron Hunt for fifth on the all time list.

Johnny Damon got hit by Carl Pavano pitch, bringing Damon's career total to 40, and bringing the Yankees franchise total to 4,100. Damon needs 203 more to tie Ron Hunt for fifth on the all time list. But unlike Kendall, he doesn't have a very good chance of doing that this year.

Chipper Jones got hit by a pitch, which was the 17th of his career, which means you've probably missed your one chance to see Chipper Jones get and HBP, if you wanted to do so this season.

Carlos Quentin moved into a tie for the league lead, getting his 3rd of the season.

Kelly Shoppach got plunked for the Indians, which gives the team a major league leading 9 HBPs, and puts them on pace for 112 this year, which would break the record they set last year. But, last year they had 10 HBPs after an equal number of games (13).

Overall, HBPs per plate appearance are up 0.6% from their rate in April of 2008.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

HBPs of note - April 17, 2009

Kevin Youkilis got hit by a pitch thrown by Danys Baez in last night's Red Sox-Orioles game - which makes a nice round 40 hit batsmen in Baez's career. Youk's plunk was his 43rd career HBP, but it was also the 3,900th in Red Sox franchise history.

Also, Atlanta's Brian McCann felt the impact of piracy as Pittsburgh's Paul Maholm hit him with two pitches yesterday. He's the first batter this season to get plunked twice in one game by the same pitcher. Maholm is the first Pirate's pitcher to hit the same batter twice in a game since Dan Serafini plunked Fernando Vina twice on August 22, 2000.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Active Leaders

You've probably been sitting around wondering since the retirement of Jeff Kent, who is the active leader in HBPs as second basemen? And for that matter, who leads all the other positions in getting hit by pitches while playing at those positions?

Well, okay. I'll look into it.

Designated Hitters:
Jason Giambi passed Frank Thomas last season, to become the active leader in being plunked as a Designated Hitter, which puts into question the title of "Big Hurt". Thomas wasn't that active last season anyway, and now he's technically listed as a free agent, so he could contend for the active lead if someone actually signs him. But Giambi has already been hit twice as a DH this year, so Thomas better hurry up if he wants to get back in that race. Travis Hafner is the next closest with 48 DH plunkings.

PlayerHBP at DHStatus
Jason Giambi59Active
Frank Thomas57Free Agent
Travis Hafner47Active
Mike Sweeney32Active
Josh Phelps29Minors (SF)
Jonny Gomes24Minors (CIN)
Manny Ramirez21Active
David Ortiz19Active
Jim Thome19Active

Right Field:
Jose Guillen has had the active lead in getting hit as a right fielder since he passed Gary Sheffield on May 12, 2007. There does not appear to be another right fielder who is likely to catch Guillen, so he should hold this lead until he leaves the game.
PlayerHBP at RFStatus
Jose Guillen99Active
Gary Sheffield80Active
Vladimir Guerrero76Active
Jermaine Dye55Active
Magglio Ordonez43Active
Austin Kearns43Active
Manny Ramirez36Active

Center Field:
Aaron Rowand has been hit 91 times while playing center field (or at least while he was batting in between playing center field... you get the point). He passed Andruw Jones for that lead on May 28, 2008.

PlayerHBP at CFStatus
Aaron Rowand91Active
Andruw Jones82Active
Mike Cameron75Active
Ken Griffey72Active
Juan Pierre55Active
Grady Sizemore52Active
Torii Hunter51Active
David DeJesus49Active

Left Field:
Luis Gonzalez hasn't officially announced his retirement yet, but the 30 major league teams seem to be pretty sure he's retired. He's still calling himself a free agent, but since he's not playing at the moment, the active lead among left fielders falls to Cliff Floyd. Floyd is on the DL for San Diego, which limits his activity, so if you want an active leader who has actually played left field this season, it's Matt Holliday.

PlayerHBP at LFStatus
Luis Gonzalez111Free Agent
Cliff Floyd70Active
Shannon Stewart64Free Agent
Geoff Jenkins64Free Agent
Matt Holliday47Active
Reed Johnson46Active
Adam Dunn45Active
Josh Willingham40Active
Manny Ramirez39Active

Short Stop:
Derek Jeter has been hit by a lot of pitches as a Short Stop, with 136 so far, and he's been the active leader since taking his 51st plunk at Short on August 2, 2001. That put him ahead of Pat Meares among active shortstops. David Eckstein has been close behind Jeter for a long time, but since the Yankees will keep playing Jeter at short stop for the rest of time, and Eckstein is playing 2nd base this year, Jeter will probably hold this lead until he retires.
PlayerHBP at SSStatus
Derek Jeter136Active
David Eckstein120Active
Miguel Tejada96Active
Alex Rodriguez72Active
Alex Gonzalez64Active

Third Base:
Scott Rolen has what you'd call a commanding lead among active third basemen. He's been the active leader since July 17th, 2002 when he passed Matt Williams.
PlayerHBP at 3BStatus
Scott Rolen106Active
Alex Rodriguez67Active
Aramis Ramirez65Active
Aaron Boone64Retired
Mike Lowell52Active

Second Base:
Jeff Kent retired after last year, with 113 plunks at 2nd Base, and Damion Easley doesn't have a job this year, so that leaves Chase Utley as the active leader for second basemen. If he keeps up his rate of being hit by pitches from the last two years (leading the majors both years), he should hold onto this lead for a long time.
PlayerHBP at 2BStatus
Jeff Kent113Retired
Damion Easley103Free Agent
Chase Utley83Active
Ray Durham68Free Agent
Rickie Weeks62Active
Adam Kennedy59Minors (TB)
Mark Grudzielanek59Free Agent
Placido Polanco55Active
Alfonso Soriano46Active
Jerry Hairston45Active

First Base
Carlos Delgado has another one of those commanding leads at this position. He's held the active lead since the beginning of the 2006 season - he finished 2005 in a tie with Jeff Bagwell for the active lead at first base, but Bagwell never played again. Delgado is 37, and Giambi is behind him at age 38, so Derrek Lee, Paul Konerko or Mark Teixeira could inherit this lead in the next couple of years.
PlayerHBP at 1BStatus
Carlos Delgado154Active
Jason Giambi93Active
J.T. Snow63Retired
Sean Casey59Retired
Derrek Lee57Active
Paul Konerko57Active
Mark Teixeira50Active

This falls closer to the category of preposterously insurmountable leads. Jason Kendall has been the active HBP leader among catchers since May 5, 2000 when he got hit for the 91st time as a catcher, and passed Mike MacFarlane. Jason LaRue and AJ Pierzynski are pretty good at getting hit by pitches, but they don't come close to Kendall, even added together.
PlayerHBP at CStatus
Jason Kendall227Active
Jason LaRue101Active
A.J. Pierzynski84Active
Brad Ausmus66Active
Jorge Posada60Active

Mike Hampton is active? You might not have seen much of him recently, but he's playing for the Astros this year, and he's the sole owner of the active lead among pitchers getting hit by pitches, now the Greg Maddux has retired and Scott Elarton is still a free agent. But, a whole lot of pitchers could catch him without too much effort. Brad Penny and Jake Peavy have even been hit twice in the same season, so they could catch Hampton if they match their career highs - though Penny being in the American League would make that unlikely for him. Elarton and the recently retired Matt Clement were the only active pitchers with a 3 HBP season to their credit, but now no active pitcher has been hit more than twice in as season.
PlayerHBP at PStatus
Greg Maddux5Retired
Mike Hampton5Active
Scott Elarton5Free Agent
Livan Hernandez4Active
Roy Oswalt4Active
Brad Penny3Active
Jake Peavy3Active
Darren Oliver3Active
Jeff Suppan3Active
John Smoltz3Active
Pedro Martinez3Free Agent
Adam Eaton3Active
Shawn Estes3Active


Thursday, April 16, 2009

HBPs of note - April 15, 2009

Andruw Jones of the Texas Rangers got hit by a pitch in the 8th inning yesterday, by Matt Albers of the Baltimore Orioles. That was the 85th of Jones' career, but it was also the 1000th HBP recorded by Major League players born in 1977. Batters born in 1977 have been plunked the relatively infrequently compared to players born in other years in the 70s. Only batters born in 1970 (987) and 1979 (729) have fewer plunks among years in that decade. Players born in 1974 have been hit the most, with 1909 plunks so far, and the '70s have produced the most total plunk victims so far, with 13,400.

6 batters were hit by pitches yesterday, all in the 6th inning or later.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

HBPs of note - April 13, 2009

Jason Giambi and Rickie Weeks both got hit by pitches yesterday, making them the first two to be hit 3 times this season. Giambi's plunk was the 160th of his career, and Weeks is up to 62.

Chase Utley collected his first HBP of the 2009 season after leading the majors in 2008 and 2007. He's up to 84 in his career, which is 4 short of tying the Phillies franchise record.

Reed Johnson got hit for the 2nd consecutive day, bringing his career total to 94. Johnson led the majors in HBPs in 2006.

50 of the 79 HBPs this season have occurred in odd numbered innings. 14 batters have been hit in the 7th inning but only 3 have been plunked in the 6th.

Edinson Volquez and Chien-Ming Wang both achieved their 20th hit batsmen yesterday, and Saul Rivera threw his 10th (along with his 9th).

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Monday, April 13, 2009

HBPs of note - April 12, 2009

In yesterday's game between the Phillies and Rockies, Chan Ho Park plunked Chris Ianetta. That makes 131 career hit batsmen for Park, moving him ahead of Jesse Tannehill into a tie for 21st place with George Mullin. That's not that interesting, but among the 10 plunks in yesterdays HBP action that was probably the most significant.

David DeJesus got hit again, his 61st, moving him closer to the Royals franchise record. He's got a fair shot at the American League Central record too, though there are others that may beat him too it.

Joba Chamberlain hit two batters in a game for the first time in his career, bringing his total to 5. And Reed Johnson got his 93rd HBP. Reed Johnson has the longest active streak of consecutive seasons with double digit HBPs, with 6. This plunk could be the start of his 7th season with 10 or more HBPs. He's never had a season with less than 10 HBPs.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

HBPs of note - April 11, 2009

David Dejesus got hit by a pitch yesterday, which brings his career total to 60. He's only 18 plunks behind the Kansas City Royals franchise record, which is 78 by Mike Macfarlane. CC Sabathia contributed the pitch that hit Dejesus for number 60.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

HBPs of note - April 10, 2009

Torii Hunter got hit by a Tim Wakefield pitch last night, which moves Hunter into a 12 way tie for 292nd place on the all time HBP list, just ahead of Al Kaline, Barry Larkin, Albert Belle and Billy Hatcher. It also moved Wakefield into either 7th or 11th place on the all-time Hit Batsmen list (depending on a few controversial totals), moving him past Cy Young, who hit 163 batters. If Wakefield hits 10 more batters for the Red Sox, he'll pass the combined total of Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens, who are 2nd and 3rd on the Boston franchise list. But Torii Hunters's 56 career HBPs give him a 7 plunk lead on the all time list of guys whose first name ends with a double vowel. Lee May is next with 49, and Gee Walker is behind him with 44. Shin-Soo Choo should have a good chance at breaking this record someday.

Carlos Delgado got his 169th career plunk yesterday, on a pitch thrown by Kiko Calero. That was Delgado's 30th with the Mets, which moves him into 5th on the Mets franchise list, and 12 away from the Mets record.

Jason Giambi collected his 159th plunk.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

HBPs of note - April 8, 2009

It was a full day of getting hit by pitches yesterday with 13 batters getting hit by pitches. Ryan Howard got plunked by Eric O'Flaherty for Howard's 20th career plunk. Milton Bradley got hit for the 20th time in his career yesterday, and Carlos Quentin collected plunk number 40 of his short career. Rickie Weeks became the first player to collect two plunks this season, getting plunked in his 2nd consecutive game. This makes 61 for Weeks' career.

Quentin's 40th HBP makes him the all time leader among players whose last name starts with Q, passing Joe Quinn.
Here's the all time Q list:
Carlos Quentin - 40
Joe Quinn - 39
Jamie Quirk - 18
Mark Quinn - 13
Rey Quinones - 11

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Division Records

There are Major League records, and there are American League records, and there are National League records, and sometimes there are Modern Records, and Wind-Aided Olympic Records, and Records by Weight Class, and Rhino Records. So lets see what happens if we break it out by Division. Wouldn't it add more interest to this season to know that AJ Pierzynski needs only 5 more HBPs to break the American League Central HBP record, moving ahead of Matt Lawton? And why limit it to HBPs? Might it help Andre Dawson's Hall of Fame campaign if someone knew that he's the all time leader in National League East hits? Although, Chipper Jones only needs 303 more hits to match Dawson's total.

Anyway, here are the all time leaders in HBPs by Division. Keep in mind that the Central Divisions in each league have been around since 1994 and the East and West Divisions were invented in 1969.
AL West
AL Central
Matt Lawton - 74
A.J. Pierzynski* - 70
Damion Easley - 70
Mike Sweeney** - 66
Paul Konerko* - 63
AL East
Don Baylor - 165
Brady Anderson - 152
Derek Jeter* - 138
Carlos Delgado** - 122
Jason Giambi** - 109
NL West
Larry Walker - 98
Barry Bonds - 86
Luis Gonzalez - 85
Jeff Kent - 79
Andres Galarraga - 66
Robby Thompson - 66
NL Central
Craig Biggio - 257
Jason Kendall* - 196
Fernando Vina - 108
Jeff Bagwell - 100
Jason LaRue* - 98
NL East
Ron Hunt - 116
Andres Galarraga - 102
Andre Dawson - 94
Mike Lieberthal - 88
Andruw Jones** - 83
Chase Utley* - 83
*- Active
** - Active, but not in that division.

Check out Don Baylor - 1st in the AL East, 2nd in the AL West. The closest active contender for the AL East plunk record is Jason Giambi with just 49. Todd Helton is the closest active player in the NL West to that record, but he's only half way their with 49.

Sac Fly leaders by division:
AL West
AL Central
Frank Thomas - 80
Omar Vizquel** - 62
Magglio Ordonez* - 57
Joe Randa - 56
Mike Sweeney** - 54
AL East
Cal Ripken - 127
Robin Yount - 123
Wade Boggs - 96
Don Mattingly - 96
Jim Rice - 94
NL West
Steve Garvey - 90
Dave Concepcion - 86
Tony Gwynn - 85
Johnny Bench - 81
Dusty Baker - 80
NL Central
Jeff Bagwell - 73
Craig Biggio - 65
Aramis Ramirez* - 59
Sammy Sosa - 58
Mark Grace - 49
NL East
Andre Dawson - 110
Mike Schmidt - 108
Gary Carter - 95
Chipper Jones* - 79
Bobby Bonilla - 72
*- Active
** - Active, but not in that division

Garrett Anderson left the AL west one sac fly away from the top 5 with 76, but Griffey is the next active in that division at only 56. Vernon Wells is the top active in the AL East with 48 sac flies. Todd Helton has sacrificed the most fly in the NL West among actives, with 61.

Hit leaders by division:
AL West
George Brett - 3,154
Rod Carew - 2,777
Garret Anderson** - 2,368
Edgar Martinez - 2,247
Willie Wilson - 2,145
AL Central
Magglio Ordonez* - 1,833
Jim Thome* - 1,628
Omar Vizquel** - 1,616
Frank Thomas - 1,536
Paul Konerko* - 1,493
AL East
Cal Ripken - 3,184
Robin Yount - 3,142
Wade Boggs - 3,010
Paul Molitor - 2,789
Derek Jeter* - 2,539
NL West
Tony Gwynn - 3,141
Steve Garvey - 2,599
Dave Concepcion - 2,326
Pete Rose - 2,249
Steve Finley - 2,182
NL Central
Craig Biggio - 2,261
Jeff Bagwell - 1,820
Sammy Sosa - 1,761
Jason Kendall* - 1,583
Albert Pujols* - 1,536
NL East
Andre Dawson - 2,578
Chipper Jones* - 2,279
Mike Schmidt - 2,234
Larry Bowa - 2,191
Keith Hernandez - 2,156
*- Active
** - Active, but not in that division

I was going to to homers next, but after using all those asterisks to mark active players, it would get really confusing with the number of asterisks I'd have to put all over the juiced up homer totals. Lets just get over homers being an important stats. Too many players are too big and too many parks are too small. HBPs have always been a better stat for baseball greatness.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The return of the plunks

Major League Baseball returned with a mostly full schedule yesterday, and with it came the return of batters getting hit by pitches. Jason Giambi got hit for the 158th time in his career, Jeremy Guthrie hit the 15th batter of his career, and Brandon Webb threw the 50th HBP of his career. And Jason Motte threw his very first. Giambi's plunk moves him past Fernando Vina into sole possession of 15th place on the all time HBP list, and 3rd among batters who work exclusively left handed at the plate.

I think it's not to early to project that Giambi will continue on this one plunk per game pace and get hit 162 times this season. As will the other batters who got hit yesterday - Scott Rolen, Jorge Posada, Rick Ankiel, Brandon Moss and Ryan Spilborghs. And Justin Verlander, Jeremy Guthrie, Joe Saunders, Paul Maholm will all hit 162 batters along with Motte and Webb. The stats say so.

Okay, maybe it's too early to project the full season based on one game, but I still wouldn't rule out Verlander hitting that many batters.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Welcome back, baseball

Baseball is back with real games today, and while their was one game last night, nobody got hit by a pitch so it hardly counts. So we can just ignore that game last night, and consider today to be "opening day" and look forward to a long season full of exciting play and obscure statistical accomplishments.

Friday, April 3, 2009

ncaa basketball (and now for something completely different)

College Basketball's NCAA tournament heads into its final 3 games this weekend and Monday, known as the Final Four. Many have said that this year's tournament might have been the most boring do to the lack of upsets in the early round games, but those people are wrong. 2007 was the most boring. And this year is only the second most boring - although "boring" is the wrong word. It's not boring, it just hasn't had the number of upsets that get everyone excited when they're just watching the bracket get filled in instead of actually watching the games.

The other major thing missing from the NCAA tournament is someone on the internet doing ridiculous things with the available stats from it. So, as a public service, I've come up with a way to rank the relative upset-y-ness of each years tournament since the expansion to 64 teams in 1985. (For convenience, we'll call the 64 and 65 team bracket years the Modern NCAA tournament - obviously a tournament existed before then, but it was a different beast.) Much like popular baseball and basketball metrics, this new Tournament Upset Metric will use easily available numbers from each year's tournament, so anyone can play along at home.

Here's the Tournament Upset Metric formula for each game:

TUM = (Ws - Ls - 1) * (round + 1)/2

where Ws is the winner's seed number in the tournament bracket and Ls is the losers seed number. All negative values are rounded to 0 because we're only interested in UPSETS.

The first part of the formula simply measures the relative seeds of the two teams - but teams within one seed of each other really don't count as upsets, so we subtract one from the difference. 9 seeds beating 8s or 5 seeds beating 4s don't count as upsets, but a 10 over a 7 in the first round should get 2 points, and an 11 over a 6 is 4. The next part is a factor based on the tournament round, from 1 for the first round to 6 for the national finals. First round upsets are always fun, but the formula should give more significance to the later upsets. So the seed difference is multiplied by 1 for the first round, 1.5 for the 2nd round, 2 for the "sweet sixteen" round... up to 3.5 for final game.

This formula yields these as the top 5 upsets in modern tournament history:

1) (tied) - #11 George Mason 86, #1 Connecticut 84 (in OT) in the 2006 "Elite Eight" round, also know as round 4 - this gets a 22.5 on the TUM meter, and also happens to be my favorite college game in recent memory.

1) (tied) - #11 LSU 59, #1 Kentucky 57 in the 1986 Elite Eight - also a 22.5

3 - #8 Villanova 66, #1 Georgetown 64 in the 1985 Finals - a 21 TUM rating - It's an excellent argument that this should be the top upset ever, but on paper it doesn't quite edge out those 11 vs 1 elite 8 games. But, this gets remembered as an even bigger upset than the seeding implies because Georgetown was so highly thought of that year, which doesn't get fully captured by its #1 seed. There's always room for improvement in a formula though.

4 - #11 LSU 70, #2 Georgia Tech 64 in the 1986 sweet 16 round - a 16 TUM upset

5 - #8 Villanova 52, #2 Memphis State 45 in the semi-finals - a 15 TUM.


Now, once we have rated each upset, for it's relative upsetingness, we can add all the scores together and look at the tournaments as a whole, and rank them by year:
YearTotal TUMTUM per GameTotal Upset Games

*- in progress UPDATE: final now, with no change.
As you can see, the first two years of the modern tournament were the most exciting, in terms of upsets, with the Villanova championship in '85 and LSU's final 4 run in '86. Aside from Villanova, there were also two 11 seeds and a 12 who made it to the sweet 16 round that year (which required upset wins in two rounds). The '86 tournament also included #12 Depaul and #14 Cleveland State making the sweet 16. That was one of only 2 #14 seeds who have ever made the sweet 16.
But, it's not just a case of the upsets being more likely in the '80s when maybe the tournament committee wasn't as good at ranking everyone, because we have the 2006 tournament, with George Mason's final 4 run, and #13 Bradley making the sweet 16, along with a couple of 7 seeds.
Also, this year is only the 2nd worst ever - 2007 only had 4 upsets in the whole tournament. This year we've had 8 already, and Villanova could bring that up to 10 if they beat UNC and beat Uconn in the finals (should they make it). That would still only bring the 2009 total TUM up to 42. 1993 got a surprisingly low score, despite that being the year #15 Santa Clara beat #2 Arizona in the first round. There were only 7 other upsets that year, with just one in the sweet 16 round, and no upsets in later rounds.

Best Cinderella's
Also, since the media loves to talk about Cinderella's of the tournament, we can use this metric to rank the top Cinderella tournament runs by adding up their TUM scores for the tournament:

1985 Villanova - 61.5 TUM (won the championship as a #8, beating two #1s and 2 #2s)
1986 LSU - 53 TUM (made final 4 as an #1, beating a 1, 2, 3 and 6)
2006 George Mason - 43 TUM (made final 4 as a #11, beating a 1, 3, 6 and 7)
1988 Kansas - 25.5 TUM (won the finals as a #6, but beat a #7, #14, and #11)
1987 LSU, 2002 Kent State, 2008 Davidson - 24.5 (all three were 10 seeds who made it to the elite 8)

That '88 Kansas team would have ranked much higher, but they faced a #14 seed in the 2nd round, and a #11 in the 3rd round. Obviously that helped them along toward the final, and they don't get any TUM points for those games. Normally it would be an upset for a #6 seed to win a sweet 16 game, but not when they beat a #11.

Most Upset Teams
We can also now tell which programs have had the most upset riddled tournament histories. Obviously, they all have to be pretty good programs or they wouldn't be in positions to be upset so often, but if we add up the total TUM in games where each team lost in the tournament, we get the following top 10 most upset teams:

Tum Against
North Carolina61.5208

Oklahoma lost the '88 finals as a 1 seed, to #6 Kansas, but most of their trouble has come in the first two rounds - they've lost 3 times as 4 seeds to 13 seeds in the first round, and once more as a 4 seed to a 12 seed in round 2. Duke, on the other hand, also lost to the '88 Kansas team, in the semi-finals, but has a history of getting upset in the 2nd and 3rd round. They've been upset 4 times in the 2nd and 4 times in the 3rd round, and of course that 1st round lost to VCU in 2007 - although Duke was only a #6 that year. Duke holds the modern tournament record for #1 seeds losing in the sweet 16, with 4. Kansas has done that twice, but no one else has more than 1 sweet 16 lose as a #1.

TUM Criticisms
The obvious flaw in this is that we're only measuring upsets based on the tournament seeding created by the guys who put together the NCAA bracket each year. We know that sometimes they need to bump a team up or down a seed to get the bracket to work out the way they want, like to keep a top team playing closer to home, or to avoid having more than 2 teams from any conference in the same 16 team region. Also, there are some #1 seeds that transcend mere #1 seeds, like that '85 Georgetown team with Patrick Ewing, the '2006 Uconn team which was loaded with NBA lottery picks, and the '91 UNLV team that lost to Duke in the final 4. Many people consider that UNLV-Duke game a big upset, since UNLV was having an undefeated season and rolling over everyone, but Duke was a 2 seed so that game doesn't even score a TUM. But, most stats simply work with the measurements that are easily available, and don't take situation or other intangibles into account, so this works pretty well on the whole.

What does this have to do with baseball or HBPs?
This has nothing to do with baseball or people getting hit by pitches, but if you insist... the average TUM score for the modern NCAA tournament is 78.5. In years when the tournament has a below average TUM, batters get hit 8% more often than in years when the TUM is above average. Which means this could be a good year for HBPs.

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