Monday, June 29, 2009

Milestones

HBPs of Note: June 28, 2009

There were 17 plunks in yesterday's batch of major league baseball games, making it the 2nd plunkiest day of the year. Jamie Moyer's plunking of Scott Rolen wasn't just Moyer's 135th plunk thrown and Rolen's 109th plunk received, it was also the 4,500th thrown in Phillies franchise history. They're the first franchise to reach that total - although it may not be perfectly accurate because plunks weren't tracked very well on the pitching side in the early years of baseball. The Tigers are the next closest team with 4,360 known plunkings thrown in team history.

On the other hand, plunks have been tracked accurately for the past 17 seasons, so we can be sure that Andrew Miller's plunking of Ben Zobrist was the 900th thrown by the Florida Marlins. Also in that game, JP Howell hit Cody Ross, which was the 19th career plunk for both of them.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Today's number: 600

HBPs or note: June 27, 2009

There were 4,394 pitches thrown in the fifteen Major League Baseball games played yesterday, but only 5 of those pitches hit a batter. The one that Alfredo Figaro threw that hit Miguel Tejada was Tejada's 102nd, but it was also the 600th plunk in Minute Maid Park history. Tejada has collected 1% of those, but he's still 50 plunks behind park record holder Craig Biggio, who was hit 56 times there. Lance Berkman is the active leader with 33 plunks at Minute Maid.

Paul Konerko got plunked for the 70th time in his career yesterday.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

1000 for Canada!

HBPs of Note: June 26, 2009

Russell Martin of the Dodgers was hit by a pitch thrown by Roy Corcoran yesterday, giving Martin his 20th career HBP. But more importantly, Martin's plunk was the 1000th in major league history recorded by a player born in Canada. Congratulations, Canada, on your 1000th Major League plunk. Now, many politicians might plan to use this moment to serve their own interest by scaring Americans into believing that Canadians are sneaking across the border to take HBPs from hard working American baseball players but he truth of the matter is that Canadians have been getting hit by major league pitches for as long as there have been HBPs recorded. 14 plunks were recorded by Canadians in the year 1884, and from then to 1920, Canadians were the 2nd most plunked nationality, trailing Americans and just ahead of the Irish. But no Irish player has been plunked since the year 1918, while the Canadians have stuck around and gotten plunked another 612 times since that year. I guess the Irish all switched to Hockey or something. From 1920 to 1994, only 3 Canadians per year were plunked, and at the height of the little-talked-about US/Canadian cold war between 1952 and 1961, there were NO Candadians plunked in the Majors. But then NAFTA came into effect in 1994, and every full season since then has seen at least 10 plunks go to Canadian batters. Canadian plunks peaked in 2004 with 43, and Larry Walker holds the single season and career Canadian records with 14 plunks in 1995, 1997 and 2001, and 138 in all. So anyway - this is an event to be celebrate, not used in some crazy political scheme to build a border wall to keep out our neighbors from the north.

Mark Teixeira also got plunked yesterday, and that was the 1400th by someone born in Maryland. It was also his 60th. Teixeira has been hit 7 times this season, so he's on pace to break his career high of 14 set in his rookie season in 2003.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Clayton Richard hits his first batter... and 2nd... and 3rd

HBPs of note: June 25, 2009

Before last night, Clayton Richard had faced 472 major league batters without hitting anyone, but he made up for lost time last night by hitting 3 in one game. He's the 4th pitcher to throw a three plunk game this year. He hit Russell Martin, Juan Pierre (his 64th) and Mitch Jones.

Melvin Mora got his 104th HBP, which also happened to be the 1600th to be recorded by someone born in 1972. Sean West threw that one.

John Smoltz threw his 55th career plunk, and his first since August 19, 2007. He hit Nick Johnson for his 61st. Johnson extended his Nationals Park record to 9 HBPs.

Alex Cora was hit for the 82nd time in his career, and Matt Stairs got his 57th.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Randy Johnson throws 189th

HBPs of note: June 24, 2009

Randy Johnson threw his 189th plunk last night, hitting Jack Hannahan. Johnson had been stuck on 188 plunks since September 28, 2008. According to one version of the all time hit batsmen list, Johnson only needs to hit 14 more batters to tie Walter Johnson for the most ever, but there are other sources that disagree with that total for Walter Johnson, and a few other guys who may or may not have hit over 200 batters.

Chase Utley got hit by Matt Garza giving him 12 on the season and 95 in his career. That was his first ever against the Rays though. Utley is 2nd in this years HBP race, 2 behind Kelly Shoppach.

Miguel Tejada got his 101st career plunk, Carlos Pena got his 44th, and Paul Konerko received his 69th career HBP. And Juan Pierre got his 63rd.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Data help

Do you watch baseball? If you do, and you have any interest in helping me out with a project, continue reading. I'm interested in which Major Leaguers bat wearing an elbow pad, and which don't, and how that effects their various stats - mostly their HBP stats. So, if you're watching your favorite team (and it's not the red sox - I'm all set there), and you feel like paying attention to the elbows in their lineup, you could help me out by writing down which players where elbow protection and which don't. Then you can email me the results at plunkbiggio@gmail.com. It can get tricky with some guys having their elbows wrapped with tape, or wearing tshirts with long sleeves under their uniform shirt, but take your best stab at it.

75 delivered by Zambrano

HBPs of note: June 22, 2009

Carlos Zambrano hit Don Kelly with a pitch last night, bringing Zambrano's career total to 75 batters plunked. He's 13 short of the Cubs all time record (currently held by Kerry Wood) and he's the all time leader among pitchers from Venezuela.

Braves rookie Tommy Hanson hit a batter, making that the 100th plunk thrown by someone born in 1986. So, pitchers born in Jamie Moyer's rookie year have hit 100 batters.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just two

HBPs of note: June 22, 2009

Chris Iannetta and Ian Stewart, both of the Colorado Rockies, where the only batters hit by pitches yesterday. Stewart's was the 700th plunk of the 2009 season, and Iannetta's was the 495th plunk ever recorded by a batter born in Rhode Island. Iannetta has been hit just 23 times in his career, but that's good enough for 9th on the Rockies all time HBP list.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Khalil Greene does not tie Padres record.

HBPs of note: June 21, 2009

Khalil Greene got hit by a pitch yesterday, marking the 35th time in his career he's done so. That would have tied the Padres' franchise record if he still worked there, but they traded him to St. Louis last winter. So it was just his 35th plunk and nothing much else, except that it hit him in the knee and forced him to leave the game. Hopefully he's feeling better.

Scott Rolen got his 108th career plunk, which moves him into tie for 52nd place on the all time plunk list with Mo Vaughn and Bill Joyce. Rolen has been plunked 22 more times than any other player born in Indiana, and Mo Vaughn is the most plunked player ever born in Connecticut.

Twelve different pitchers threw hit twelve different batters yesterday, and 4 of those batters were born in 1978.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Torii Hunter still 230 plunks away from all time record

HBPs of note: June 20, 2009

Torii Hunter got hit by a Ronald Belisario pitch yesterday, bringing his career total to 58. That's 230 plunks short of the all time record, but moves Hunter into a tie with Lloyd Moseby on the all time career plunks list for players born in Arkansas. Sherm Lollar has the Arkansas record with 115.

Clay Zavada of the Diamondbacks hit Russel Branyan with a pitch, making Zavada the first pitcher born in Illinois whose last name starts with Z to hit a batter since 1914 what Matt Zieser did it. Zavada and Zieser are now tied on the all time list of Illinois born pitchers with last names that start with Z, at 1.

Jared Burton of the Reds hit Brian Anderson with a pitch, and since Burton was born in 1981, that plunk was the 900th ever thrown by someone in 1981.

Placido Palanco got hit for the 75th time in his career.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Aaron Rowand for 100!

HBPs of Note: June 19, 2009

Congratulations to Aaron Rowand - he was hit by a Scott Feldman pitch last night, bringing his career total to 100. He's the 66th major leaguer to reach triple digits in plunks, and the first member of the 100 plunk club born after 1976.

Melvin Mora also reached a 100 plunk milestone yesterday. He's been hit 103 times in his career, but yesterday's plunking by Antonio Bastardo was his 100th with Orioles. He's still 48 plunks short of Brady Anderson's record for Orioles career plunks, but Mora is now one of just two active players who has been hit 100 times for his current team. (Derek Jeter is the other.)

Jason Giambi got his 163 career plunk, and Jamey Wright threw career plunk number 131, which was also Ryan Ludwick's 20th. Wright holds a 46 plunk lead for the Oklahoma record, with Jeff Suppan in 2nd place at 85.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Zambrano hits a batter

HBPs of note: June 18, 2009

There were 5 HBPs in baseball action yesterday, highlighted by Carlos Zambrano's plunking of a White Sox rookie named Gordon Beckham. Zambrano is not tied with Zach Greinke among active pitchers in the category of plunking White Sox batters - they've each done it 9 times. Zambrano also extended his Venezuelan record hit batter total to 74, and he's only 14 plunks away from the Cubs team record for hitting batters, currently standing at 88 by Kerry Wood.

Also, Evan Longoria got the 10th plunk of his career.


329 of the 545 players who have thrown a pitch this season have hit a batter.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

That's all we got? One hit by pitch?

HBP of note: June 17, 2009

Prince Fielder was the only batter hit by a pitch yesterday, getting hit by Cleveland pitcher David Huff, who had never hit a batter before. Fielder has been hit 43 times in his career, and 5 times this season. It was the 12,532nd HBP recorded by a batter who was born in California... so that probably means something if you understand the historical significance of the number 12,532. (I'm not saying there is any historical significance to the number 12,532, but if you know of any, and understand it, then it probably means something).

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kouzmanoff moves close to Padres record

HBPs of Note: June 16, 2009

Kevin Kouzmanoff got plunked by Felix Hernandez last night, giving Kouzmanoff 31 HBPs for his career. He's just 4 plunks behind Gene Tenace's Padres franchise record for plunks, which has stood at 35 since 1978. It was the second time Felix Hernandez has plunked Kouzmanoff, even though they've only faced each other 13 times.

Jerry Hairston Junior also got plunked yesterday, bringing his career total to 66. He's still 14 plunks behind Bing Miller (80 hbps) on the career list for players born in Iowa, but he took sole possession of 3rd place from Ducky Miller (64 hbps) on his prior plunk.

Melvin Mora also got hit by a pitch, but it didn't count because the umpire ruled he was swinging at the pitch. If it had been an official HBP, it would have been Mora's 100th with the Orioles, making him one of just two players who have been hit 100 times for his current team. But, it didn't count.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dave Bush ties Brewers record for career hit batters!

HBPs of Note: June 15, 2009

There were only three plunks in the two MLB games played yesterday, but they were all significant. Dave Bush of the Brewers entered last night's game needing to hit just 2 batters to tie Jamey Wright for the Brewers career franchise record in hitting batters. If you were going for such a record, you couldn't pick a better opponent than the Cleveland Indians. They lead the major leagues in getting plunked this year, by a wide margin, and last year they set a new modern record for team plunks in a season with 103 HBPs. Bush threw his 48th plunk in a Brewers uniform to Jamey Carroll in the third inning, and followed up with a plunk of Kelly Shoppach in the 4th. It was Shoppach's 14th HBP of the season, which puts him 3 ahead of Chase Utley for the Major League lead. But for Bush, it was his 49th plunk since joining the Brewers in 2006, and ties Jamey Wright for the Brewers franchise record. Bush also moved into the Major League lead with 10 plunks this season, and he's now the only pitcher in the league who has hit at least 10 batters in each of the last 5 seasons. Since the time Bush joined the Brewers at the beginning of 2006, he has now hit more batters than any pitcher in the league, passing Vicente Padilla last night. Padilla has thrown 48 since 2006. Bush also now holds the Dave Bush era record for hitting batters - since he joined the league in 2004, he's hit 68 batters, two more than runner-up Vicente Padilla, and 5 more than Tim Wakefield and Bronson Arroyo in the years Bush has been in the league.

Meanwhile, the Angels faced the Giants last night with John Lackey pitching. Lackey entered the game 3 plunks behind Chuck Finley for the Angels franchise record in plunking batters. But, he only got one of them, hitting Nate Schierholtz. Lackey has now hit 69 batters in his career, all with the Angels, and he's just 2 behind Finley's total of 71.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

10 plunk Sunday

HBPs of Note: June 14, 2009

10 batter were hit by pitches yesterday, but none of them were particularly notable. Three batters were hit in the 7th inning, and 3 more in the 4th, which leaves both of those tied for this season's most dangerous inning, with 88 total plunks each. Brad Ausmus was hit for the 68th time in his career, but he'd still need to get hit another 40 times if he wants to challenge Mo Vaughn for the plunk record for batters born in Connecticut. Ausmus is the third most plunked batter from Connecticut. Austin Kearns and Angel Berroa each got hit for the 54th time in his career.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rodriguez plunked for 145th time

HBPs of Note: June 13, 2009

Alex Rodriguez got hit by a pitch yesterday, bringing his career total to 145. He's in 20th place on the all time list, with Chet Lemon the next player ahead of him at 151.

Bronson Arroyo hit a batter for the Reds yesterday, bringing his career total to 72. If he'd done all of those with the Reds he'd have their franchise record, but he's only hit 29 since moving to Cincinnati. That puts him tied for 27th on the Reds career list, but he's second to Aaron Harang among active Reds pitchers.

Roy Oswalt threw the 61st hit batter of his career, which leaves him in second place on the Astros all time list, 11 plunks behind the late Darryle Kile.

Ryan Garko got plunked for the 49th time in his career, and that leaves him 1 plunk behind Casey Blake for 6th place on the Indians career plunked list. That was his 7th of the season, which ranks tied for 5th this year, but he's still 6 HBPs behind his teammate, Kelly Shoppach.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Shoppach! 13!

HBPs of Note: June 12, 2009

Kelly Shoppach extended his league leading HBP total last night, getting hit by a 13th pitch. And he's only played in 38 of the Indians 63 games this season - if they'd just make Shoppach the full time DH instead of making him a backup catcher, he could be on pace for a record setting year. As it is, he's on pace for around 33 plunks, which would be 2 short of the American League record. Kyle McClellan threw the pitch that plunked Shoppach last night, but he's only hit 2 batters this year and 6 in his career.

In Philadelphia, the Red Sox and Phillies hit each other 4 times, with 3 of those occuring after the 9th inning. That's the first game in which there were 3 extra-innings plunks since April 24, 2004 when the Red Sox and Yankees threw 3 extra innings plunkings. Among those in the game last night was Daniel Bard's 99.1 mph plunking of Raul Ibanez. Only one plunk in the past two years was clocked at a higher velocity leaving the pitchers hand. Those are the ones you usually want to avoid, but Ibanez took it in the bottom of the thirteenth inning trying to help his team make a comeback. That was Bard's first career Hit Batter, which means he's probably the only pitcher with an average plunk speed over 99mph. The other two extra innings plunks were the 25th career hit batter by Phillies pitcher Ryan Madson, which doubled as number 49 in the career of Kevin Youkilis, and the 18th plunking thrown by Justin Masterson, which extends his Jamaican record career total.

Joba Chamberlain
hit two batters last night, bringing his season total to 9, which is tied with Tim Wakefield for the major league lead. Apparently the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry now extends to the HBP race.

Also, Reed Johnson got his 96th career HBP yesterday.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Hey! GET OFF MY LAWN!

About 10 years ago, back when he pitched for the Red Sox, accomplished plunker of batters Pedro Martinez was once quoted as saying "The Clubhouse is my house. If you sneak into my house and I don't know you, I shoot you." Well, if the clubhouse is a pitchers house, than their home field has to be their lawn. And some pitchers just don't like having batters on their lawn. They're always trying to run around those bases and wear a path in the grass, and it's gotten to the point where they don't even TRY growing grass in those places - plus the area around the plate where everyone's always hanging around. The pitcher has no other choice, in these situations, but to try to defend his lawn by standing on a dirt hill in the middle of it and throwing baseballs at people. Pedro hit 5 batters on his lawn that year, but he also hit 4 on the road, so he might just have been pitching instead of trying to keep people off his lawn.

However, this season, Nationals pitcher John Lannan has hit 6 batters, and he's done it exclusively at his home park, Nationals' Park (which is not a National Park by the way). He holds the record for that stadium, with 10 career plunks there, and he's only hit 5 batters away from his home lawn. Clearly he feels a strong desire to keep it from being walked all over. To bad the umpires keep sending the guys to first base instead of, you know, off the lawn.

Since 1986, 14 pitchers have made it through a season plunking at least 6 batters, and doing so exclusively at home. These people clearly didn't want there lawns walked on. The weirdest part of that, though, was that the post-1986 record most plunks in a season without a road plunk is 9 by Scott Sullivan in 1998. But Sullivan played for the Reds, at Riverfront Stadium/Cinergy Field - which had astroturf. So maybe his angry message to batters was "NO SHOES ON THE RUG!". Or something. It would have been a perfect opportunity for a Joe Jackson comeback.

Sullivan really only had that one year of vigorous defense of his home field - for his career he threw 32 home plunks and 28 on the road, so that's only 53.3% of his plunks occuring in home games. John Lannan has thrown 66.7% of his plunks on his home lawn, but there are 4 active pitchers who have hit more than 10 batters, and done more than 75% of them at home. Scot Shields leads the group, with 78.9% of his 19 career plunks in home games at Anaheim (or at LA of Anaheim?). CJ Wilson has thrown 13 of his 17 career plunks at his home park, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Danys Baez may be the most committed to lawn care, having hit 31 batters at home and only 10 on the road, for a 75.6% home plunk split. And he's moved around a lot - defending the lawn in Cleveland, Baltimore, LA, Atlanta and defending the field turf in Tampa... which I guess must be just that realistic. Nelson Figueroa is the other pitcher with 75% of his plunks at home, have thrown 12 of his 16 plunks at the various parks he's called home.

Kendall reaches 237

HBPs of Note: June 11, 2009

Aaron Cook hit Jason Kendall with a pitch yesterday, becoming just the 186th pitcher in major league history to plunk Jason Kendall at least once. Kendall has now been hit 237 times in his career, which leaves him just 6 HBPs behind Ron Hunt for 5th place on the all time list.

John Lannan of the Nationals hit Jonny Gomes of the Reds, and that made Lannan the first pitcher to hit 10 batters at Nationals Park. It was Gomes 36th career HBP, which doesn't make him anything, but he still holds the career franchise record for his old team, the Rays, so that's pretty good. That was Gomes first HBP for the Reds.

Alex Rodriguez got hit for the 144th time in his career, which moves him ahead of Carlton Fisk, into sole possession of 20th place all time. But Fisk is still the most plunked batter ever born in Vermont, while Rodriguez is only the 2nd most plunked player born in the state of New York. Brad Penny threw that one, making him the 118th pitcher to plunk Rodriguez. He's been hit 16 times by the Red Sox, which is one behind Derek Jeter and 3 behind Jason Giambi on the list of active players who the Red Sox have plunked the most.

Jamie Moyer hit a Mets batter for the 8th time in his career, which makes him tied for 1st place among active pitcher in hitting Mets, but it was also the 134th of his career, which is a lot.

Kurt Suzuki of the A's was hit by a pitch for the 18th of his career, but this one was in the bottom of the 9th inning of a tie game, as a pinch hitter. His plunk moved pinch runner Chris Denorfia to 2nd base, setting up a Daric Batron bunt moving the runners over, and a Rajai Davis game winning single, scoring Denorfia. But the pinch-hit HBP was the key to that game winning rally.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rowand reaches 99

HBPs of note: June 10, 2009

Aaron Rowand got plunked by Jon Rauch last night, giving Rowand a career total of 99 HBPs. He's very close to becoming the 66th player in MLB history with at least 100 HBPs. He's also the all time plunk leader among players born in Oregon.

Speaking of leaders, Ichiro got his 42nd career plunk yesterday, extending his record total for players born in Japan.

Chris Iannetta got his 22nd career plunk yesterday, which wouldn't be so interesting, except that Seth McClung threw it, and it was his 22nd career hit batter as well. And that's always fun.

Seven of yesterdays 10 HBPs were thrown in the 6th or 7th inning, and 6 of the 10 were thrown by relief pitchers. And, I totally jinxed the Yankees streak of consecutive games plunking a Red Sox batter yesterday. Nobody got plunked in last night's Yankees-Red Sox matchup.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

team vs team plunk streaks

As I mentioned this morning, reader Tom pointed out to me that the Red Sox had been plunked by the Yankees in all 6 of their games this year. So as usual, the question is: what's the record?

In terms of streaks, the post-1960 record for most consecutive games in which one team plunked (or was plunked by) another team is 9 games. The 1969 Cleveland Indians hit the Oakland A's in 9 consecutive games from May 17th to August 7th. The Pittsburgh Pirates were plunked by the Reds in 9 consecutive games at one point, but that streak began in 1996 and spilled into the 1997 season. In '97, the Reds plunked the Pirates in their first 8 meetings, which is the record for a plunk streak to start the season. As of July 17th, 1997, the Reds hit at least one Pirate in each of their first 8 games. In 2004, the Orioles plunked the Yankees in their first seven meetings, and the Angels plunked the Mariners in their first seven matchups of 1998.

However, in all of those cases, eventually the streak broke within the season. In 2005, the Colorado Rockies plunked the Astros at least once in all 6 of their games that year (including Craig Biggio's historic 267th and 268th plunks... as well as his slightly less historic 264th, 265th, and 266th). In 1999, the Devil Rays plunked the Marlins in all 6 of their interleague games, and continued the streak through 2 more games in 2000. But, nobody who played each other more than 6 times in a season has plunked an opponent in every single game. A couple of teams have hit an opponent in 8 of 9 games, and a couple more have gone 10 for 12 getting at least one plunk out of a particular team. The way the current schedule works in most of the divisions, divisional opponents play each other 17 to 19 times, but in any of those season series, no team has been hit in more than 13 games.

Cleveland also has a streak going this year, having been hit in all 5 games against the Red Sox, and in their last 6 matchups dating back to last season. That matches the Yankees vs Red Sox streak for the longest active plunking streak. Anaheim has plunked Cleveland in 5 consecutive games, but they haven't played yet this year.

We'll get to find out tonight if the Red Sox can get plunked by the Yankees in a 7th consecutive game, and be the 16th pair of teams since 1960 to put together a streak of at least 7 games. But it will be only the 4th such streak beginning at the start of a season.

Shoppach gets 12th

HBPs of note: June 9, 2009

Kelly Shoppach took a plunking from Brian Bannister last night, bringing his season total to a Major League leading 12. It was also the 25th of Shoppach's career. Later in that same game, his Cleveland teammate Shin-Soo Choo got hit by Juan Cruz for his 6th of the year. Shoppach, Choo and Ryan Garko have been hit a total of 24 times for the Indians this year - the St. Louis Cardinals have only been hit 23 times and they're the 5th most plunked team in the league. The Indians have been hit 42 times as a team this season, which puts him on pace for 113 this season, which would eclipse their record setting total of 103 from last season.

The 2nd most plunked team this season has been the Boston Red Sox. Their left fielder, Jason Bay got hit by Jose Veras pitch, which reader Tom pointed out means that the Yankees have now plunked the Red Sox at least once in all 6 games they've played against each other this season. The Yankees have hit the Red Sox 9 times this season, which ties their 2008 season total for plunking the Red Sox. They lead the league in hitting batters with 36. The Red Sox are 2nd in the majors, having hit 33 batters, but they've only plunked the Yankees twice. That may be related to the fact that the Red Sox have won all 6 games.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pettitte hits Carlos Pena, again.

HBPs of note: June 8, 2009

Prior to yesterday, their was only one batter in the league who had been plunked twice by Andy Pettitte. It was Carlos Pena, and Pettitte hit him again last night. Pettitte has hit 44 different batters a total of 46 time. Pettitte is the only active pitcher who has faced over 10,000 batters but hit less than 50.

Aaron Cunningham of the A's also got hit by a pitch yesterday, which moved him into 2nd place on the all time HBP list for batters born in Alaska. He has a total of 2 career HBPs now, passing Shawn Chacon on the list of Alaskans who have been plunked. Josh Phelps holds the Alaskan record with 36 plunks, but those three are the only people born in Alaska who have been plunked in the major leagues.

Seven of yesterdays eight HBPs occured in odd numbered innings.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Orlando plunked FOR Los Angeles?

Dodgers second baseman Orlando Hudson got hit by a pitch yesterday, but the Orlando Magic lost to the LA Lakers - which means that Orlando is now 0-1 on days when someone named Orlando gets hit by a pitch. Hudson's was the first plunk by an Orlando this year. He got hit by Chan Ho Park, who has hit 134 batters in his career which is a record for Korean pitchers. But the prior record was 133 by Chan Ho Park.

Kurt Suzuki also go hit by a pitch yesterday. He's been hit 17 times in his career, but he's 16 HBPs behind the leader among batters from his home state of Hawaii. Adrian Beltre got hit by a pitch for the 49th time in his career, leaving him 1 away from being the first Adrian to get hit by 50 pitches. Not to mention the first Beltre to get hit by 50 pitches. And, Carlos Pena got hit by a Joba Chamberlain pitch - Pena has been hit 41 times and Chamberlain has now thrown 10 plunks, but among those 10 he's found time to hit Pena twice.

Kevin Youkilis got hit by a pitch, but he doesn't get to keep it in his collection, because Umpire Tim Timmons seemed to think he leaned into it, and didn't award 1st base. So, that one didn't count.

On Saturday, three different batters named Ryan were hit by pitches, which is the first time that happened since September 30, 2006.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Zito hits 80th

HBPs of note: June 6, 2009

Their were 14 Major League Baseball games last night, and in them 101 different pitchers threw 4,059 pitches. Only 6 of those pitches hit batters.

Barry Zito didn't hit anyone with the first 50 pitches he threw, but the 51st found the body of Jorge Cantu. That was Zito's 80th career hit batter.

Jamie Moyer hit a Juan Pierre with his 40th pitch of his outing yesterday, bringing his career total to 133. Moyer has been hitting batters since 1986.

Three of yesterday's 6 HBPs were recorded in the 7th inning.

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Friday, June 5, 2009

MLB standings - in games with an HBP

Here's how the MLB standings would look, as of today, if they only counted games in which a team got plunked at least once. Because really, if your team didn't get hit by a pitch, should the game count?

NATIONAL LEAGUE


EAST
W
L
PCTHBP
Atlanta112.84618
Philadelphia174.81028
NY Mets75.58314
Florida68.42917
Washington410.28622
CENTRAL




Pittsburgh126.66721
Cincinnati126.66721
Milwaukee148.63628
St. Louis99.50023
Houston66.50015
Chicago Cubs89.47121
WEST




LA Dodgers104.71419
San Francisco108.55621
San Diego78.46717
Arizona57.41714
Colorado48.33313





AMERICAN LEAGUE



EAST
W
L
PCT
HBP
Tampa Bay93.75015
Boston177.70830
Toronto73.70012
Baltimore97.56316
NY Yankees88.50019
CENTRAL




Minnesota96.60019
Detroit66.50016
Kansas City66.50018
Chicago Sox79.43820
Cleveland1216.42939
WEST




LA Angels54.5569
Texas65.54512
Oakland68.42916
Seattle48.33312


The Atlanta Braves have only been hit by pitches in 13 games, but they're 11-2 in games when they're plunked - that a win pct of .846, compared to their .385 win rate in games when they don't get plunked. The Braves have the biggest such difference in the league. Did the Braves know this when they acquired Nate McLouth, who's been hit by a respectable 4 pitches this season? The Pirates were 4-0 in games when McLouth got plunked. The Phillies, Rays and Red Sox are all under .500 when they don't get hit by any pitches, but win over 70% of games in which they get plunked. The Red Sox are 6-0 when they get hit twice in a game. The Pirates have an NL Central Division leading win pct of .667 when they get hit by a pitch, but they're dead last in the Central when they don't get hit, at a dismal .382 win pct.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are a few teams that get worse when they get hit by pitches. Seattle wins 52.4% of their games when they don't get plunked, but only one third (.333) when they get hit. If you want to beat the Mariners, it would seem that throwing inside a few times might help. The team with the next most negative impact on wins from HBPs is the Yankees. They've won at a .632 clip when they don't get hit, but drop to an even .500 when they get hit by at least one pitch. So, opposing teams should think about the benefits of hitting Yankees batters, which include a greater chance of winning, and a decent chance that AJ Burnett will get mad, throw at someone, and get suspended. Again. However, the Yankees are 2-1 when they get hit twice in a game, so the winning strategy is to only plunk them once. But maybe as an experiment, someone should try hitting them 7 or 8 times. If you want to get specific, the Yankees are 0-2 when Derek Jeter gets hit by a pitch, and 0-3 when Hideki Matsui gets plunked. (The author of this website does not support or endorse intentionally plunking batters, but will still point out when it could possibly help a team win.)
The Nationals are 0-6 in games when they get hit by two pitches, but there are plenty of other ways to beat the Nationals without having to resort to that strategy.

Johnson gets 300th win, but not 189th hit batter

HBPs of Note: June 4, 2009

Jacoby Ellsbury got plunked yesterday by Dontrelle Willis. For Ellsbury it was the 10th of his career, and for Willis it was his 54th. Left handed pitchers have hit left handed batters 73 times this season, including Brett Anderson's plunking of Dewayne Wise which was also among yesterday's 4 plunks. Dontrelle Willis has thrown the most HBPs of any left-handed pitcher born in the month of January in California, but he is only 9th on the career list of left-handed Californians in general. The leader in that category, of course, is Randy Johnson, who has hit 188 batters, but failed to become the first pitcher since Tom Seaver to plunk a batter in his 300th win. 83 of his 188 hit batters were thrown during his 300 wins.

Andy LaRoche got his 5th plunk of the season - he's tied with Kevin Kouzmanoff for the major league lead in plunks by third basmen this year.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Twins put Shoppach back in the lead

HBPs of note: June 3, 2009

Kelly Shoppach started yesterday 2 HBPs behind Chase Utley for the Major League plunk lead, but he covered that ground between the 6th and 8th inning against the Twins last night. RA Dickey plunked Shoppach in the 6th, and he got hit again by Luis Ayala in the 8th. Dickey also hit Ryan Garko, which made yesterdays game the first since July 1, 2006 in which the Twins plunked three batters. They had the 4th longest active streak of not hitting more than 2 batters in a game. The Cubs currently have the longest such streak - they haven't hit 3 batters in a game since August 22, 2004.

Eleven batters got hit by pitches yesterday, with an average landing speed of 78.7 mph. If you toss out the two thrown by knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, the average speed at impact was 81.8 mph. Knuckleballs have plunked 11 batters this season, according to MLB's Gameday data - although their are 9 plunks in their data that don't list what kind of pitch it was.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Elvis is... plunked

HBPs of note: June 2, 2009

Elvis Andrus got hit by a pitch for the first time in his career, last night. He's the 2nd player born in 1988 to get hit by a pitch, and also just the 2nd Elvis ever to be plunked. The only other HBP by an Elvis in major league history was by Elvis Pena of the Brewers on October 4, 2001. AJ Burnett joins Matt Morris in the exclusive club of pitchers who have plunked Elvis. (Now I've got that Living Colour song from 1991 stuck in my head. You know, Cult of Personality.)

Vicenta Padilla plunked Mark Teixeira twice yesterday, bringing his total to 98. With 2 more plunks he'll be the 64th pitcher to plunk 100 batters in his career (at least according to Retrosheet's numbers - certain other sites have different totals for some old-timey pitchers). Padilla has thrown 5 plunks at batters named Mark (including 3 to Teixeira), but batters named Mark have been hit 721 times.

Kevin Youkilis recorded his 48th career plunk yesterday (an RBI HBP), but he's still 2 plunks short of Kevin Stocker for 3rd place on the all time HBP list for guys named Kevin. Kevins have been hit 570 times in MLB history. And, Josh Wilson of the Padres got hit by Phillies call-up Antionio Bastardo. That was the 160th HBP recorded by someone named Josh, but the first thrown by someone named "Antonio Bastardo".

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Plunks in years in which the Lakers lose the NBA Finals

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the NBA finals again this year, which means that if they lose, they can add to their record 15 championship losses (including 1 from the Minneapolis years). No team in any of the four major American sports has lost their league championship that many times. The Yankees are the closest, having reached and then lost the World Series 13 times. The Bruins and Red Wings have been the runners-up for the Stanley Cup 12 times each, and the Dodgers and Giants have each lost in the World Series 12 different times.

So, this may lead you to wonder (or not), who has been hit by the most pitches in major league baseball games played in years when the Lakers lost the NBA finals?
Here are the top 10:
Ron Hunt - 130
Frank Robinson - 103
Mack Jones - 64
Orlando Cepeda - 61
Bill Freehan - 59
Norm Cash - 54
Rick Reichardt - 50
Don Baylor - 49
Tony Gonzalez - 47
Lou Johnson - 45

Craig Wilson has the single season record for HBPs in a year when the Lakers lost the championship, with 30 in 2004, and Chase Utley is 2nd with 27 in 2008. At his current HBP rate, Utley could contend for Wilson's record in that category if the Lakers lose, but he'd need another 91 plunks to catch Ron Hunt on the career list for HBPs in years when the Lakers lost.

In the interest of fairness, here are the top 10 career HBP leaders in years in which the Orlando Magic have lost the NBA Championship:
Craig Biggio - 22
Ed Sprague - 15
Mo Vaughn - 14
Larry Walker - 14
Mike Macfarlane - 14
Andres Galarraga - 13
Jeff Blauser - 12
John Patterson - 12
Mark McGwire - 11
Pat Meares - 11
Brian Jordan - 11

Obviously, all those plunks happened in 1995, so that's the single season leader board too. Chase Utley already has 11 plunks this season, so he's half way to that record if the Magic lose.

And, just because sometimes the Lakers have won the championship, here are the career HBP leaders in years when they did so:
Don Baylor - 91
Fernando Vina - 68
Craig Biggio - 61
Andres Galarraga - 59
Carlton Fisk - 53
Chet Lemon - 52
Minnie Minoso - 49
Brian Downing - 49
David Eckstein - 48
Carlos Delgado - 44
Jason Kendall - 44

Don Baylor, Craig Biggio and Fernando Vina are all tied for the single season HBP record in a year with a Lakers title, with 28 each. Baylor had 28 in 1987, Biggio had 28 in 2001, and Vina had 28 in 2000.

When Jorges plunk Jorges

HBPs of Note: June 1, 2009

Only 3 batters were hit by pitches in yesterday's Major League action. Chris Perez of the Cardinals hit Alex Gonzalez of the Reds, giving Gonzalez a career total of 66 plunks, but that's not particularly notable. Jorge Julio hit Marlins rookie Brett Hayes, which was Hayes' first career plunk and made him the 7,200th batter in major league history to be plunked, according to available records. But, Julio also hit Jorge Cantu with a pitch. That was only the second time ever that a pitcher name Jorge hit a batter named Jorge - the other incident of Jorge on Jorge crime was on July 31, 2008 when Jorge de la Rosa hit Jorge Cantu. But, Jorge Julio is the all time hit batsmen leader among pitchers named Jorge, with 19. de la Rosa has thrown 16. Jorge Posada is the batting leader in plunks, with 64.

Also, Jorge Julio became the first pitcher this season to hit 2 batters in a game without recording an out. On average, that happens a couple of times per season, but Dock Ellis is the only post-1960 pitcher to hit 3 batters without recording an out (he did it on May 1, 1974). Interestingly, the only other time Jorge Julio hit a batter in a game in which he didn't get anyone out, that batter was Craig Biggio and it was his 263rd career plunk.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Holliday turns 50

HBPs of note: May 31, 2009

Matt Holliday got hit by Kevin Millwood yesterday, which means Holliday is now 50 plunks old. You know, if age was calculated by the number of times you've been hit by a pitch. Millwood has hit 57 batters in his career.

Derrek Lee was hit for the first time this season, yesterday, but it was his 60th career HBP. He'd made it safely through 158 plate appearances this year without being plunked. Six of the thirteen batters who got hit by pitches yesterday got their first 2009 HBP. Casey Kotchman got his 20th HBP.

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