Sunday, May 31, 2009

100 for Tejada and 600 for Arizona

Congratulations to Miguel Tejada, on becoming the 65th player in Major League history to reach the 100 HBPs milestone. He got hit by Pittsburgh's Matt Capps. Unfortunately for Tejada, the Houston Astro fans might not be impressed by the 100 HBP milestone after seeing Craig Biggio get 285, and Jeff Bagwell get 128. But it's still a relatively rare accomplishment to reach 100 HBPs.

Also, the Arizona Diamondbacks were plunked for the 600th time in franchise history. They are the last in total HBPs among current teams, but when Eric Byrnes got hit by Javier Vazquez yesterday, that pushed them to an even 600.

Chase Utley got hit again, bringing his season total to 11, which leads the league. His career total is 94 and at the rate he's going, he should have no trouble joining Tejada in the 100 plunk club.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Brought to you by the number 5

HBPs of note: May 29, 2009

Joel Piniero of the Cardinals hit Bengie Molina of the Giants yesterday, which was Piniero's 42nd career plunk... and also Molina's 42nd career plunk. It was also both of their 2nd plunks of the season. So that's weird, right?

Tim Wakefield hit another batter yesterday, which gives him 172 for his career. That's 1 more than every pitcher ever born in Utah. Wakefield needs to throw two more to tie Charlie Hough for 6th place on one version of the all-time list. Wakefield's plunk was the 26th of his career thrown at the Blue Jays. That leads active pitchers in hit batters versus one team.

Jason Giambi got hit for the 5th time this season, and the 162nd time in his career. He's the 2nd most plunked Californian ever, the 2nd most plunked active left-hander, and the 3rd most plunked left-hander ever. But he still had all those ranks when he'd only been hit 161 times, so none of that is new.

Cody Ross got hit for the 18th time in his career, yesterday. He's 6 behind Ralph Kiner on the all time plunk list for batters born in New Mexico.

Fernando Tatis got hit for the 5th time this season, and the 55th time in his career. Of the 7 batters who got plunked yesterday, 4 of them recorded their 5th plunk of the season (including Josh Willingham who got his 4th and 5th).


Friday, May 29, 2009

Not that notable.

HBPs of Note: May 28, 2009

There were only five Major League baseball games yesterday, and only two players got hit by pitches, neither of which were very notable. Jacoby Ellsbury of the Red Sox got hit by Sean Henn of the Twins, and Aubrey Huff of the Orioles got plunked by Detroit's Armando Galarraga. Ellsbury should be the last Red Sox player to get hit by a pitch at the Metrodome, unless Boston and Minnesota tie for the wild card and have to settle it with a one game playoff. Aubrey Huff has 33 plunks in his career, which makes him 51st on the all time list among players born in Ohio. Sean Henn's plunk was the first he's thrown this season, and makes him the 284th pitcher to hit a batter this season. Armando Galarraga's plunk was the 9th hit batsmen of his career, and he is the all time leader in hit batsmen among pitchers with four A's in his last name. He needs to hit 94 more batters to break the record for most plunks by a pitchers whose last initial is G, which is currently 102 by Bob Gibson and Clark Griffith.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

AJ Burnett ends David Murphy's streak

HBPs of note: May 27, 2009

Yesterday morning, if you had asked what active player has had the most Major League plate appearances, but has never been hit by a pitch, the answer would have been David Murphy. He had a career total of 693 plate appearances, but no HBPs. He made it through his 694th and 695th career plate appearances without getting hit yesterday, but when he stepped to the plate for the 696th time, AJ Burnett decided he really wanted to throw the 65th plunk of his career. Streak over for Murphy. That leaves Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano as the only active player with over 500 career plate appearances but no HBPs.

Guess how many times Aaron Rowand has been hit by a pitch? That's right - 98, as of yesterday when he was plunked by Kenshin Kawakami. If he gets hit twice more before Miguel Tejada gets hit once, and before Manny Ramirez gets hit 3 more times, and before Reed Johnson gets hit 5 times, and before Chase Utley gets hit 7 more times, and before David Murphy gets hit 99 more times, Rowand could become the 65th player in history to reach the 100 plunk milestone.

Michael Cuddyer collected his 30th career plunk yesterday, Ryan Garko got number 45, and Chad Moeller got number 15. Alan Embree threw the 20th hit batsmen of his career.

Seven players got hit by pitches yesterday, but four of them hadn't been previously plunked this season (or in Murphy's case, ever). Six of yesterday's seven plunks was thrown in an even numbered inning.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Eckstein reaches 130

HBPs of note: May 26, 2009

There were a couple of notable plunkings in the Padres- David Eckstein recorded his 130th career. He's now in 35th place on the all time list, and only 3 behind the David Eckstein Era record, which is currently 132 by Jason Kendall. It was another 9th inning HBP for Eckstein, but not a a game tying RBI plunk like last week. Kevin Kouzmanoff did have an RBI plunk for the Padres in that game, in the 8th inning, as part of an 8th inning rally that came up short. That was the 30th career HBP for Kouzmanoff, and he's now just 5 behind behind Gene Tenace on the Padres all time HBP list.

At Citi Field, Fernando Tatis and Fernando Martinez both got plunked for the Mets. For Tatis, it was his 54th career plunk, and his 4th at Citi Field, which is the park record. There have only been 19 HBPs so far at Citi Field, and 21% of them have landed on Fernando Tatis. Fernando Martinez' plunk was the first of his career, and makes him the first player born in 1988 to be hit by a pitch. Yesterday was the first day on which two different Fernandos got hit by pitches since July 30, 2002 when Tatis and Fernando Vina both got plunked, and it was the first time since July 14, 2000 that two Fernandos got plunked in the same game, for the same team - that was also Vina and Tatis.

Roy Oswalt threw the 60th HBP of his career.

Major League batters recorded 11 HBPs yesterday, which made it the 8th day this year with that number as the total plunks. There have been seven different 10 plunk days, but 11 has been the most popular number of HBPs in a day so far this year. Last year there were only sixteen 11 plunks days all season, but there were 22 days on which 10 HBPs were recorded.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Utley brings 2009 total to 10

HBPs of Note: May 25, 2009

Christ Volstad hit Chase Utley with a pitch yesterday, giving Utley the league lead at 10 HBPs in the 2009 season. Volstad has now plunked Chase Utley 3 times, and this is the 2nd of the 2009 season. This is the 2nd season in which Chase Utley has been hit 10 times by May 25th, but in 2007 he had been hit 14 times at this point in the season. Among active players, only Utley, David Eckstein and Jason Kendall have reached double figures in HBPs by May 25th in two different seasons. (Craig Biggio did that 4 times.)

Mark Teixeira got plunked in a road game at Texas yesterday, which moves him into a tie with Frank Catalanotto for 2nd place on the all time plunk list for Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. He's been hit 23 times at his former home park, but he's still 6 behind fellow former Ranger and current Yankee, Alex Rodriguez. Among the current Rangers, nobody has been hit more than 11 times at their home park, and the entire 2009 roster has only been plunked 42 times at their own park - less than the combined total of Teixeira and Rodrgiuez of the visiting Yankees.

Nate McLouth got his 35th career plunk yesterday, Gregg Zaun reached the 25 plunks career milestone, and Ryan Dempster hit a batter for the 65th time in his career (which happened to be McLouth).

Augie Ojeda got plunked by Chad Guadin yesterday, which give Ojeda 3 career HBPs on Memorial Day in his career, which leads all active players. Since 1986, only Ojeda, Damion Easley, and Rafael Palmeiro have been plunked 3 times in their careers on Memorial Day.

Eleven batters were plunked yesterday, making it the most plunkful Memorial Day since 2006, when 12 were plunked. 2001 was the most combative Memorial Day in recent history with 14 plunks.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Sizemore finally gets plunked

HBPs of note: May 24, 2009

Grady Sizemore hadn't been plunked in his first 204 plate appearances this season, but on his 205th he finally got hit by a pitch, bringing his career total to 54. He's 2nd only to Travis Hafner among active Indians, and he's 25 HBPs behind Indians record holder Napolean Lajoie (79). Also in that game, Kelly Shoppach got hit by a pitch, bringing his 2009 season total to 9, which ties him with Chase Utley for the Major League lead.

In Minnesesota, Dave Bush moved a step closer to the Brewers record for hitting batters by throwing his 47th batter since joining the team. Jamey Wright holds the record with 49. Bush's career total is up to 66, but he hit 19 when he pitched for the Blue Jays.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lackey hits 3

HBPs of Note: May 23, 2009

Angels' starter John Lackey hit three Dodgers with pitches yesterday, bringing his career total to 68. The Angels team record for hitting batters is 71 by Chuck Finley, so that record is clearly in jeopardy of falling to John Lackey. Lackey has hit 4 batters in only 12 innings of work this year, but that was the first time in his career that he hit 3 batters in the same game.

Kyle Lohse and Randy Wolf both got plunked both got plunked yesterday, making it the first day on which two pitchers were hit by pitches since September 9, 2007.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Phillies plunked for the 4,500th time

HBPs of note: May 22, 2009

Chase Utley got hit by a pitch yesterday, which is not exactly a new thing - he leads the league with 9 HBPs this season, and is up to 92 for his career. It was his first plunk at the New Yankee Stadium, and the 20th in the short history of that new park, but perhaps most interestingly, it was the 4,500th HBP in Phillies franchise history. They're the 5th franchise to reach that milestone. The first 138 HBPs in franchise history were recorded when the team was known as the Philadelphia Quakers, and then for a couple of years in the 1940s they they got hit 52 times while they had changed their name to the Blue Jays for some reason.

David Eckstein got hit by a pitch for the 129th time in his career, but he had to leave the game because of it, so that's less cool. He's generally very good at being able to get hit without serious injury, but Carlos Zambrano hit him pretty hard (90.3 mph) while Eckstein was squaring to bunt. Hopefully he'll be back soon, continuing his climb up the all time HBP list - where he's currently tied for 35th, with Brian Downing and Willie Keeler. For Zambrano, it was his 73rd career hit batter.

Also in that game, Jake Peavy hit one batter, leaving him on plunk short of tieing the Padres career record for hitting batters. He's plunked 45 batters in his career.

Joel Zumaya hit a batter, making yesterday the first day since May 11, 2005 on which two different pitchers whose last name begins with Z hit a batter.

Jerry Hairston Jr. collected his 65th HBP, and Carlos Pena got his 40th. Pena's plunk was the 74th in the all time interleague series between the Marlins and Rays. Those two teams have plunked each other 23 more times than the next most plunk-filled interleague series. It's also been the most lopsided, with the Rays having hit the Marlins 52 times, and the Marlins firing back just 22 times, including yesterday's plunk of Carlos Pena.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Interleague plunk records

Tonight, the first of this year's interleague play series kick off, so I can only assume that you've be scouring the internet all day trying to find out who holds the all time interleague play HBP record.
Well, scour no more.

PlayerInterleague Hit-By-Pitches
Jason Kendall20
Jason Giambi18
Carlos Delgado18
Craig Biggio17
Derek Jeter17
Melvin Mora14
Alex Rodriguez14
Aaron Boone13
Aaron Rowand13
Scott Rolen13
Miguel Tejada13
Kevin Millar13
Mike Lieberthal12
Mike Redmond12
Jeff Bagwell11
Jeff Cirillo11
Larry Walker11
Barry Bonds11
Jason LaRue11
Jerry Hairston11

Sometimes interleague play feels like it's been going on forever, but it's still surprising to me to see that prior to this year, there have been 2,956 interleague games. In those games, 659 different batters have been plunked a total of 2,086 times by 784 different pitchers.

PlayerInterleague Hit-Batsmen
Kenny Rogers15
Ryan Rupe14
Tim Hudson14
Tim Wakefield13
Scott Sullivan13
Byung-Hyun Kim13
Derek Lowe11
Miguel Batista11
Ryan Dempster11
Jeff Suppan11
Pedro Martinez11
Aaron Sele10
Greg Maddux10
Tom Glavine10
Ramon Ortiz10
Darren Oliver10
Livan Hernandez10

Peavy refuses to abandon quest for Padres hit batsmen record

The big news yesterday was that the Padres agreed to a trade that would send Jake Peavy to the White Sox, but needed Peavy's approval to allow the deal to go through. But, after leaving the fans in suspense all day, he chose to remain in San Diego - where he is 3 hit batters away from breaking the Padres' franchise record in that category. Peavy has hit 44 batters for the Padres, and sits in 4th place in their team record book, behind Brian Lawrence, who plunked 45 batters between 2001 and 2005, and Joey Hamilton and Eric Show, who both hit 46 batters pitching for the Padres. Over the offseason, the Padres traded away Khalil Greene when he was just 4 HBPs away from breaking the team record for getting plunked, so the San Diego front office really seems to be protecting their record book from any of their current players, for some reason.
Peavy is scheduled to pitch against the Cubs today, so maybe if he hits three batters he'll be more willing to accept a trade, with the record already in his pocket.

We now return to our regularly scheduled HBPs of Note, for May 21, 2009:

Kevin Kouzmanoff got plunked for the Padres, bringing his career total to 29, and since that means he's only 6 behind Gene Tenace's Padres record, they'll probably trade him sometime soon. Tim Lincecum was responsible for Kouzmanoff's plunking, and has now hit Kouzmanoff twice, even though he's hit everyone else in the league only 8 times.

David Eckstein also got plunked for the Padres yesterday, bringing his career total to 128. He's tied for 37th on the all time list with Jeff Bagwell, and stays just ahead of Jose Guillen, who also got plunked yesterday. Guillen has 127 career HBPs now, which puts him in 39th place all time, but he has that spot all to himself. Guillen's 127th HBP was also the 65th plunk ever thrown by Carl Pavano.
Possibly more important than his standing on the all time list, Eckstein's plunk occured with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th inning, down by 1 run with 2 outs. His HBP drove in the game tying run, and led to Scott Hairston's game winning single. That's the most clutch late game HBP since Jose Molina's 12th inning game winning walk-off HBP on July 19, 2008.

Ryan Braun got plunked as well yesterday, bringing his season total to 7 - just one plunk behind 2009 plunk leaders Chase Utley, Kelly Shoppach and Carlos Quentin. Braun's was also the 20th of his career.

Kris Medlan made his first major league pitching appearance, starting for the Braves yesterday, and managed to throw his first plunk. But interestingly, the first batter he hit was the opposing pitcher, Aaron Cook. He's the SECOND rookie pitcher this season to plunk the first pitcher he faced, and to throw his first career HBP in his first start, on a plunk to the opposing starter. Marlins rookie Graham Taylor did the same thing against Jamie Moyer on April 26th. Only two other pitchers since 1986 (the Jamie Moyer Era) have plunked an opposing pitcher in their debut, but when Micah Owings did it, he hit another batter before plunking opposing starter Jerome Williams, and when Stan Spencer did it, he gave up a single to opposing starter Paul Byrd before plunking him the second time through the order.

8 batters were hit yesterday, and 5 of them were hit by pitchers who hadn't hit anyone yet this year.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Players who really should have been plunked by now

As a change of pace, here the top ten player who have NOT been hit by a pitch this season, listed by how many times they should have been plunked based on their 2009 plate appearances, and their career HBP rate prior to this season:

Player2009 PAPrior PA per HBPExpected '09 HBPCareer HBP
Grady Sizemore(CLE)18858.73.253
A.J. Pierzynski(CWS)11849.02.485
Adam Dunn(WSH)17681.92.158
Marlon Byrd(TEX)13665.82.136
Corey Hart(MIL)17185.72.018
Melvin Mora(BAL)9850.71.9102
Michael Cuddyer(MIN)17091.21.929
Mike Cameron(MIL)15885.11.980
Brandon Phillips(CIN)15787.41.827
Kenji Johjima(SEA)7945.81.732

Grady Sizemore came into this season getting hit by a pitch about once every 59 plate appearances, and now he's 188 PAs into 2009 without getting plunked at all. He should have been plunked at around 3 times now - and maybe that's why he's got a .208 batting average. In games when he gets hit by a pitch, he bats .291. Not everyone on the list is letting their HBP slump cause a batting slump too, but you'd think they'd want to get going, and let their offense utilize all it's weapons, including getting hit by pitches.

However, we shouldn't panic on these guys and dump them from your HBP-only fantasy leagues just yet (if such a thing existed). There's still time to turn their HBP seasons around. For example, Don Baylor got hit 30 times in the 1986 season, AFTER May 20th.

Jeremie Guthrie ties record in the sport of plunking Alex Rodriguez

HBPs of Note: May 20, 2009

Jeremy Guthrie of the Orioles plunked Alex Rodriguez last night, bringing his career total of plunking Rodriguez to 3. That moves him into a tie for the all time record in plunking Alex Rodriguez with Daisuke Matsuzaka, Ramon Ortiz and Mike Wood. Guthrie has only hit 17 batters in all, but he managed to save three of those plunks for Rodriguez. Rodriguez's HBP brings his career total to 143, which ties him with Carlton Fisk for 20th place on the all time list.

In Kansas City, Jamey Wright threw his 130th career plunk, which ties him for 24th on the not-very-well-documented all time hit batters list.

Atlanta's Jeff Francour recorded is 30th career HBP, and the Reds Darnell McDonald got hit for the first time in his career.

6 of the 11 HBPs in games yesterday were pitches that hit batters with 4 letters in their first name.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

99 for Tejada

HBPs of note: May 19, 2009

Miguel Tejada was just one of the 11 batters hit by a pitch yesterday, but Tejada's plunk was the 99th of his career. He's one plunk away from becoming the 65th player to get hit by 100 pitches. Tejada's 99th was thrown by Milwaukee's Dave Bush, who also hit Carlos Lee in the game, and brought his career total to 65. 46 of those have been thrown while wearing a Milwuakee Brewers uniform, which leaves him three hit batters behind the Brewer's franchise record (currently 49 by Jamey Wright).

Nick Johnson of the Natinals got hit by a Jeff Karstens pitch yesterday, bringing Johnson's career total to 60. Padres starter Chris Young threw his 25th career plunk, but opposing starter Barry Zito threw the 79th of his career.

Carlos Lee's plunking by Dave Bush was the 17th HBP by a batter named Carlos this year, which ties Carlos with Ryan and Jason in the race to be the first name with the most HBPs this season. Pitchers named Jeff lead the league in hitting batters, with 15.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Back Stop Stop-Loss

Is it just your imagination, or are there a whole lot of old catchers hanging around the major leagues these days? Brad Ausmus is still catching at age 40, and Gregg Zaun and Mike Redmond are 38. Five more 37 year olds have started at least one game at catcher this year, and two 36 year olds, and two more 35 year olds - including Jason Kendall who turns 35 before July 1st of this season, which makes him 35 in baseball years*. In fact, 17.3% of this years starts at catcher have been by guys in the 35 or older age demographic. There has only been one year since 1960 in which more starting lineups included catcher past their 35th birthday, and that was just two years ago in 2007. From 1960 to 1984 there was never a season when more than 10% of starts went to catchers over 35, and there were a couple of years in there where NO catchers over 35 started. From 1985 through 1991, catchers over 35 got over 10% of starts, but then it dipped back below that threshold until 2001, and older catchers have been starting over 10% of games ever since.

But catching is supposed to be the most brutal position in the game - causing all kinds of injuries and wear and tare on the body and so forth. Right? So why are there so many older catchers still starting? Maybe the league is just getting older in general? That's true to some extent, but among all position players, 10.6% of starts have gone to players over 35 this year. Excluding catchers, that number is 9.6%. Of course 25.4% of starting Designated Hitters have been over 35 this year, but that makes sense, since the DH was invented to be an age-ed sluggers phased-retirement program, from before the concept of phased-retirement became popular. Designated Hitters are the only group with a greater percentage of starts going to players over 35 than catchers have. The average baseball age* of catchers, weighted by starts this year, is 29.7, which is once again oldest among position players.

So to summarize, there are a lot of old-ish catchers getting an awful lot of playing time this year. This is interesting from a demographic point of view, but it also holds significance for the all time record for getting hit by pitches. Jason Kendall is the next best hope to unify the "Modern" and "All Time" HBP records by getting to 288 plunks and passing both Craig Biggio and Hughie Jennings. He turns 35 in June so time is not on his side (and neither is his bat). But if catchers are playing later into their lives for some reason, or if minor league systems just aren't producing good young catchers for some reason, that gives Jason Kendall more time to get plunked another 52 times.

One of the reasons you often hear for catchers like Kendall, and Jason Varitek, and others who have lost a lot of their ability to actually hit the ball, to keep a team's starting catcher job is that they handle the pitching well. They act like extra managers and extra pitching coaches on the field, or so the theory goes. Yet for some reason, it doesn't occur to anybody to just hire the guy as a "catching coach" and let a younger player who still has cartiledge in his knees take over. From the catchers point of view it works out nicely, because they'll make more money as a player than they will after their inevitable transition into coaching. But it does make you wonder if older catchers really do handle those pitching staffs any better than younger ones. So, here's the combined catcher's ERA by age group for the 2005 through 2008 seasons:

Under 25 - 4.38
25 to 29 - 4.44
30 to 34 - 4.46
35 and over - 4.25

So yeah, pitching staffs throwing to catchers over 35 seem to do better in terms of earned run average than those throwing to catchers under 35. Grouped that way, the earned run average of 35 and over catchers is 4.25 and everyone else is 4.43. So maybe there is some truth to the theory of the crafty veteran catcher like the imaginary former Indian Jake Taylor, and the imaginary former Durham Bull, Crash Davis.

That sounds like a much better theory to explain why catchers are playing to such advanced ages thes day than something that involves getting batters hit by pitches. But, I better try it anyway. From 2005 to 2008, major league batters with a catcher under 25 years old calling pitches behind them have been hit once every 119.1 plate appearances. With catchers between 25 and 29, batters have been hit once every 107.6 plate appearances. Catchers between 30 and 34 have gotten batters plunked once every 102.8 plate appearnaces, and catcher 35 and older have called pitches that find their way into a batter's body once every 102.6 plate appearances. But I probably can't argue that teams are keeping older catchers on their teams longer just so they can get more batters hit by pitches... can I?

Catchers 35 years old and older get opposing batters plunked 4.7% more often than catchers younger than 35. Actually that wasn't that hard. It makes sense that teams would want more reliable veteran players at the catching position, because they're the most likely to show up early for spring training to help their annual plotting of what batters are going to get hit by pitches in the upcoming season.

Of course the real reason behind the demographic shift in the catching position is that the league is secretly run by catcher cults. This post from my old site doesn't even mention the vast Molina Conspiracy, or the Hollywood area Scioscialist movement, but it does discuss the Maurists, 'tekites, Irodians, Yogis, Benchlians and Posada's Witnesses among others. But I'm not really allowed to talk about that.

*-For some reason, baseball calculates a player's age in a given season base on his age at July 1st. It has something to do with his Little League eligibility I think.

HBPs of note - May 18, 2009

Andy Pettitte
hit Minnesota Twin Carlos Gomez with a pitch yesterday, bringing Pettitte's career total to 45. Pettitte has thrown the fewest plunks of any active pitcher who has faced over 10,000 batters in his career, and among active pitchers with over 5000 batters faced, only LaTroy Hawkins has hit batters at a slower rate. Pettitte's has hit one of every 263.1 batters he's faced in his career. Also, the Twins snapped a 12 game plunkless streak with that one.

Kyle Lohse hit a batter for the 61st time, and Ross Detwiler and Garrett Mock both hit a batter for the first time (and they did it in the same game). Willy Aybar collected his 10th plunking.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Arroyo hits 70th batter

HBPs of note: May 17, 2009

Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo hit Padre Edgar Gonzales with a pitch yesterday, bringing Arroyo's career total to 70. Arroyo has the lowest career total among the 5 active pitchers who have hit 20 batters in a season. Nobody has put up a 20 hit-batter season since 2004 when Arroyo and Carlos Zambrano both hit 20 batters.

Alex Rodriguez got plunked yesterday, for the first time this season, bringing his career total to 142. That puts him in a tie for 21st place on the all time HBP list with Nellie Fox. Of course Nellie Fox didn't need any steroid controversies and backlashes to get pitchers to hit HIM 142 times.

So far this year, 40 more batters have been plunked in the National League (225) than in the American League (185), and National League batters have been plunked about 8% more often per plate appearance. No official word yet on whether or not this will be the new way they determine home field advantage in the World Series.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kevin Kouzmanoff breaks PETCO Park HBP record

HBPs of note: May 16, 2009

Red pitcher Jared Burton plunked the Padres' Kevin Kouzmanoff yesterday, giving Kouzmanoff a career total of 14 HBPs at PETCO Park, moving him past Khalil Greene for the park record. Kouzmanoff has been hit 28 times in his career, which is just 8 away from breaking the Padres team record.

Several people reached the always important "multiples of 10" milestones in HBPs yesterday as well - Cubs pitcher Kevin Gregg threw his 20th pitch to hit a batter, and Ian Kinsler of the Rangers got his 20th HBP. In slightly less important "multiples of 5" milestones, Dave Dellucci of the Indians got his 45th HBP, John Lackey threw plunk number 65 of his career, and the Reds Jared Burton threw his 5th. Among the less publicized "multiples of 7" milestones, Oakland's Matt Holiday get his 49th HBP, and Boston's Josh Beckett threw the 42nd of his career. And lastly, among milestones that nobody seems to track, there are the prime number milestones - Seattle's Miguel Batista threw his 67th plunk.

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Utley celebrates record with two more plunks

HBPs of Note: May 15, 2009

Chase Utley must have been really excited about breaking the Phillies franchise HBP record on Thursday, because on Friday he celebrated by getting hit two more times by the Nationals. John Lannan hit him in the 6th inning, and Joel Hanrahan got him in the 10th, bringing Utley's career total to 91. Utley has been hit 6 times now at Nationals Park, which would have tied him for the park record if the Phillies hadn't plunked Nick Johnson last night. Johnson now has 7 plunks at Nationals Park, and 59 total.

Oakland rookie pitcher Brett Anderson hit Brandon Inge for his first career hit batter. Unfortunately for him, his first hit batter loaded the bases for Detroit, and 5 pitches later he gave up his first grand slam.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

More stuff about Chase Utley and his HBP skills

Since Chase Utley entered the major leagues in 2003, three other players have been hit by more pitches than him - Jason Kendall with 103, Jason Giambi with 98 and Reed Johnson with 95. But, Utley didn't start his career as a plunk target the way Johnson and Kendall did, and the way Carlos Quintin has more recently. Utley's first three seasons only included only 17 HBPs, but in 2006 Aaron Rowand showed up. The Phillies traded away Jim Thome in November of 2005, and aquired Rowand who was coming off a 21 HBP season and a championship with the White Sox. In 2005, the Phillies got hit by 56 pitches as a team, but in 2006, with the addition of Rowand, their plunk production ballooned up to 96, their best season ever. Rowand led the team with 18 plunks that year, and Utley was close behind with 14. The following year, Rowand got hit 19 times, but Utley took up the challenge and got hit 25 times.
Since the beginning of 2006, Chase Utley has been hit 19 times more than the next most plunked player in the Majors - Aaron Rowand. Utley has been hit 72 times since he first teamed up with Rowand, and Rowand has been hit 53 times. It seems likely that it was Rowand who taught the art of the plunk to Chase Utley. (Rowand on the other hand, probably learned to get hit by pitches from one of Carl Everett's multiple personalities - one of which was good enough to get hit by 87 pitches, although some of the other personalities were so filled with anger it was difficult for him to get hit by more without flying into fits of white hot rage of the sort that draws high pressure weather systems toward his head and rains out games. And causes headbutts to umpires. But anyway, Rowand played with Everett in Chicago, and Carl Everett played in Houston in 1998 and 1999 with Craig Biggio, the modern master of the plunk. Everett had his first double-digit plunk year in Houston in '99. Biggio though, learned the art from teammate Jeff Bagwell, who led the National League in plunks in his rookie year in 1991, several years before Biggio mastered the art. Bagwell, meanwhile, very likely watched the Red Sox growing up in Connecticut, and saw Don Baylor get plunked 35 times in 1986, helping the Sox go to the ill-fated World Series that year. So you see how it's all connected.)

Utley's favorite inning to get hit by a pitch in is the 7th, with 15 HBPs there, and his favorite day of the week to get plunked is appears to be Tuesday so far, with 16.
Plunks by inning:
1st - 14
2nd - 6
3rd - 7
4th - 8
5th - 9
6th - 10
7th - 15
8th - 9
9th - 8
10th - 2
16th - 1
Plunks by weekday:
Sunday - 10
Monday - 13
Tuesday - 16
Wednesday - 14
Thursday - 7
Friday - 14
Saturday - 15

Since the beginning of 2003, the Phillies have a .602 win percentage when Chase Utley gets hit by a pitch, and only a .534 win percentage when he doesn't (that includes games he didn't play in). He's scored runs after reaching base on a plunk 33 times, and he's driven in 2 runs on plunks.

Utley broke the Phillies single season HBP record in 2007 with 25 plunks, and broke his own record again in 2008 with 27. He also holds the Citizens Bank Park record with 37. All but one of his plunks have come while playing 2nd base, but he did get plunked once as a pinch-hitter.

48 of Utley's 89 HBPs have been thrown by division opponents, with the Braves and Nationals leading with 13 each, and the Mets and Marlins close behind with 11. Tim Hudson his hit Utley the most, with a total of 4. Interestingly Jung Keun Bong, who had an excellent WBC for Korea this year, had a career Major League total of 2 hit batters - both in one game against Chase Utley. The full list is here.


Utley Breaks Phillies record, Tejada reaches 98

HBPs of Note: May 14, 2009

Yesterday's big HBP news was of course that Chase Utley got hit for the 89th time in his career, breaking the Phillies franchise record. Mike Lieberthal needed 1,174 games with the Phillies to accumulate 88 HBPs, but Utley got to 89 in only 766. That also moved Utley into the top 100 on the all time plunk list, in 6 way tie for 98th place. Ramon Troncoso was the pitcher responsible for donating the record breaker (which luckily didn't break anything else), and the record even made the news (sort of). The Phillies, by the way, are 6 plunks away from being hit 4,500 times in team history. UPDATE: more utley stuff here.

In other plunk action yesterday, Miguel Tejada collected his 98th career plunk, tieing him with Rickie Henderson for 68th place on the all time list, and Mike Sweeney got his 70th.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chase Utley breaks Phillies Franchise Record!

Chase Utley got hit by a pitch for the 89th time in his Major League career today, which breaks Mike Lieberthal's record for the Phillies franchise.

In celebration of that achievement, here's the list of all 89 of Utley's HBPs. (More on this tomorrow)

1) Pedro Borbon - August 15, 2003 7th inning
2) Brett Tomko - August 24, 2003 2nd inning
3) Livan Hernandez - August 25, 2003 5th inning
4) Dan Wheeler - August 30, 2003 8th inning
5) Jung Bong - September 09, 2003 6th inning
6) Jung Bong - September 09, 2003 7th inning (2nd of the game, both by Bong)
7) Travis Smith - May 30, 2004 6th inning
8) Peter Munro - August 25, 2004 5th inning
9) Jeff Suppan - May 17, 2005 2nd inning
10) Tim Hudson - May 29, 2005 6th inning
11) Lance Cormier - June 06, 2005 8th inning
12) Horacio Ramirez - July 02, 2005 4th inning
13) Brad Penny - August 09, 2005 1st inning
14) Yhency Brazoban - August 10, 2005 9th inning
15) Tim Hudson - September 12, 2005 5th inning (2nd by Hudson)
16) Victor Zambrano - September 27, 2005 1st inning
17) John Patterson - October 01, 2005 1st inning
18) Mike Remlinger - April 10, 2006 6th inning
19) Dontrelle Willis - May 01, 2006 7th inning
20) Jamey Wright - May 06, 2006 3rd inning
21) Dave Williams - May 13, 2006 9th inning
22) Darren Oliver - May 23, 2006 16th inning
23) Ron Villone - June 20, 2006 7th inning
24) John Smoltz - July 21, 2006 3rd inning
25) Claudio Vargas - July 27, 2006 1st inning
26) Ricky Nolasco - July 28, 2006 4th inning
27) Eddie Guardado - August 12, 2006 9th inning
28) Ramon Ortiz - August 19, 2006 2nd inning
29) Will Ohman - August 23, 2006 8th inning
30) Oliver Perez - August 26, 2006 5th inning
31) Roger Clemens - September 04, 2006 4th inning
32) Sergio Mitre - April 06, 2007 3rd inning
33) Pedro Feliciano - April 11, 2007 8th inning
34) Brad Lidge - April 13, 2007 6th inning
35) Tom Glavine - April 17, 2007 3rd inning
36) Mike Stanton - April 20, 2007 8th inning
37) Mike Stanton - April 22, 2007 9th inning (2nd consecutive plunk by Stanton)
38) Micah Bowie - April 24, 2007 8th inning
39) Shawn Hill - April 26, 2007 7th inning
40) Steve Kline - May 03, 2007 9th inning
41) Doug Davis - May 07, 2007 1st inning
42) Randy Johnson - May 09, 2007 7th inning
43) Rich Hill - May 11, 2007 4th inning
44) David Bush - May 14, 2007 2nd inning
45) Tim Hudson - May 25, 2007 7th inning (3rd by Hudson)
46) Jason Stanford - June 19, 2007 1st inning
47) Matt Chico - July 25, 2007 4th inning
48) John Lannan - July 26, 2007 5th inning
49) Sergio Mitre - August 31, 2007 2nd inning (2nd by Mitre)
50) Rafael Soriano - September 05, 2007 9th inning
51) Chris Seddon - September 08, 2007 5th inning
52) Jeff Francis - September 13, 2007 2nd inning
53) Adam Wainwright - September 19, 2007 6th inning
54) Randy Flores - September 19, 2007 10th inning
55) Tim Hudson - September 26, 2007 3rd inning (4th by Hudson)
56) Arnie Munoz - September 28, 2007 7th inning
57) Oliver Perez - April 08, 2008 1st inning (2nd by Perez)
58) Oliver Perez - April 08, 2008 4th inning (3rd by Perez, 2nd in game)
59) Scott Schoeneweis - April 08, 2008 7th inning (3rd in game)
60) Jose Valverde - April 15, 2008 9th inning
61) Jack Taschner - May 04, 2008 7th inning
62) Scott Downs - May 17, 2008 7th inning
63) Brian Moehler - May 24, 2008 3rd inning
64) Edinson Volquez - June 04, 2008 5th inning
65) Jo-Jo Reyes - June 07, 2008 4th inning
66) Phil Stockman - June 07, 2008 9th inning (2nd in game)
67) Mitchell Boggs - June 15, 2008 5th inning
68) Renyel Pinto - July 18, 2008 8th inning
69) Renyel Pinto - July 20, 2008 7th inning (2nd consecutive plunk by Pinto)
70) Jesus Colome - July 31, 2008 8th inning
71) Jaime Garcia - August 01, 2008 8th inning
72) Renyel Pinto - August 05, 2008 7th inning (3rd by Pinto)
73) Brad Penny - August 13, 2008 1st inning (2nd by Penny)
74) Joe Beimel - August 13, 2008 6th inning (2nd in game)
75) Cha Seung Baek - August 17, 2008 3rd inning
76) Pedro Martinez - August 26, 2008 1st inning
77) Rich Harden - August 29, 2008 1st inning
78) Ted Lilly - August 30, 2008 1st inning
79) Tim Redding - September 01, 2008 1st inning
80) Odalis Perez - September 03, 2008 1st inning
81) Andrew Miller - September 08, 2008 7th inning
82) David Bush - September 14, 2008 6th inning (2nd by Bush)
83) Chris Volstad - September 21, 2008 4th inning
84) Saul Rivera - April 13, 2009 7th inning
85) Chris Volstad - April 25, 2009 6th inning (2nd by Volstad)
86) Michael Hinckley - April 27, 2009 6th inning
87) Mike Pelfrey - May 01, 2009 1st inning
88) Kyle Lohse - May 04, 2009 5th inning
89) Ramon Troncoso - May 14, 2009 10th inning


Three different 100+ plunk pitchers hit batters

HBPs of Note: May 13, 2009

Three of the top 5 pitchers on the active hit batsmen list hit a batter yesterday. Tim Wakefield threw his 171st career plunk, hitting Howie Kendrick in Anaheim. Jamie Moyer threw his 132nd plunk, hitting Juan Pierre in Philadelphia, and Jamey Wright hit Kurt Suzuki in Oakland for his 129th hit batter. Moyer became the oldest pitcher to hit a batter since Charlie Hough hit Lenny Dykstra on July 26, 1994. That was the last of Hough's 174 career hit batters, and was his final game. Wakefield now has 8 on the season, leading the Majors.

On the other end of the spectrum, Nationals pitcher Shairon Martis hit a batter for the first time in his career. He became the first pitcher born in 1987 to hit a batter in the major leagues. However, Clayton Kershaw was born in 1988 and hit a batter last season, so Martis is not the youngest active pitcher with a plunk. Bryan Augenstein also hit a batter for the first time in his career yesterday, but he was born in 1986.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

236 for Jason Kendall

Jason Kendall got plunked last night, for the 236th time in his career. He got hit by Carlos Martinez, who had never hit anyone before. Kendall has been hit by a pitch 37 times on Tuesdays. Only 90 other active players - 15.6% of players who have batted in 2009 - have 37 total HBPs, but Kendall has that many on Tuesdays. Carlos Delgado is 2nd among active players in Tuesday plunks with 24, but Craig Biggio had 47 HBPs on Tuesdays. The Marlins, who threw Kendalls 236th plunk, have a total of only 180 career HBPs among every guy who has batted for them this year. So, if you take every player who's batted for the Marlins this year, and add their total career plunks together, and then somehow get another player with 55 HBPs onto their team, they still wouldn't have as many career HBPs as Jason Kendall. 6 other teams also don't have as many career plunks on this year's team as Kendall, and Kendall is only 6 behind the combined total of all this year's Texas Rangers.

In Anaheim, David Ortiz got plunked with the bases loaded, so Red Sox fans can be re-assured that even though Ortiz has no home runs this year, a bases loaded HBP is just as good as a solo homer. Although usually it's not as good as a bases loaded homer, depending on your perspective. Ortiz was the 11th batter this year to get an RBI plunk.

67 batters have been plunked on Tuesdays this year, including 12 yesterday, giving Tuesday a commanding lead on Sundays (54) for the most plunk-full day of the week. It's only slightly ahead of Thursdays in terms of plunks per plate appearance, but Tuesday still leads that category for now. A batter has been plunked once every 94.5 plate appearances this year.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Quentin faces Shoppach in battle for HBP lead

Carlos Quentin and the Chicago White Sox face Kelly Shoppach and the Cleveland Indians last night, with Shoppach and Quentin tied for the Major League HBP lead with 8 each. Obviously with these two facing each other the only outcome could be... that Mark DeRosa got hit by a pitch. That makes 41 for his career, if anyone's counting.

There were only 4 games yesterday, and 5 hit batters in them, so we might as well look at something else. Pablo Sandoval of the Gianst hit 3 foul balls yesterday, bringing him to 121 on the season. He's 5th in the majors in total foul balls, behind Ian Kinsler, Andre Ethier, David Ortix and Carl Crawford. Meanwhile the Washington Nationals hit 26 foul balls yesterday, bringing their season total to 864, which is 4th in the majors. Clearly the Nationals don't mind wasting taxpayer money by hitting their baseballs into the stands. (I'll just go ahead and assume they're a federal agency). The Nationals average a league leading 27.9 foul balls per game.

The Braves hit 35 foul balls yesterday, bringing them out of last place in the league foul ball standings, up to 714. They're now ahead of the Tigers and Phillies in foul balls, but neither of them played yesterday. Atlanta is still in last place in foul balls per game with 22.3.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Delgado plunked by 36th US State

Carlos Delgado got hit by a pitch for the 172nd time in his career yesterday, but it was the first time he'd even been plunked by Ian Snell, and the first time he was ever plunked by a pitcher born in Delaware. Delgado has been plunked by pitchers born in 36 different US states, which leads all active players.

Kaz Matsui also got hit yesterday, but he hasn't been hit 172 times. Matsui has been hit 8 times, but hadn't been plunked since September 11, 2005. Between his 7th and 8th career HBP, he'd gone 1,272 plate appearances without being plunked. Only Endy Chavez had a longer active streak (1,618), although Jose Cruz Jr has a 1,445 plate appearance streak but doesn't have a Major League job this year. That's only the 4th HBP for an Astros second basemen since Craig Biggio retired. Matsui might just have been waiting to get hit by Josh Geer, since Geer had never hit anyone in his major league career.

In that same game, David Eckstein got his 127th career HBP. He's 38th on the all time list, one plunk behind Jeff Bagwell. He's also 7 behind Gary Sheffield on the list of the most plunked players born in Florida, but Sheffield is still playing and can extend his record.

Jeff Weaver hit Fred Lewis with a pitch at Dodger Stadium, giving Weaver 20 hit batters at Dodger Stadium.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Carlos Quentin gets 8th plunk

Among the 10 batters hit by pitches yesterday was Carlos Quentin. He's now been hit 8 times this season, tying him with Kelly Shoppach for the major league lead.

Ichiro Suzuki got hit for the 41st time in his US career, and that's more times than any other Japanese born players. Kenji Johjima is 2nd in that category with 32 hbps.

Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster threw his 2nd plunk of the 2009 season yesterday, hitting Ryan Braun of the Brewers, who happens to be the same batter Dempster threw his first plunk of the season at. Ryan Dempster needs to hit 21 more batters to take the Canadian record for hitting batters, which is currently held by Fergie Jenkins at 84. But, they don't all have to be named Ryan.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Wakefield 170, Delgado 171

Tim Wakefield hit two more batters last night, bringing his career total to 170. He actually hit one more batter, but the umpires made their once-per-year ruling that batters should try to get out of the way, and did not award Dave Dellucci his 2nd HBP of the game. This one probably won't be as important as when Doug Eddings denied Craig Biggio what would have been his 272nd HBP.

Carlos Delgado got hit for the 2nd consecutive day by a pitcher with over 130 career HBPs. This time it was Jamie Moyer, throwing his 131st career plunk. Delgado is up to 171 for his career, and needs 9 more to tie the Mets record, and 12 more to tie the all-time HBP record for left-handed batters. He also now holds the Citi Field HBP record now, since he's the only batter whose been plunked twice at the Mets new park. Moyer has now hit a batter in 31 different ballparks.

Jose Guillen got his 126th career HBP yesterday as well.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Chan Ho Park and Carlos Delgado combined for 302nd plunk

Chan Ho Park hit Carlos Delgado in last night's Mets-Phillies game, which makes 170 career HBPs for Delgado, and 133 for Park. Delgado is 13th on the all time HBP list, and Park is 19th among pitchers on the hit batters list. Delgado is 2nd among active batters, and 2nd all time among lefties.
Park has hit 24 batters on Wednesdays, and Delgado now has 26 plunks on Wednesdays.

Kelly Shoppach got hit by another pitch, bringing his total to 8 this season, in just 60 plate appearances. He got hit by Justin Masterson, which you probably could have seen coming if you had noticed where Masterson and Shoppach were on this list and this list.

Jose Guillen also got plunked yesterday, making 125 for his career, and Aaron Rowand got the 97th of his career.

Kevin Kouzmanoff, who broke the Padres single season HBP record last year, was plunked for the first time in 2009 yesterday. He began the season with 109 plunk-free plate appearances.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Top 50 Pitchers right now

... at hitting batters.

Here are the top 50 active pitchers by most hit batsmen per batter faced. I've filtered out anyone with under 10 hit batters, and this data is as of the morning of May 6, 2009.

HB per BF
BF per HB
1Brian Fuentes(LAA)421,8390.022843.8
2Micah Owings(CIN)271,2180.022245.1
3Josh Rupe(TEX)135880.022145.2
4Joe Smith(CLE)115070.021746.1
5Justin Masterson(BOS)104630.021646.3
6Aaron Laffey(CLE)147110.019750.8
7Trever Miller(STL)371,9310.019252.2
8Mike Pelfrey(NYM)261,3900.018753.5
9Brad Thompson(STL)251,3630.018354.5
10Juan Cruz(KC)422,2960.018354.7
11Casey Fossum(NYM)633,5370.017856.1
12David Bush(MIL)633,5700.017656.7
13Jamey Wright(KC)1287,3170.017557.2
14Carlos Marmol(CHC)181,0470.017258.2
15Javier Lopez(BOS)181,0510.017158.4
16Kerry Wood(CLE)885,2010.016959.1
17Vicente Padilla(TEX)965,6890.016959.3
18Johnny Cueto(CIN)158960.016759.7
19Danys Baez(BAL)402,4000.016760
20Edinson Volquez(CIN)231,3830.016660.1
21Shawn Camp(TOR)211,2650.016660.2
22D.J. Carrasco(CWS)211,2690.016560.4
23C.J. Wilson(TEX)169670.016560.4
24Chan Ho Park(PHI)1328,1750.016161.9
25Logan Kensing(WSH)106200.016162
26Julian Tavarez(WSH)956,1020.015664.2
27Fausto Carmona(CLE)301,9310.015564.4
28Mike MacDougal(CWS)181,1700.015465
29Justin Verlander(DET)422,7320.015465
30Dana Eveland(OAK)181,1790.015365.5
31Scott Feldman(TEX)171,1310.015066.5
32Justin Speier(LAA)412,7380.015066.8
33Anthony Reyes(CLE)181,2130.014867.4
34Duaner Sanchez(SD)191,2810.014867.4
35Chad Qualls(ARI)221,5100.014668.6
36Geoff Geary(HOU)221,5100.014668.6
37Fernando Rodney(DET)171,1710.014568.9
38Ubaldo Jimenez(COL)201,3780.014568.9
39J.P. Howell(TB)171,1750.014569.1
40Luis Ayala(MIN)221,5220.014569.2
41Robinson Tejeda(KC)201,3890.014469.5
42Andrew Miller(FLA)139090.014369.9
43Justin Miller(SF)191,3590.014071.5
44Jonathan Sanchez(SF)171,2170.014071.6
45Gavin Floyd(CWS)261,8700.013971.9
46Sean Green(NYM)128640.013972
47Brad Lidge(PHI)282,0280.013872.4
48Tim Wakefield(BOS)16812,2250.013772.8
49Todd Coffey(MIL)141,0220.013773
50Brian Tallet(TOR)141,0270.013673.4

Brett Cecil plunks 3 batters in debut

HBPs of Note: May 5, 2009

Toronto Blue Jays rookie Brett Cecil made his major league debut yesterday, starting against the Blue Jays. He hit 3 batters in his debut, joining Luis de los Santos as the only pitchers in the past 25 years to throw 3 plunks in their first major league game. But, Cecil only allowed one earned run, so maybe he'll last a little longer than de los Santos, who never hit another batter and only lasted 3 games in the big leagues. His three plunk debut was on July 20, 2002.

Two of Cecil's plunks landed on Kelly Shoppach, who continues to get hit at an amazing pace for a guy who isn't playing everyday. He's been hit 7 times now in only 56 plate appearances. He's tied for the league lead with Carlos Quentin, who's taken 113 plate appearances to get hit the same number of times. Shoppach's 2nd plunk of the day was the 20th of his career. Quentin got his 7th plunk of the season yesterday as well, keeping a share of the major league lead.

Joba Chamberlain threw at Jason Bay's back last night, in Bay's first trip to the plate after homering off Joba in the first inning, but that plunk gave Bay 40 for his career, and 4 since joining the Red Sox. That means he's been hit by more pitches than any other Canadian born player in Red Sox history, which sadly means that I no longer have a good excuse to bring up the name Bunk Congalton. Congalton and Frank O'Rourke were both born in Canada and plunked three times for the Red Sox. Bay now has sole possession of the Canadian Red Sox record. I'll start working on bad excuses to bring up Bunk Congalton.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chase Utley Ties Phillies HBP Record

HBPs of Note: May 4, 2009

You know who's been hit by a lot of pitches for the Phillies? Mike Lieberthal. But, after Kyle Lohse's 5th inning plunking of Chase Utley last night, Utley has been hit by just as many pitches for the Phillies as Lieberthal. They're tied for the franchise record at 88. Utley joins Derek Jeter as the only active players with their current team's HBP record. Carlos Delgado has the the Blue Jays record, but plays for the Mets, and Jason Kendall has the Pirates record, but plays for the Brewers now. Lohse reached 60 career hit batsmen with the plunk of Utley.

Speaking of Jeter, he got hit by Jonathan Papelbon last night, which makes 140 for his career. Only 17 of those have been thrown by the Red Sox, but Jason Kendall and Jason Giambi are the only other active players who have been plunked 17 times by one team.

And Speaking of Jason Giambi, he got hit by a Joe Saunders pitch yesterday, bringing his total to 161. That's Giambi's 15th plunk against the Angels, and the 2nd time this season that Joe Saunders his hit him.

Also yesterday, Austin Kearns recorded the 800th HBP by batter born in 1980, and Aaron Hill received the 1,200th HBP thrown in Rogres Centre, aka Skydome, and Fausto Carmona threw that one.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Top 50 batters right now

... at getting hit by pitches.

Below is the list of the top 50 active batters, by their rate of HBPs per plate appearance. The last column is the number of plate appearances they'd need, at their current rate, to reach 288 HBPs, which would be the all time record, breaking Hughie Jennings 287 mark. All data is as of the morning of May 4, 2009, and a 5 HBP minimum is required to make this list.

PlayerHBPPAHBP per
PA per
PA needed
for record
1Carlos Quentin(CWS)451,1260.040025.07,206
2J.R. Towles(HOU)82200.036427.57,920
3Jason LaRue(STL)1032,9410.035028.68,223
4Reed Johnson(CHC)952,7220.034928.78,252
5Ryan Garko(CLE)431,3850.031032.29,276
6Rickie Weeks(MIL)622,0150.030832.59,360
7Jason Kendall(MIL)2357,7680.030333.19,520
8Corky Miller(CWS)124070.029533.99,768
9Ryan Doumit(PIT)341,2270.027736.110,393
10Chase Utley(PHI)873,2210.027037.010,663
11Lastings Milledge(WSH)271,0040.026937.210,709
12Ian Stewart(COL)114130.026637.510,813
13Josh Willingham(WSH)451,6930.026637.610,835
14David Eckstein(SD)1264,7510.026537.710,859
15Ramon Santiago(DET)311,1700.026537.710,870
16Aaron Rowand(SF)963,6420.026437.910,926
17Chris Iannetta(COL)217990.026338.010,958
18Chris Coste(PHI)187060.025539.211,296
19Alex Cora(NYM)813,1870.025439.311,332
20Nick Green(BOS)218610.024441.011,808
21Kelly Shoppach(CLE)187680.023442.712,288
22Chris Burke(SD)311,3740.022644.312,765
23Mike Redmond(MIN)522,3230.022444.712,866
24Jose Guillen(KC)1245,5760.022245.012,951
25Nick Johnson(WSH)572,6360.021646.213,319
26Edwin Encarnacion(CIN)411,9120.021446.613,431
27Kenji Johjima(SEA)321,4990.021346.813,491
28Matt Treanor(DET)188460.021347.013,536
29David DeJesus(KC)612,8740.021247.113,569
30Jason Giambi(OAK)1607,8640.020349.214,155
31A.J. Pierzynski(CWS)854,2430.020049.914,376
32Nate McLouth(PIT)311,5630.019850.414,521
33Carlos Delgado(NYM)1698,6270.019651.014,702
34Melvin Mora(BAL)1025,2110.019651.114,713
35Emmanuel Burriss(SF)73580.019651.114,729
36Jerry HairstonJr.(CIN)633,2380.019551.414,802
37Chris Duffy(MIL)157730.019451.514,842
38Kevin Youkilis(BOS)462,3750.019451.614,870
39Angel Berroa(NYY)532,7620.019252.115,009
40Ryan Freel(BAL)422,1900.019252.115,017
41Jason Bartlett(TB)341,7950.018952.815,205
42Xavier Nady(NYY)462,4630.018753.515,421
43Prince Fielder(MIL)412,1960.018753.615,426
44Travis Hafner(CLE)573,0730.018553.915,527
45Kevin Kouzmanoff(SD)251,3610.018454.415,679
46Shane Victorino(PHI)331,8070.018354.815,770
47Matt Diaz(ATL)191,0470.018155.115,870
48Alex Gordon(KC)211,1970.017557.016,416
49Mike Napoli(LAA)169270.017357.916,686
50Fernando Tatis(NYM)513,0540.016759.917,246

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Verlander plunks an Indian (So what's new?)

HBPs of Note: May 3, 2009

Justin Verlander hit Kelly Shoppach with a pitch yesterday, which give Verlander a total of 15 career plunks against the Indians. He's thrown 42 of them in all, but nearly 3/8ths of his hit batsmen have been Indians. That was also Verlander's 20th plunk thrown at Comerica Park, where he already held the record. Cleveland hadn't been plunked in the first two games of the series, but they haven't made it through a three game series against the Tigers without being plunked at least once since August 25th to 27th of 2006.

Carlos Pena got hit by a pitch for the Tampa Bay Rays - that's his 23rd with them, putting him in a tie for 3rd place on the Rays all time plunk list. He's 12 away from tying Johnny Gomes's franchise record.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Twins hit a batter twice

HBPs of note: May, 2 2009

Derek Jeter had made it through 109 plate appearances without getting hit by a pitch this season, but last night, in his 110th plate appearance, he got plunked by the Angels' Matt Palmer. Prior to 2009, Jeter had been getting hit once every 65.9 plate appearances, so he was overdue this season. That makes 139 career plunks for him, and ties him with former teammate Chuck Knoblauch for 25th place on the all time list. Jeter's been hit 14 times by the Angels now, which ties Jason Giambi for the active lead in the field of being plunked by Angels.

In Minnesota, Miguel Olivo got hit by a pitch. Twice! Against the Twins! In extra inning! Exclaimation point! That might not seem that intersting on the surface, but nobody has been plunked by the Twins twice in the same game since July 1, 2006 when they hit Brady Clark twice. Olivo also collected both of his plunks in extra innings. Only one other player has been plunked twice in the extra innings of the same game - Augie Ojeda, who did so on May 28, 2001 for the Cubs. As you may have noticed, Miguel Olivo and Augie Ojeda both have last names that start with O.

Tim Wakefield
threw his 168th career plunk, but MLB Gameday says that pitch struck Dioner Navarro traveling at only 53.1 miles per hour. Maybe that shouldn't count. Or maybe it should just count as 5/8ths of a plunk.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Chase Utley moves within 1 HBP of Phillies record

HBPs of note: May 1, 2009

Chase Utley got hit by a Mike Pelfrey pitch yesterday, bring Utley's career total to 87. He's just one plunk away from tying the Phillies career record, currently at 88 by Mike Lieberthal. Lieberthal needed 13 seasons in Philadelphia to accumulate his 88 HBPs, but Utley is just a month into his 7th season. Lieberthal has held this record since July 19, 2005 when he got hit for the 81st time, passing Ed Delehanty.

Mark Buehrle threw his 50th career plunk yesterday, hitting Texas DH Hank Blaylock, and becoming only the 6th White Sox pitcher to reach the 50 hit batsmen mark. 9 of those plunks have been thrown at designated hitters.

Scott Rolen also got plunked yesterday, which gives him a career total of 107. He moved ahead of Barry Bonds on the all time plunk list, into a tie for 53rd place with Pete Rose and Wally Schang.

And, Nick Swisher is now the all time plunk leader at New Yankee Stadium, with 2. That record might not last long.

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Padilla and Tavarez both hit 95

HBPs of Note: April 30, 2009

Vicente Padilla of the Rangers and Julian Tavarez of the Nationals both threw their 95th career hit batsmen yesterday. Padilla plunked A's catcher Kurt Suzuki, for the 15th of his career, and and Tavarez hit Cardinals catcher Jason Larue, who's been hit 103 times in his career. Larue now has 99 plunks for NL Central division teams, which is one behind Jeff Bagwell for 4th place on the NL Central career HBP list. And 158 plunks behind the NL Central record. Padilla's plunking of Suzuki was the 15th time he's hit a catcher, and Tavarez's plunk of Larue was the 18th time he's hit a catcher. They're 3rd and 5th among active pitchers in catcher plunking, and the number 4 guy on that list is Jeff Suppan. Not to be left out, Suppan hit Diamondbacks catcher Chris Snyder, making that 16 catchers plunked in his career, and 85 hit batters in all.

Nationals pitcher Daniel Cabrera got plunked for the first time in his career yesterday. He's hit 52 batters in his career, but it's nice that he's still willing to take one for the team.

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