Monday, August 31, 2009

Chris Coghlan becomes 2nd Chris ever plunked for the Marlins

HBPs of note: August 30, 2009

The big story yesterday was that Chris Coghlan collected the 1000th plunk in Marlins franchise history, and it was even mentioned in the media, if you looked hard enough. If you went by past stats, you'd never have guessed that a batter named Chris would have received the Marlin's 1000th plunk, because only 1 of their first 999 plunks was recorded by someone named Chris. A player named Mike would have been a better guess, since they had 8.3% of the Marlin's first 1000 plunks. Including Coghlan, 10 batters born in Florida have now been plunked 74 times in franchise history.

In other baseball action yesterday, Aaron Rowand was hit by a pitch for the 106th time in his career. That extends the record for players born in Oregon, which he already owned. Jason Bartlett got his 35th career plunk, Geoff Blum got his 30th and Matt Diaz got his 25th. And, Fred Lewis recorded the 900th HBP by a batter born in 1980.

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Marlins break the 1000 plunk barrier!

Marlins rookie Chris Coghlan got plunked in the 7th inning today, marking the first time in his career he's been hit by a major league pitch. But, while it was one first plunk for a rookie, it was one giant milestone for the Marlins franchise. Plunk Number 1000 in team history. Coghlan joins the likes of Craig Biggio and Ty Cobb on the list of players who have collected the 1000th plunk for a franchise.

Wes Helms also got plunked for the Marlins, which makes this post a little less round-number-centric. But, here are a few (dozen) facts about the first 1001 plunks in Marlins franchise history.

Chris Coghlan was the 120th different batter plunked in a Marlins uniform in their first 1001 plunks, but he'll need to get hit once more to be the 79th batter plunked twice for Marlins. Alex Gonzalez is the franchise record holder with 51 HBPs, with Gary Sheffield and Josh Willingham tied behind him with 43 plunks each. Mike Lowell got hit 39 times while he was a Marlin and Dan Uggla is the active leader with 36. Plunked Marlins include batters from 43 US states and territories and 13 foreign countries on five continents.

Coghlan may be the newest member of the Plunked Marlins club, but he's not the youngest. He was born in 1985, but Cameron Maybin was born in 1987, and got plunked for the Marlins on April 25th of this season. The oldest player among plunked Marlins is Charlie Hough. He was born in 1948, and was 45 years and 8 months old when he got his one and only plunk with the team, which means he's not just the oldest member of the club, he has the record for oldest age at the time of the plunking. The Marlins record for youngest age at the time of a plunk belongs to Miguel Cabrera, who was 20 years and 4 months old the first time he got plunked (September 1, 2003).

Of the 1001 base runners the Marlins have had who reached base by getting hit by pitches, 262 have come around to score runs. They've been hit a total of 25 times with the bases loaded.

On the other end of those 1001 pitches, were 538 different pitchers from 27 teams - they've never been plunked by the Angels or Mariners though. The Marlins have been plunked the most by their division rival Phillies, Nationals and Mets, but the Cubs and Astros have hit them more than the Braves, despite not being in a different division (although the Cubs were in the NL east in 1993).

Here are the team by team totals for plunking the Marlins:
Phillies - 112
Nats/Expos - 103
Mets - 91
Cubs - 70
Astros - 63
Braves - 62
Rockies - 55
Rays - 54
Cardinals - 53
Pirates - 49
Dodgers - 45
Reds - 44
Padres - 41
Giants - 41
Brewers - 30
Diamondbacks - 28
Red Sox - 16
Blue Jays - 10
Orioles - 8
A's - 5
Yankees - 5
Royals - 5
Indians - 4
Twins - 2
Tigers - 2
Rangers - 2
White Sox - 1


Even though the Braves are relatively low on the list of plunking the Marlins, long-time Braves pitcher Greg Maddux holds the carer record for hitting Marlins with 11. Tony Armas Jr. is second on the list with 8, which is particularly impressive because he's only hit 51 total batters in his career. Pitchers named Mike have hit 46 Marlins, while pitchers named John have hit 30, and Kevins have hit 27 Marlins.

Here's the complete list of pitchers who have plunked a Marlin:
Greg Maddux (11), Tony Armas (8), Jamie Moyer (7), Mike Pelfrey (7), Mark Leiter (7), Mel Rojas (7), Andy Ashby (7), Darryl Kile (7), Bret Saberhagen (6), Byung-Hyun Kim (6), Jim Bullinger (6), Pedro Astacio (6), Kevin Millwood (6), Jon Lieber (6), Turk Wendell (6), Ryan Rupe (6), Chan Ho Park (6), Steve Trachsel (6), Matt Clement (6), Vicente Padilla (6), Jason Marquis (6), Josh Fogg (6), Brandon Duckworth (6), Carlos Zambrano (6), Roy Oswalt (5), Ryan Madson (5), Oliver Perez (5), Randy Wolf (5), Dave Weathers (5), Shane Reynolds (5), Pedro Martinez (5), Tom Glavine (5), Rheal Cormier (5), Mike Johnson (5), Jeremy Powell (5), Armando Reynoso (5), Bobby Jones (4), Joe Kennedy (4), Kevin Appier (4), Mike Mimbs (4), Marc Wilkins (4), Ricky Bottalico (4), Paul Wagner (4), Pete Schourek (4), Livan Hernandez (4), Matt Morris (4), Esteban Loaiza (4), Tim Scott (4), Jamey Wright (4), Kerry Wood (4), Glendon Rusch (4), Tomokazu Ohka (4), Aaron Heilman (4), Jay Bergmann (4), James Shields (3), Kevin Correia (3), Brad Thompson (3), David Bush (3), Sean Marshall (3), Mike Bacsik (3), Jake Peavy (3), Brandon Webb (3), Gavin Floyd (3), Matt Belisle (3), Brett Myers (3), Tim Hudson (3), Kip Wells (3), Jason Schmidt (3), Hideo Nomo (3), Trever Miller (3), Jeff Suppan (3), Billy Wagner (3), Ryan Dempster (3), Tim Worrell (3), Toby Borland (3), Tom Candiotti (3), Terry Adams (3), Pete Harnisch (3), Todd Jones (3), Jason Isringhausen (3), Miguel Batista (3), Travis Hughes (3), Orel Hershiser (3), Rocky Biddle (3), Kevin Tapani (3), Marvin Freeman (3), Mike Remlinger (3), John Thomson (3), Jose Mesa (3), John Burkett (3), John Franco (3), John Halama (3), Jerry Dipoto (3), Jae Weong Seo (3), Dustin Hermanson (3), Esteban Yan (3), Frank Castillo (3), Garrett Stephenson (3), C.J. Nitkowski (3), Bryan Rekar (3), Bryce Florie (3), Andy Benes (3), Allen Watson (3), Adam Bernero (3), Dave Veres (3), Dave Mlicki (2), Dave Coggin (2), Darren Dreifort (2), Darren Holmes (2), David Cone (2), Dennis Springer (2), Denny Neagle (2), Carlos Perez (2), Cory Lidle (2), Al Leiter (2), Amaury Telemaco (2), Brian Meadows (2), Britt Reames (2), Bobby Jones (2), Brad Clontz (2), Bobby Ayala (2), Gil Heredia (2), Doug Drabek (2), Jaime Navarro (2), Gregg Olson (2), Hector Carrasco (2), Jerry Spradlin (2), Jason Christiansen (2), John Patterson (2), Joey Hamilton (2), John Wetteland (2), Kevin Brown (2), Kevin Foster (2), Jim Brower (2), John Smiley (2), Jose Lima (2), Kent Bottenfield (2), Mike Thurman (2), Nelson Cruz (2), Norm Charlton (2), Mark Petkovsek (2), Kevin Jarvis (2), Robert Person (2), Rolando Arrojo (2), Rich Loiselle (2), Osvaldo Fernandez (2), Pat Rapp (2), Kevin Ritz (2), Omar Olivares (2), Paul Wilson (2), Tommy Greene (2), Victor Zambrano (2), William Van Landingham (2), Paul Byrd (2), Chris Carpenter (2), Giovanni Carrara (2), Jason Johnson (2), Tim Pugh (2), Derek Lowe (2), Ryan Karp (2), Scott Mullen (2), Scott Sanders (2), Stan Belinda (2), Sterling Hitchcock (2), Steve Parris (2), Steve Reed (2), Sun-Woo Kim (2), Todd Stottlemyre (2), Orlando Hernandez (2), Scott Elarton (2), Tim Wakefield (2), Braden Looper (2), Javier Vazquez (2), Valerio de los Santos (2), Mike Timlin (2), Brett Tomko (2), Mike Stanton (2), John Smoltz (2), Matt Herges (2), Francisco Cordero (2), Orber Moreno (2), Mark Redman (2), Kris Benson (2), Freddy Garcia (2), Damaso Marte (2), Nelson Figueroa (2), Eric Milton (2), Ted Lilly (2), Luis Vizcaino (2), Buddy Carlyle (2), Shawn Chacon (2), Billy Traber (2), Geoff Geary (2), Jorge de la Rosa (2), Jason Jennings (2), Gary Majewski (2), Casey Fossum (2), Jesus Colome (2), Horacio Ramirez (2), Chad Paronto (2), Jorge Julio (2), Claudio Vargas (2), Ben Sheets (2), Randy Choate (2), Tim Redding (2), Carlos Silva (2), Aaron Cook (2), Adam Eaton (2), Shawn Hill (2), Noah Lowry (2), Chad Qualls (2), Angel Guzman (2), Rich Harden (2), Mark Hendrickson (2), Clay Condrey (2), Doug Waechter (2), Dana Eveland (2), Mike Burns (2), Kyle Davies (2), Micah Owings (2), Jon Lester (2), Kyle Kendrick (2), Tony Pena (2), Matt Cain (2), Jair Jurrjens (2), Dirk Hayhurst (2), Carlos Marmol (2), Fabio Castro (2), Ramon Troncoso (2), Matt Albers (2), John Lannan (2), Jae Kuk Ryu (1), Matt Garza (1), Peter Moylan (1), Joe Smith (1), Bud Norris (1), Alberto Arias (1), Manuel Corpas (1), Greg Burke (1), J.A. Happ (1), Kyle McClellan (1), Edinson Volquez (1), Alex Hinshaw (1), Brian Wilson (1), Kurt Birkins (1), Chad Billingsley (1), Brad Hennessey (1), Chad Gaudin (1), Chad Cordero (1), Scott Kazmir (1), Chris Young (1), Fausto Carmona (1), Brandon League (1), J.P. Howell (1), Steven Shell (1), Ambiorix Burgos (1), Yorman Bazardo (1), Chris Resop (1), Ubaldo Jimenez (1), Juan Morillo (1), Wandy Rodriguez (1), Leo Nunez (1), Tom Gorzelanny (1), Wade LeBlanc (1), Greg Reynolds (1), Carlos Villanueva (1), Matt Chico (1), J.D. Martin (1), Ryan Sadowski (1), Ross Ohlendorf (1), Jonathan Sanchez (1), Marcos Carvajal (1), Chad Orvella (1), Ryan Webb (1), Collin Balester (1), Manny Parra (1), Eric Stults (1), Hong-Chih Kuo (1), Daniel Cabrera (1), Francisco Rosario (1), Greg Aquino (1), Oscar Villarreal (1), Heath Bell (1), Seth McClung (1), Brian Stokes (1), Nate Robertson (1), Chien-Ming Wang (1), Todd Wellemeyer (1), Aaron Harang (1), Kirk Saarloos (1), Cliff Lee (1), Luis Ayala (1), Javier Lopez (1), Jose Contreras (1), Joel Hanrahan (1), Ian Snell (1), Blaine Boyer (1), Paul Maholm (1), Edwin Jackson (1), John Maine (1), Mike Gosling (1), Edgar Gonzalez (1), Darwin Cubillan (1), Luke Hudson (1), Rafael Soriano (1), Duaner Sanchez (1), Kyle Lohse (1), Joe Beimel (1), John Grabow (1), Mike Gonzalez (1), Justin Duchscherer (1), Mark Prior (1), Brandon Backe (1), Erik Bedard (1), Jose Valverde (1), Jorge Sosa (1), Pedro Feliciano (1), Johan Santana (1), Bronson Arroyo (1), Scott Linebrink (1), Derrick Turnbow (1), Cedrick Bowers (1), Justin Miller (1), Brian Falkenborg (1), Chad Durbin (1), Danys Baez (1), Brad Penny (1), Ryan Franklin (1), Jeff Weaver (1), Barry Zito (1), David Riske (1), Stephen Randolph (1), Rob Bell (1), Dave Borkowski (1), Dennis Stark (1), Brian Fuentes (1), Danny Kolb (1), Mike Lincoln (1), Russ Springer (1), Curt Schilling (1), Darren Oliver (1), Dennys Reyes (1), Al Reyes (1), Ron Villone (1), Salomon Torres (1), Odalis Perez (1), Ramon Ortiz (1), Kyle Farnsworth (1), Ray King (1), Sidney Ponson (1), Jamie Walker (1), Todd Van Poppel (1), Tom Browning (1), Tom Edens (1), Todd Ritchie (1), Tim Spooneybarger (1), Terrell Wade (1), Steve Sparks (1), Terry Mulholland (1), Tim Belcher (1), Tim Corcoran (1), Tim Mauser (1), Steve Avery (1), Steve Bedrosian (1), Scott Sanderson (1), Sean Bergman (1), Shawn Boskie (1), Sid Fernandez (1), Scott Ruffcorn (1), Sam McConnell (1), Satoru Komiyama (1), Scott Erickson (1), Scott Forster (1), Scott MacRae (1), Kent Mercker (1), Randy Johnson (1), Joe Borowski (1), Doug Brocail (1), Tom Gordon (1), Alan Embree (1), Shawn Estes (1), Woody Williams (1), Ugueth Urbina (1), Wayne Franklin (1), Wayne Gomes (1), Wes Obermueller (1), Tony McKnight (1), Tony Saunders (1), Travis Smith (1), Troy Mattes (1), Pedro Liriano (1), Pedro Martinez (1), Pete Smith (1), Peter Munro (1), Ramon Martinez (1), Ramon Tatis (1), Randy Myers (1), Reggie Harris (1), Rene Arocha (1), Rich Rodriguez (1), Rick Reed (1), Rick Sutcliffe (1), Rick White (1), Ricky Bones (1), Ricky Stone (1), Robb Nen (1), Ricardo Rodriguez (1), Rich DeLucia (1), Ruben Quevedo (1), Roberto Hernandez (1), Roger Bailey (1), Roger Clemens (1), Roger Mason (1), Roger McDowell (1), Kevin McGlinchy (1), Mark Dewey (1), Mark Gardner (1), Larry Andersen (1), Larry Luebbers (1), Lee Hancock (1), Les Lancaster (1), Manuel Aybar (1), Marc Valdes (1), Mark Portugal (1), Mark Thompson (1), Masato Yoshii (1), Matt Mantei (1), Matt Ruebel (1), Omar Daal (1), Mike Morgan (1), Mike Perez (1), Mike Trombley (1), Mike Venafro (1), Mike Williams (1), Mike Judd (1), Mike Magnante (1), Mike Matthews (1), Mike Buddie (1), Mike DeJean (1), Mike Grace (1), Mike Harkey (1), Mike James (1), Kevin Gross (1), Kevin Gryboski (1), Johnny Ruffin (1), Jose Bautista (1), Jose Santiago (1), Josias Manzanillo (1), Juan Acevedo (1), Julio Santana (1), Junior Herndon (1), Ken Hill (1), John Burke (1), John Habyan (1), John Rocker (1), John Roper (1), John Hope (1), John Hudek (1), Joe Magrane (1), Joey Dawley (1), Joey Eischen (1), Jim Gott (1), Jim Mecir (1), Jimmy Anderson (1), Jimmy Haynes (1), Joe Grahe (1), Joe Hudson (1), Jay Witasick (1), Jeff Ballard (1), Jeff Innis (1), Jeff Juden (1), Jeff Shaw (1), Jeff Williams (1), Jesse Orosco (1), Jim Abbott (1), J.D. Durbin (1), Hector Almonte (1), Jamie Arnold (1), Jared Fernandez (1), Jaret Wright (1), Doug Henry (1), Erik Sabel (1), Everett Stull (1), Felix Rodriguez (1), Francisco Cordova (1), Graeme Lloyd (1), Grant Roberts (1), Greg Harris (1), Gene Stechschulte (1), Geremi Gonzalez (1), Aaron Fultz (1), Brian Bohanon (1), Brian Lawrence (1), Brandon Claussen (1), Bruce Ruffin (1), Bryan Eversgerd (1), Brian Powell (1), Brian Williams (1), Cal Eldred (1), Andy Carter (1), Allen Levrault (1), Adam Butler (1), Barry Manuel (1), Ben Rivera (1), Ben Van Ryn (1), Bill Pulsipher (1), Bill Swift (1), Bob Tewksbury (1), Bob Walk (1), Craig McMurtry (1), Curt Leskanic (1), D.J. Houlton (1), Dan Smith (1), Danny Graves (1), Danny Jackson (1), Darrell May (1), Carlos Valdez (1), Carlton Loewer (1), Casey Daigle (1), Chris Nabholz (1), Chris Peters (1), Chris Reitsma (1), Chuck Crim (1), Chuck Ricci (1), Clint Sodowsky (1), Dewon Brazelton (1), Dicky Gonzalez (1), Donne Wall (1), Donovan Osborne (1), Doug Creek (1), David Nied (1), David West (1), Dennis Cook (1), Dennis Eckersley (1), Dave Eiland (1), Dave Otto (1), Dave Wainhouse (1), Dave Williams (1)


And here's everyone who's ever been plunked as a Marlin:
Alex Gonzalez (51), Josh Willingham (43), Gary Sheffield (43), Mike Lowell (39), Mike Redmond (38), Derrek Lee (37), Dan Uggla (36), Preston Wilson (33), Cliff Floyd (32), Hanley Ramirez (27), Miguel Cabrera (25), Kevin Millar (25), Cody Ross (22), Juan Pierre (22), Greg Colbrunn (22), Jeremy Hermida (20), Andy Fox (19), Juan Encarnacion (19), Matt Treanor (18), Jeff Conine (18), Carlos Delgado (17), Bret Barberie (16), Jorge Cantu (15), Devon White (15), Wes Helms (14), Kurt Abbott (14), Aaron Boone (13), Charles Johnson (13), Damion Easley (12), Alex Arias (12), Quilvio Veras (11), Edgar Renteria (10), Alfredo Amezaga (10), Dave Berg (9), Bruce Aven (9), Chuck Carr (9), Andre Dawson (9), Miguel Olivo (9), Kevin Orie (8), Luis Castillo (8), Craig Counsell (7), Paul Lo Duca (7), Ivan Rodriguez (6), Benito Santiago (6), Todd Dunwoody (6), John Baker (6), Joe Borchard (5), Bobby Bonilla (5), Reggie Abercrombie (5), Orestes Destrade (5), Terry Pendleton (5), John Mabry (5), Darrell Whitmore (5), Rich Renteria (4), Bob Natal (4), Mike Jacobs (4), John Cangelosi (4), Moises Alou (4), Jerry Browne (3), Hee Seop Choi (3), Gregg Zaun (3), Walt Weiss (3), Mark Smith (2), Dontrelle Willis (2), Todd Zeile (2), Dave Magadan (2), Ralph Milliard (2), Brian Moehler (2), Eric Reed (2), Russ Morman (2), Tommy Gregg (2), Ross Gload (2), Jorge Fabregas (2), Nick Johnson (2), Ramon Castro (2), Wil Cordero (2), Brian Banks (2), A.J. Burnett (2), Jerry Brooks (1), Greg Briley (1), John Burkett (1), Emilio Bonifacio (1), Jeff Abbott (1), Brett Hayes (1), Chris Coghlan (1), Chad Allen (1), Danny Bautista (1), Paul Bako (1), Chris Clapinski (1), Henry Cotto (1), Matias Carrillo (1), Joe Dillon (1), Mario Diaz (1), Alejandro De Aza (1), Brian Daubach (1), Darren Daulton (1), Mark Kotsay (1), Livan Hernandez (1), Lenny Harris (1), Charlie Hough (1), Ryan Jackson (1), John Gall (1), Jim Eisenreich (1), Junior Felix (1), Mark Gardner (1), Craig Grebeck (1), Pablo Ozuna (1), Mike Mordecai (1), Carl Pavano (1), Tim Raines (1), Mike Rabelo (1), Cameron Maybin (1), Todd Linden (1), Josh Wilson (1), John Wehner (1), Dave Weathers (1), Jesus Tavarez (1), Michael Tejera (1), Rob Stanifer (1), Henry Rodriguez (1)


In case you wondered, Dave Weathers, John Burkett, Livan Hernandez and Mark Gardner are the only players who have plunked a Marlin and have also been plunked AS a Marlin.

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999 for Marlins

HBPs of note: August 29, 2009

Padres pitcher Wade Leblanc plunked Dan Uggla yesterday, but he only did it once. That means the Florida Marlins have been hit 999 times in team history, and are still waiting to mark off the 1000th HBP for the franchise.

Scott Rolen's 110th plunk on August 2nd got him pretty hard in the head, but he got right back in front of the horse, so to speak, collecting his 111th HBP yesterday. You don't get to be the all time leader in plunks among batters born in Indiana without knowing how to come back from a plunk in the head. Jeff Weaver threw that one, which was also the 123rd of Weavers career.

Kevin Youkilis got plunked for the 55th time in his career. He's now tied with Tris Speaker for 7th place on the Red Sox all time list. That was his 13th of the season, and he's just the 2nd player in team history to get hit 10 or more times in three different seasons. Mo Vaughn had 4 seasons with double digit plunks.

There were 9 plunks recorded in major league games yesterday, and 4 of them were thrown by pitchers born in California.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

BACON update

By popular demand*, I've added a page of season BACON stats for every eligible major league player. You can find it here. It's sortable, and includes BACON x HBP; and BACON x H, which I didn't write about, but looks intriguing. It will be updated on an ongoing basis whenever the interactive bruise board gets updated (which is usually daily).


*- popular demand in this case means one commenter asked for it, and nobody demanded that I NOT do it.

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107 for Tejada, 105 for Rowand

HBPS of note: August 28, 2009

Miguel Tejada got plunked by Max Scherzer last night, giving Tejada a career total of 107 plunks. That puts him in a tie for 55th place on the all time list with Pete Rose, Melvin Mora and Wally Schang. It's often been said that any time you meet Wally Schang on an all-time baseball stat list, you must be accomplishing something good.

Aaron Rowand also got plunked yesterday, for the 105th time in his career. That was his 2nd plunking this season delivered by Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jiminez. Rowand is now tied for 2nd place on the AT&T park plunk list with JT Snow. They've both been hit 15 times at the Giants home park, but they're both 12 HBPs behind Barry Bonds for the park record (which of course should have an asterisk because Bonds wouldn't have gotten hit 27 times their without the benefit of BALCO brand performance enhancing drugs).

Matt Weiters and Randy Ruiz both got hit for the first time in their major league careers, while Luis Cruz was the lucky recipient of the 300th HBP recorded by a player born in 1984.

The Marlins did not get plunked yesterday, which means they're still stuck on 998 plunks in team history.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Fouls per swing

Did you know that 47.8% of Todd Helton's swings result in foul balls? He's the most efficient foul ball producing batter in the league with over 200 plate appearances, in terms of fouls per swing.

Here are the ten best batters in the league at creating foul balls on a per-swing basis. (Minimum 200 plate appearances)
BatterFoulsSwings*Fouls per swing
Todd Helton4429240.478
Brian Roberts4639830.471
Kevin Millar1934130.467
Willie Bloomquist3186940.458
Josh Bard1854060.456
Nick Punto2405290.454
Jerry HairstonJr.3207070.453
Kevin Youkilis3537820.451
Dioner Navarro2906470.448
Denard Span3638160.445
*- this swing count includes missed bunt attempts, and foul bunts

Here are the bottom ten in the same category:
BatterFoulsSwings*Fouls per swing
Ty Wigginton1705580.305
Nelson Cruz2297460.307
Cristian Guzman2267280.310
Pedro Feliz2377580.313
Bobby Abreu2347220.324
Adam Rosales1213690.328
Garret Anderson2216710.329
J.J. Hardy2096340.330
Vernon Wells2818490.331
Jody Gerut1063180.333


Being at the bottom of the fouls per swing category doesn't necessarily mean that these guys are good at hitting the ball straight - a couple of them just swing and miss a lot.

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Quentin gets 12th of '09

HBPs of note: August 27, 2009

Carlos Quentin got hit by a Junichi Tazawa pitch yesterday, bringing his season total to 12, and hit career total to 51. And since there were only 3 other plunks yesterday, it didn't get more notable than that. Kurt Suzuki got plunked for the 20th time in his career, and Ryan Theriot recorded the 990th plunk by a batter born in Louisiana. J.D. Martin became just the 2nd pitcher this year to hit two batters in the first inning of a game.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kendall gets 243 AND 244 - Kouzmanoff ties Padres record

HBPs of note: August 26, 2009

Jason Kendall got hit by a pitch in the 4th inning last night, by Reds pitcher Kip Wells, bringing his career total to 243, tying him with Ron Hunt for 5th on the all time list. But, that tie only lasted about 45 minutes before Kendall got hit again in the 6th, moving him into sole possession of 5th place, with a total of 244. Jared Burton threw that one, as well as Kendall's 230th plunk on September 9th of last year. That was the 12th 2-plunk game of Kendall's career, and the 2nd time he's been hit twice in a game by the Reds. The Reds are lead all teams in the field of plunking Jason Kendall with a total of 26 now, including 6 on Wednesday. The Reds have plunked Jason Kendall at least twice on every day of the week. Kendall has been hit more than the entire 2009 roster of 3 major league teams, although the Rays are up to 245 since I last noted this.

Not to be overshadowed though, Kevin Kouzmanoff got plunked for the 35th time in his career, tying the Padres career record. He joins Gene Tenace as the only two players who have been hit by 35 pitches in a Padres uniform. While it's true that that's only 4 more plunks than Jason Kendall has had on Wednesdays alone, it's still the record for the Padres. Kouzmanoff has only played 3 seasons though, so he's got plenty of time to extend the record, and maybe move the Padres out of last place in terms of franchise career records.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hanley Ramirez records 1000th plunk in Land Shark Stadium history

HBPs of note: August 25th, 2009

In the 4th inning of last nights game between the Mets and Marlins at Land Shark Stadium, Hanley Ramirez got hit by a pitch. That plunk was the 1000th in park history for Land Shark Stadium, formerly known as Dolphin Stadium, formerly known as Pro Player Stadium, and possibly some other things. 502 of those plunks have been delivered to Marlins batters by visiting pitchers, and 498 have been pitches thrown by the Marlins that struck their guests at the ballpark - which is remarkably even over the course of 17 seasons. Mets pitcher Nelson Figueroa was responsible for throwing the 1000th plunk at Land Shark Stadium, and while it was only his 2nd at that park it was also the 20th of his career, and the 4800th know plunk in major league history thrown by a pitcher born in the state of New York. It was Hanley Ramirez's 17th at his home ballpark, and but he's still 15 behind the park record holder Alex Gonzalez.

Meanwhile, Carlos Zambrano threw the 80th plunk of his career, which has been spent entirely with the Chicago Cubs. That leaves him 8 hit batters behind Kerry Wood for the Cubs record, although he's currently in 3rd place behind Ed Reulbach.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More BACON - with plunks

Some number of years ago, baseball stats people decided that they liked On-Base Percentage and they liked Slugging Percentage, and that they'd like them even better if they just added the two of them together. And that's why we have something called OPS now which is the sum of two averages, those being the average total bases per at-bat, and the average times a batter didn't make an out per times he was trying not to make an out. (Sacrifice bunts aren't included in the On-Base Percentage calculation because presumably the batter wasn't trying to not make an out).

So I figure if I can accomplish a similar goal (confusing matters) by combining the all-important HBP stat, and the recently-made-up batting consistency stat named BACON. But, since one is a counting stat and the other is a percentage, we can't really just add them, so we'll be multiplying them together. Because... well, why not. This will give us a relative measure of which players are both good at getting hit by pitches, and good at being consistent batters. Of course the hard part is coming up with a good name, and I'm not sure I really want to call it "BACON & Beans". Lets just call that a work in progress.

Here are the top players in 2009 BACON times plunks:
PlayerHBPBACONHBP x BACON
Chase Utley (Phillies) 180.71612.89
Kelly Shoppach (Indians) 180.5399.70
Ryan Garko (Giants) 130.7419.63
Brandon Inge (Tigers) 140.6629.27
Shin-Soo Choo (Indians) 130.7099.22
Kevin Youkilis (Red Sox) 120.7288.74
Josh Willingham (Nationals) 120.6888.26
Ryan Braun (Brewers) 100.7657.65
Miguel Tejada (Astros) 100.7357.35
Marlon Byrd (Rangers) 90.7857.07
Andre Ethier (Dodgers) 100.7007.00
Jason Kendall (Brewers) 110.6326.95
Mark Teixeira (Yankees) 90.7616.85
Carlos Quentin (White Sox) 110.6086.69
Nyjer Morgan (Nationals) 90.7196.47
Paul Konerko (White Sox) 90.7026.32
Russell Branyan (Mariners) 90.6876.18
Clint Barmes (Rockies) 100.6086.08
Aaron Rowand (Giants) 90.6746.07
Yunel Escobar (Braves) 80.7576.06
Matt Holliday (Cardinals) 80.7516.01
Placido Polanco (Tigers) 80.7495.99
Hanley Ramirez (Marlins) 70.8365.85
Carlos Pena (Rays) 90.6495.84
Juan Pierre (Dodgers) 80.7295.83
Nick Johnson (Marlins) 80.7245.79
Prince Fielder (Brewers) 80.7225.78
David Eckstein (Padres) 80.7145.71
Kevin Kouzmanoff (Padres) 90.6335.70
Alex Rodriguez (Yankees) 80.7025.62

As you can see, this looks a lot like the list of league leaders in HBPs with just a few variations, but that's okay. After all, we need to keep focused on what's important here. Chase Utley has a pretty commanding lead in this category, with Kelly Shoppach in danger of drifting into third place even though he's tied with Utley in HBPs. He has a little more trouble when he actually has to use his bat.

Shoppach is the only one on the list with a really bad score on the BACON (sub .600), and that could have something to do with a general connection between HBPs and BACON (for people not named Kelly Shoppach). BACON measures the ratio between a players total batting average, and his batting average excluding games in which he has no hits. And, 58.4% of HBPs occur in games in which the batter who is plunked also has at least one hit. So, batters with high BACON will have more games in which they have at least one hit, and therefor more games in which they're likely to get hit by a pitch. Either that or batters who have been hit by a lot of pitches have faced a good variety of pitchers who aren't very good, which gives them a chance to drive up their batting average along with their BACON. Or, none of this really makes any sense and just looks like it does because it has a nice chart with a list of numbers. If I threw in a pie chart it would be totally and completely clear, but the mixture of BACON and pie sounds dangerous.

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Griffey reaches 81

HBPs of note: August 24, 2009

Ken Griffey Jr. got hit by a pitch in the Mariners game yesterday, thrown by A's pitcher Vin Mazzaro. That was Griffey's 81st career plunk and his first since August 7th last year. That was the only HBP recorded this season by someone who made his Major League debut in 1989 - although the only other player who debuted in 1989 who has batted this year is Omar Vizquel. However, Gary Sheffield and Jamie Moyer both joined the league before 1989 and have been plunked this year.

Paul Konerko got hit by the 75th plunk of his career yesterday, and it was also the 20th plunk this season by a player born in Rhode Island. He got hit by Daniel Bard who had hit only one other batter this year. Konerko's plunk was clocked at 98.2 MPH by MLB's gameday pitch f/x computers, which makes it the second fastest plunk of this season. The fastest was Bard's other plunk, when he hit Raul Ibanez at 99.1 MPH. Actually though, those pitches slow down between when they leave the pitchers hand and when they hit the batter so Konerko's 75th career plunk had decelerated to 88.4 MPH by the time it hit him - which does not rank in top.

Kevin Youkilis collected his 12th plunk of the season, and the 54th of his career. That ties him with Harry Hooper for 8th place on the career list for the Red Sox. That was the 2nd of his career thrown by Jose Contreras.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Facts about Mondays

Here are the active leaders in being hit by pitches on Mondays. Because you need to know these things:
Carlos Delgado - 23
Jason Kendall - 23
Jason Giambi - 22
Jose Guillen - 17
Jorge Posada - 16
Reed Johnson - 16
Derek Jeter - 15
Chase Utley - 14
A.J. Pierzynski - 12
Brad Ausmus - 12
Gary Sheffield - 12
Mark Loretta - 11
Vladimir Guerrero - 11
Cliff Floyd - 11
Aaron Rowand - 11
Manny Ramirez - 10
Jason LaRue - 10
Kevin Millar - 9
Alex Rodriguez - 9
Scott Rolen - 9
Derrek Lee - 9
Todd Helton - 9
David Eckstein - 9
Jimmy Rollins - 9


And, here are the active leader in Monday plunks as a percentage of their total career HBPs (minimum 10 career HBPs):
PlayerMonday HBPsTotal HBPPct
Ryan Zimmerman41040.0%
Willy Aybar41136.4%
Delmon Young51533.3%
Kevin Frandsen41233.3%
Jimmy Rollins93228.1%
Melky Cabrera31127.3%
Chad Moeller41526.7%
Augie Ojeda52025.0%
Luke Scott31225.0%
Jorge Posada166524.6%

A Sunday of pacifism

HBPs of note: August 23, 2009

There was a full slate of 15 major league games yesterday, but only three batters got hit by pitches. There hasn't been a Sunday with a full day of baseball scheduled and that few plunks since July 15, 2007.

Josh Willingham got hit by Carlos Villanueva in Washington, marking Willingham's 55th career HBP and his 12th of the season. At Coors Field, Chris Iannetta got hit by Tim Lincecum and Clint Barmes was plunked by Sergio Romo. For Barmes, that was the 30th of his career, and his 20th at Coors field. It was also the 888th plunk in Coors Field History. Tim Lincecum has only thrown 12 plunks in his career, but that was the 2nd time he hit Iannetta. He's also hit Kevin Kouzmanoff twice, so he's only hit 10 batters with his first 12 plunks.

The Florida Marlins are still stuck on 997 plunks in franchise history.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Shoppach ties Utley with 2 HBP game

HBPs of note: August 22, 2009

Kelly Shoppach jumped back into a tie with Chase Utley in the 2009 plunk race, being hit twice yesterday for a season total of 18. Those were the 30th and 31st of his career.

Carlos Quentin got hit by a David Hernandez pitch yesterday, which was Quentin's 50th career plunk. Happy 50th plunk Carlos Quentin! It was also his 12th of the season, which mean's he's in striking distance of the league lead if he can pull off what he did last year when he got hit in 6 consecutive games. David Hernandez is a rookie and had never hit a batter before, but he became the 446th pitcher to hit a batter this season. That's five more than the previous mark for the greatest number of pitchers with at least one hit batter as of August 22 in any season in baseball history. In 2007, 489 pitchers hit a batter which is the full season record, and should be in reach once the rosters expand in September - assuming there's actually anyone left in the minor leagues who hasn't already been called up to pitch. Check your voice mail, they might call you any day now. But, even though this year might be a record total for pitchers who hit at least one batter, the total plunks for the season is likely to be the lowest number this decade. So, it's a case of more people being hired to do less.

Evan Longoria got hit by a pitch in the 10th inning of the Rays-Rangers game yesterday, and that put him on base to score the winning run. That's always nice.

David DeJesus also got plunked yesterday, and it was his 40th career plunk at Kauffman Stadium. He's 4 shy of the Kauffman Stadium record, currently held by Mike Macfarlane at 44. Macfarlane also holds the Royals career record at 78, but DeJesus is only 12 away from that with 66.

Other things that happened yesterday include Ted Lilly throwing his 45th career plunk, and Jason Grilli threw the 20th he's ever thrown in the majors.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tatis 4 plunks away from Mets season record

HBPs of note: August 21, 2009

Fernando Tatis got his 9th plunk of the season yesterday for the Mets, bringing his season total to 9. The Mets singles season record is just 13 plunks, but Tatis needs to pick up the pace a little bit to get their. He's on pace for 12 this season. Ron Hunt and John Olerud have both been hit 13 times in a season for the Mets, and that total is the lamest single season plunk record of any team in the league. That was also the 59th plunk of Tatis's career, which ties him with Sammy Sosa for 11th place among Dominican born players.

Casey Blake got the has 60th career HBP, Sergio Mitre threw his 25th and Cole Hamels threw his 9th and 10th.

Mike Pelfrey got hit by a pitch and hit a batter in the same game, for the first time in his career. He's the third pitcher to do that this season, although Kyle Lohse managed to do it twice. Dwight Gooden (1990) and Pedro Astacio (1998) are the only other players in the Jamie Moyer era (since 1986) who have hit a batter and been hit themselves in two different games in the same season.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Do foul balls increase your chances of being plunked?

So what do foul balls have to do with HBPs anyway? Probably no much. But it would be understandable if a batter who fouled off a lot of pitches during a plate appearance frustrated the pitcher enough to get him to throw one that can't be easily fouled off, just to keep the game moving. Just hit the guy and move on.

Well, it appears that pitchers show a little more patience than that. So far this season, batters have been plunked at a rate of once per 116.1 plate appearances, but when they foul off at least one pitch that rate drops to 1 plunk per 131.5 plate appearances. Plunk rates decline with each additional foul ball hit during the plate appearance - after 3 foul balls, batters have been hit once per 172.1 plate appearances, and the 879 batters who have hit 5 or more fouls in a plate appearance have only been hit once. None of the 105 batters who have hit 7 or more fouls in a single plate appearance have been plunked.

62.4% of HBPs this year have occured in plate appearances in which the batter didn't hit any foul balls, but only 57.4% of all plate appearances have been ones with no balls hit foul.

Okay, so it doesn't appear that fouling off a lot of pitches irritates pitchers enough to just hit the batter to get rid of him, but what about the next time the batter comes up? Well, there is a slight increase in HBP rates for batters who fouled off 3 or more pitches in their previous plate appearance. Players who have batted once before in the game already, and didn't hit any foul balls in their prior plate appearance have been plunked once every 109.4 plate appearance, but batters who fouled off 3 or more pitches have been hit about 1.4% more often - about once every 107.9 plate appearances. Fouling off a truely annoying number of pitches like 5 or more doesn't seem to encourage anyone to hit a batter more often the next time they come to the plate either. (These numbers include cases where the batters faced a different pitcher, because I figure the catcher would have a part in the decision too... if we limit it just to instances where the pitcher is the same, the batter is actually less likely to be plunked if he hit some foul balls in his previous trip to the plate.)

So in summary, it appears that hitting foul balls does not increase a batter's likelyhood of being hit by a pitch - at least not base on this season's data. But, at least now you know this.

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A few plunks on a Thursday

HBPs of note: August 20, 2009

Only 5 batters were hit by pitches yesterday, which is below average even for a Thursday. Thursdays have averaged 6.95 plunks per day this season, which is the lowest average of any day of the week this season. Mondays have had 4 fewer plunks overall, but one less day of games due to the All Star break.

Two of yesterdays plunks were thrown in San Diego, where Tim Stauffer plunk Matt Holiday and Yadier Molina in the 2nd inning. Holiday's plunk brought his career total to 54, which ties him with Alvin Dark for 4th place on the all time HBP list for batter born in Oklahoma. He's 36 plunks away from tying the Oklahoma record, which is 90 by Joe Carter. Molina's plunk was the 1200th Major League HBP of the season. It also loaded the bases for Brendan Ryan who hit his first career grand slam, and the only grand slam this year to occur with two runner on base who reached on a plunk.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Marlins approach millennium plunk

Sometime around 1990, Major League Baseball decided that 26 teams weren't enough. They figured that by expanding the league to 28, and later 30 teams, they could really increase the number of players who get hit by pitches with the increased number of games and the dilution of the talent pool. And that decision led to the creation of the Florida Marlins and the Colorado Rockies, who began play in 1993. The Rockies won the race to be the first 90s expansion team to plunk 1000 batters, crossing that milestone on September 5th of last season, but the Marlins are just 3 plunks away from crossing the much more important milestone of being hit by 1000 pitches.

It's a coming of age moment for a team - a sign that you're no longer the new young franchise. 1000 batters have "taken one for the team" - for your team. The Marlins have had a strange short history - they've won the World Series twice, but they're also the only team to lose 840 games in a 10 years span that included two World Series wins. But soon they'll have been plunked 1000 times and maybe the team can put it's troubled and erratic childhood behind it - and get to work on its 2nd plunk millennium. In metric units of HBPs, they'll have reached 1 kiloplunk. In standard units, it's about 3.51 Biggios. But it's an important moment, and calls for celebration - a plunkmitzfah perhaps. It's a point when a team has truely earned the right to call itself a Major League franchise, through the ultimate test of grit and bruising.

The last time a team crossed the 1000 plunk milestone was September 12, 2002 when Padres right fielder Gene Kingsale was hit by a pitch in the 7th inning. It took the Padres most of 34 seasons to reach 1000 plunks, but the Marlins will do it in under half that time if unless they put in an amazing display of pitch avoidance for the rest of this year. Earlier that same year, the Mariners beat the Padres to the 1000 plunk mark, despite giving them an 8 season head start. Mike Cameron collected the 1000th plunk in Mariners history on May 30, 2002. But, the Mariners were a little slower to 1000 plunks than their 1977 expansion twin, the Toronto Blue Jays. Jays catcher Darrin Fletcher got their 1000th plunk in team history on April 17, 2000.

One year and 2 days before the Blue Jays 1000th HBP, Fernando Vina got plunked for the Milwaukee Brewers to give them their 1000th on April 15, 1999 - 30 years and one week after playing their first game (as the Seattle Pilots). The Brewers, along with the Padres, Expos and Royals all joined the league in 1969, but the Expos were the first of that group to get hit by 1000 pitches - with a large contribution from Ron Hunt in the early 70s. The Expos 1000th plunk landed on Henry Rodriguez on September 23, 1996. The Royals got plunk 1000 on July 1, 1998 by Jeff Conine.

It should surprise no one to hear that the 1000th plunk in Houston Astros franchise history was recorded by Craig Biggio. He got that one on July 27, 1994, but he wouldn't have been an obvious guess at the time. That was only his 34th career plunking, and his best season up to that point was 1993 with 10 HBPs. Perhaps that milestone plunking is what encouraged him to get hit 251 more times and become the face of the Astros franchise. However, if he'd mastered the art of the plunk, maybe he could have helped the Astros beat the Mets to the 1000 plunk mark. They both joined the league in 1962, but the Mets reached 1000 plunks just under 3 months before the Astros. Todd Hundley got Mets plunk 1000 on May 1, 1994.

The 1961 expansion teams didn't have nearly as close a race to 1000 plunks. The Angels got plunked for the 1000th time on May 5th, 1989, but the Rangers didn't get their until April 17, 1993. For the Angels, it was Brian Downing who crossed the milestone, and for the Rangers it was Juan Gonzalez.

Before the Angels, there was a long drought in the 1000th plunk celebration industry. Their hadn't been a 1000th plunk to celebrate since Bing Miller got hit on September 9, 1926 for the St. Louis Browns - they've since become known as the Baltimore Orioles. There was a different Baltimore Orioles franchise which played in the National League prior to 1899, and they got hit by over 1000 pitches, but they didn't write them down well enough to know who got their 1000th plunk. If you had to guess though, they safest bet would be Hughie Jennings, since he had 46 of the teams 115 plunks in 1897, which was the year they broke 1000.

On September 13, 1925, Ty Cobb became the only player to record a team's 1000th plunk and also have over 4000 career hits (though he only had around 3800 at the time). He collected the 1000th plunk in Tigers franchise history, which no doubt won him favor with his manager - Ty Cobb. Cobb's previous manager, Hughie Jennings probably liked it too.

The 1000th plunk in Philadelphia Athletics history, long before they moved to Oakland, was recorded by Frank Welch on August 7, 1924. The Indians got their 1000th plunk on September 23, 1923, but it could have been either Frank Brower of Joe Sewell. The Red Sox thousandth plunk hit Chick Fewster on April 18, 1923 (thrown by the Yankees, of course). The White Sox had their 1000th collected by Johnny Mostil on April 27, 1922, and the Twins, who were the Senators at the time, had their 1000th recorded on May 1, 1921, by either Sam Rice or Clyde Milan. But it was the Yankees who were the first American League team to reach the 1000 plunk mark - doing so on August 12, 1920 on a pitch that hit Fred Hoffman. It's sad to note that all of the original 8 American League franchises recorded their 1000th plunk during Prohibition, so none of them could celebrate properly and legally.

The 8 National League teams that still play today, and were there for the AL merger in 1901 all recorded their 1000th plunk in seasons to early for me to track down their who recorded them, based on the fine work of the folks who make Retrosheet.org possible. The Cubs crossed the 1000 plunk mark sometime in 1909, the Braves in 1907, the Giants in 1906 and the Phillies and Reds did it in 1904. The Dodgers had been hit 1000 times by 1903, the Pirates in 1902, and the Cardinals in 1901. The old NL Orioles, as mentioned above, got to 1000 plunks in 1897. Of course those teams all played before HBPs were officially recorded, but we're just going with what HAS been recorded.

But, you have to go back to those 19th century Orioles teams to find a team that got hit by their first 1000 pitches faster than the Marlins have. Hopefully it's just a coincidence that they folded that Orioles franchise. It'll probably be another 2 or 3 years before the Rockies join them in the 1000 plunk club.

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Wes Helms passes Enos Slaughter

HBPs of note: August 19, 2009

Wes Helms got hit by a 9th inning pitch from Jose Valverde yesterday, which brought his career total to 38. That moves him ahead of Enos Slaughter on the all time list for HBPs by batters born in North Carolina. Ray Durham holds the North Carolina record with 72.

The other important note about that plunk is that it was the 997th plunk in Marlins history, moving them closer to the historic 1000th plunk milestone.

Kevin Youkilis got plunked for the 53rd time in his career, but didn't need a hug this time. He's still 25 plunks short of the all time lead among guys named Kevin - Kevin Millar has 78. Albert Pujols got hit by a pitch for the 67th time in his career - he's the all time leader among players whose last name starts with P and has a J in it.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Utley improves season total to 18

HBPs of Note: August 18, 2009

Chase Utley was one of seven batters plunked in yesterday's baseball action, but he was the only one who was plunked for the 18th time this season. He leads the league, and is now 2 plunks ahead of Kelly Shoppach. That was also his 101st career plunk.

Alex Rodriguez was plunked for the 149th time in his career, and Jason Larue got plunk number 106 of his career.

Of the 7 pitchers who threw a plunk yesterday, 5 of them had a first name that was 3 letters long - Jon Garland, Vin Mazzaro, Jay Marshall, Gil Meche and Bud Norris. Here are some facts about Bud Norris: He's the 12th Bud to hit a batter in major league history, and the first since 2002. He's also just the 2nd Norris to hit a batter.

Cody Ross got hit by a pitch for the Marlins, marking the 995th plunk in team history.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

BACON

Hey, let's make up a stat. Everyone's doing it.

Usually, I advocate a simple approach to following baseball. There are a lot of elaborately constructed stats kicking around the internet these days, but usually the only one you REALLY need is the HBP. You either get plunked a lot or you don't, and no amount of VORPing or WARing or Runs Created or OPSing or anything else can make up for it if you don't get hit by any pitches. But I understand the point behind them, when baseball stat fans seem to love trying to roll offense, defense and baserunning into one big stat to compare everyone ever, and account for the context of their park and the season they played in. But they're all a lot of work and difficult to explain, and usually flawed in the first place because they almost always rely on stats grouped by seasons. But anyway, despite my usual focus on getting hit by pitches I accept that most batters are trying to actually hit the ball when they go up to the plate, and it's important to measure how well they've done that over the course of the season. And it's not completely unreasonable, usually, to use those past results to build an expectation of how well they'll hit the ball for the rest of the season.

So, the easiest way to measure a batter's skill at batting is the batting average. It's worked pretty well for over 100 years, but being an average, there is a flaw. A batter's average hits per at-bat is the the same whether he went 4-4 in one game and 0-4 in the next 3, or if he went 1-4 in four straight games. They're both batting .250, but I'd rather have the guy who's consistent, and contributed to his team's offense in 4 games rather than 1. The problem with a season long average, as well as every other season based stat, is that we've all witnessed guys who have hot and cold streaks within the year, and since batters are humans rather than box scores (except Arod who was named after his own box score contraction in the 90s), we can guess that some days they feel better than others, and sometimes they have good games and bad ones. Everybody has bad days sometimes, but the question is how often, and how bad.

What I want is a measure of BAtting CONsistency - which I can't resist calling BACON. Because it has a nice ring to it. And it's fun to talk about bacon.

Here's how it works: You take a players batting average and divide it by the players batting average in games in which they have at least 1 hit. Put another way, if you assume there are days when a batter can hit, and days when he can't hit, we're dividing his season average by the his batting average on the days when he can hit. Essentially that gives us a measure of how often a player has "off days" where he can't hit anything, and it effectively weights those bad days by how bad they are. An 0-5 day drags down a players BACON more than an 0-1, that could just be a tough pinch hit appearance or a day when he's being pitched around with lots of walks or HBPs.

For an example, let's look at Joe Mauer. He's played 93 games this season, and he's had at least one hit in 74 of those games, while putting up an 0-fer in 19. Overall he's batting .380 for the season, but if you exclude those 19 games where he can't hit the ball, he's a batting .471. So we divide the two and his BACON = .807. So he's pretty consistent - you could say he's a .471 batter 79.6% of the time, and a guy who can't hit the other 20.4% of the time. But using BACON factors in the fact that those 19 no-hit games included 69 at-bats.

Now compare Mauer to Ichiro. Ichiro is batting .360 in 110 games and he's only had 11 games in which he didn't have a hit. His batting average in the 99 games he contributed a hit to is .392 so his BACON = .918. We already knew he was an amazing hitter, but Ichiro is also the most consistent batter in the league this year, and the only one with over 100 At-bats who is BACONing over .900. So comparing the two, based on the batting average, Mauer is slightly more likely to get a hit in a given at-bat, but I think we can say Ichiro is more likely to get a hit in a given game, and has contributed with his bat to a higher percentage of the games he's played.

Okay, we probably didn't need another stat to tell us Mauer and Ichiro are good at hitting. But lets look at another case - Julio Lugo. When Lugo was with Boston this year, he batted a respectable looking .284. However, I think if you polled a group of Red Sox fans, even allowing for the mass-hysteria that usually fills that group, they'd all indicate that Lugo didn't seem to contribute on the level a .284 average would suggest. In short, he was inconsistent - his game log is littered with 0-4 games with the occasional 5-6, and thus his BACON as of the date of his trade to the Cardinals was just .513. That was 11th worst in the league, making him one of the most inconsistent batters from game to game despite his decent looking .284 average. These guys with the low BACON are going to be the ones that drive you a little crazy as a fan, teasing you with occasional big games between extended cold streaks. After the trade Lugo had a hot streak and his average is up to .309 now, but his BACON is just .640 - the lowest among players batting over .300.

As a basic rule of thumb, if a player has a BACON under .650, he's not going to be what you'd call consistent or reliable. He's probably going to be noticeably streaky. Of course, your results may vary.

Here are the top 20 players this year in bringing home the BACON (100 AB minimum):

BatterTotal GamesGames with
0 hits
Batting AverageBACON
Ichiro Suzuki (SEA)110110.3600.918
Carlos Beltran (NYM)6270.3360.892
Torii Hunter (LAA)77150.3060.835
Hanley Ramirez (FLA)110230.3540.834
Derek Jeter (NYY)113230.3270.832
Scott Rolen (CIN)91190.3130.813
Felipe Lopez (MIL)111260.3130.810
Joe Mauer (MIN)93190.3800.807
Aaron Hill (TOR)115250.2880.802
Jason Bartlett (TB)96240.3420.801
Tony Gwynn (SD)78220.2780.795
Joey Votto (CIN)87250.3180.794
Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS)110270.2950.794
Carl Crawford (TB)115280.3190.793
Ryan Zimmerman (WSH)114240.3020.792
Albert Pujols (STL)118300.3250.791
Nick Markakis (BAL)118280.3050.791
Michael Young (TEX)114250.3190.79
Alberto Callaspo (KC)113260.2970.784
Marlon Byrd (TEX)107270.2820.782


Here are the bottom 20 - none of them are really tricking anyone into thinking they're doing much good at the plate, with the possible exception of Jeremy Reed:
BatterTotal GamesGames with
0 hits
Batting AverageBACON
Chris Young (ARI)102570.190.517
Edgar Gonzalez (SD)63420.190.516
Ramon Castro (CWS)43240.2340.516
Emmanuel Burriss (SF)59310.2380.515
Tyler Greene (STL)36190.2190.514
Alex Gonzalez (BOS)70350.2070.514
Ronny Cedeno (PIT)72370.1960.51
Nick Punto (MIN)85440.210.51
Taylor Teagarden (TEX)38200.1980.508
Jason Giambi (OAK)83440.1930.506
Jordan Schafer (ATL)50260.2040.503
Brian Anderson (BOS)63360.2360.497
Rich Aurilia (SF)49310.220.495
Ramon Vazquez (PIT)72430.250.493
Greg Dobbs (PHI)77530.2540.485
Brian Barden (STL)47300.2330.476
Jeremy Reed (NYM)72460.260.463
Jason Michaels (HOU)69480.2240.458
Mark Loretta (LAD)84590.2280.448
Darin Erstad (HOU)73530.2150.439


Just for fun, here are the bottom 5 in BACON among batters with an average over .300:
BatterTotal GamesGames with
0 hits
Batting AverageBACON
Jason Kubel (MIN)103350.3120.712
Manny Ramirez (LAD)66220.310.707
Omar Vizquel (TEX)38140.3010.707
Delwyn Young (PIT)87400.3090.687
Julio Lugo (STL)56250.3090.64


Manny Ramirez has always been somewhat streaky, but for him it's a difference between being really good most of the time to other-worldly during the streaks. Then again, the cynical among you might make a point about steroid cycles here.


Here are the top 10 in BACON among batters under .250 - which should tell you they're not having great years, but at least they're being consistent about it. Think of them as the slow and steady types.
BatterTotal GamesGames with
0 hits
Batting AverageBACON
Alfonso Soriano (CHC)107300.2430.733
Joe Crede (MIN)84300.2310.721
Jimmy Rollins (PHI)110340.2430.699
Grady Sizemore (CLE)91300.2420.691
Hank Blalock (TEX)99350.2390.69
B.J. Upton (TB)107370.2360.682
Nick Swisher (NYY)109410.2420.682
Kazuo Matsui (HOU)90320.2430.677
Brandon Inge (DET)115430.2470.676
Ian Kinsler (TEX)99340.2490.674


In summary, BACON is a tool for measuring the day-to-day consistency of a batter. It rewards those who contribute at least one hit in each game they play, and punishes 0-for-6 performances more harshly than 0-for-1 games. A batter with a season long hit streak would have a perfect BACON of 1.000.

Thoughts? Criticisms? Suggestions for ways I can explain this better? Let me know.

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Carlos Quentin reaches double digits

HBPs of note: August 17, 2009

Carlos Quentin got his 10th plunk of the season yesterday, making this his third consecutive double digit season in HBPs. He's up to 49 HBPs for his career.

Four batters were plunked in the Diamondbacks-Braves game at Turner Field yesterday. That ties the park record for most plunks in a game at Turner Field, and was the 6th four-plunk game in park history.

Minnesota's Bob Keppel hit Ian Kinsler with a pitch, which was the 700th plunk thrown by a pitcher born in 1982.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Figgins and Anderson plunked, Monkeys type Othello

HBPs of note: August 16, 2009

Prior to yesterday, Chone Figgins had been through 512 plate appearances without getting hit by a pitch, leading the league in that category. He'd only been hit 5 times in his 3,863 plate appearances for the 2nd lowest career plunk rate in the Majors. The only player who's been plunked less often in his career is Garrett Anderson. Anderson, before yesterday, had been hit 6 times in 8,843 plate appearances. He was the only player in major league history with over 8000 plate appearances but 6 plunks or less. So, a guy with a career plunk rate of one every 773 plate appearances, and another guy with a career rate of one plunk every 1,474 plate appearances both got hit by a pitch yesterday. In related news, 2 monkeys typing randomly at computer keyboards both typed Shakespeare's Othello, though heavy intervention by a spell check program is suspected. And, two congressman had a truthful and rational discussion on healthcare at the same time - though not with each other.

Just to add to the improbability, Figgins got hit in the 12th inning, in his 7th plate appearance of the day, facing Brian Bass. He also got his 1000th career hit in that game.

In Milwaukee, Felipe Lopez got plunked for the Brewers in the 5th inning against the Astros, marking the 500th HBP in Miller Park History. In the 6th inning of that same game, Carlos Lee got his 40th career plunk which coincidentally was the 40th plunk ever thrown by Braden Looper.

Adam Dunn got hit twice at Great American Ballpark, bringing his career total there to 25. He's the 2nd most plunked player at that park, behind Jason Larue, but these were Dunn's first two plunks as a visitor in Cincinnati. His first one of the day was his 60th career plunk. His 2nd one left him tied with Lance Berkman as the 8th most plunked player born in Texas, but they're both 206 plunks behind Don Baylor for the record among native Texans.


And Jamey Wright threw his 134th career plunk, which is a lot.





felipe lopez 500th miller park plunk.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Kendall moves with in 1 plunk of 5th place

HBPs of note: August 15, 2009

Jason Kendall was one of 12 batters hit by a pitch yesterday, but he was the only one who moved within 1 plunk of 5th place on the all time HBP list. Kendall's plunk, thrown by Brian Moehler of the Astros, was the 242nd of his career. He need one more to tie Ron Hunt on the all time HBP list. Moehler became the 191st pitcher to plunk Kendall, but just the 2nd born in North Carolina. And, the Astros have now plunked Kendall 20 times, becoming just the 2nd team to reach that mark - the Reds have hit him 24 times. Kendall has been plunked by pitchers born in 35 US states or territories and 10 foreign countries, and that was his 3rd plunk on August 15th. That was also the 499th plunk ever recorded at Miller Park.

David Wright and Ian Kinsler both got plunked in the head yesterday in moments that remind everyone why helmets are good, and why there are some pitches that you should get out of the way of. The Gameday Pitch f/x data listed those pitches as moving at 85, and 84.8 mph when they reached the batter. Wright appears to be okay after being taken to the hospital, but Kinsler stayed in the game.

5 of the 12 batters plunked yesterday were born in 1983.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

More batters plunked

HBPs of note: August 14, 2009

Nine batters were hit by pitches yesterday but there wasn't a lot to make any of them very notable. Jason Bay was hit for the 45th time in his career, while Roy Halladay and Jose Contreras both threw career plunk number 55. Grady Sizemore got plunked by Scott Baker, making that the 2nd time in his career he's been hit on August 14th - but he's still behind Miguel Tejada (who did not get plunked yesterday) for the active lead in August 14th plunks. That was also the 2nd time Sizemore has been plunked by Baker, giving Sizemore the all time lead in getting hit by Scott Baker. Mark Reynolds got hit by Ronald Belisario for the 2nd time this season, and the 2nd consecutive time they've faced each other. And, Sam Fuld got hit for the first time in his career, making him the 18th batter born in New Hampshire ever to get hit by a major league pitch. He's 84 plunks behind Arlie Latham for the state record, although Latham played a couple of seasons before HBPs were recorded. Latham was known as "The Freshest Man on Earth", and also "The Dude" - but he was born in 1860, long before either Will Smith or Jeffrey Lebowski.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Unnecessary running

It's a fairly common cliche in baseball that a 162 game season is "a marathon, not a sprint". The point being that it's a long season and teams have to pace themselves to play the full schedule and be at their best all season long. It's inevitable that players will tire as the season goes on. This is one of the reasons people got obsessed with pitch counts sometime during the 90s, and teams seem to have experimented with give certain pitchers "vacation" DL stints in mid-july to keep them fresh for September and if they're lucky, October. Meanwhile, batters have adapted by seeming taking more pitches, being more patient at the plate at trying to wear down pitchers. And team GM's have countered that by rotating an increasing number of arms through major league rosters to throw more pitches without wearing out key pitchers. 615 different players have pitched this season, so MLB is well on it's way toward breaking it's 2007 record of 666 pitchers used. The Angels might be the first team ever to have more players pitch for them than bat for them in a season. This just leads to batters trying even harder to take more pitches and wear down pitchers, and one of the main ways to do that is by hitting a lot of foul balls.

There are a couple of side effects though - lots of study has been done about pitchers wearing down based on the number of pitches they throw, but you don't hear about how many times a batter can swing a bat before they start having trouble in a game, or in a season (though I've looked into this and hope to write about it as some point). And, all that base running can really get to people too - and not just Chien-Ming Wang. And the problem with batters hitting a lot of foul balls is that a lot of times there are guys on base, running with the pitch, expecting the batter to hit the ball someplace useful who have to go all the way back to their base when the ball goes foul. That has to get tiring after a while. For example, on July 21st Mike Napoli fouled off 5 consecutive pitches in an 11 pitch at-bat while Kendry Morales was trying to run from 1st to 2nd on each of them. Albert Pujols did the same thing on April 27th, but he had two guys on base - Brian Barden and Rick Ankiel (who had just been plunked). I'm sure Barden really enjoyed running wind-sprints between 2nd and 3rd while Pujols stood around shooting balls into the stands. Hey Albert, just hit one out so we can have a leisurely jog, how about that? (It's not clear from the play by play accounts if both runners were going, just that at least one of them was).

So far this year, nobody has fouled off more than 5 pitches with runners going, but back on August 19, 2007, Cory Sullivan of the Dodgers fouled off 11 consecutive pitches, all with Yorvit Torealba running on the play. Last seasons's worst incident was Kelly Johnson fouling off 8 pitches with the runners going - with the bases loaded.

So who are the worst offenders this year, making their teammates run back and forth while they selfishly foul off pitches waiting for one that meets their standards to hit in the right direction?
Here's the top 10 in 2009 foul balls hit with runners going:
Orlando Hudson - 20
Albert Pujols - 18
Jorge Cantu - 17
Emilio Bonifacio - 16
Nick Johnson - 15
Kosuke Fukudome - 14
Scott Rolen - 13
Placido Polanco - 13
Ryan Theriot - 13
David Ortiz - 13

Only 10 of Pujols' 18 fouls with runners going were in 2-out situations, which might make a runner wonder, those 8 other times, why he was being told to go when it would be so much easier to sit down on the base and relax and watch Albert hit one over the fence. Jason Giambi led this category last year with 25 fouls with runners going, and Todd Helton has done it the most in recent history with 26 in 2005.

I think it would be logical to assume that teams that are doing all this extra running are going to be more tired at the end of the year (though I may use the word "logical" differently than most people). So, here are the team by team totals for the year:
Dodgers - 103
Tigers - 91
Marlins - 81
Natinals - 81
Cubs - 78
Giants - 77
Rockies - 76
Royals - 73
Angels - 69
Pirates - 69
Twins - 67
Blue Jays - 66
Cardinals - 65
Yankees - 63
Rays - 62
White Sox - 61
Reds - 58
Astros - 58
Indians - 57
A's - 57
Mets - 55
Brewers - 54
Padres - 54
Phillies - 52
Mariners - 51
Orioles - 50
Rangers - 49
Red Sox - 47
Braves - 43
Diamondbacks - 41

Now obviously it would be a better measure of fatigue if we knew how many runners were running on each incident, but the data doesn't quite support that. But if there's clubhouse strife caused by all this unnecessary running, at least we can see which teams have had the most of it. In the past 4 seasons, no team has won the world series after hitting more than 105 foul balls with runners going.


Casey Blake is the only batter this season to foul off 2 pitches with the runners going and then get hit by a pitch. No one else this year has gotten plunked after more than 1 foul with runners going.

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Shoppach plunked for 16th time

HBPs of note: August 13, 2009

Kelly Shoppach got hit by a pitch yesterday, bringing him to 16 on the season, one behind plunk leader Chase Utley. He hadn't been plunked since July 26th, but he's only played 8 games since then. It seemed like Shoppach might get more playing time once the Indians traded Victor Martinez, and really get hit by some pitches with his increased plate appearances, but the Indians have had other ideas. Shoppach has been hit once every 14.8 plate appearances this season, which ranks in the top 10 all time in plunk rate for a season with over 15 HBPs. In the modern ere, only Mike Kinkade in 2003 and Ron Hunt in 1971 have been hit more frequently.

Padre's rookie Cesar Carrillo made his major league debut last night, and hit two Brewers batters. He's the 17th rookie to throw a plunk in his debut this year, and just the 2nd to hit multiple batters. Brett Cecil, however, hit 3 batters in his debut, so Carrillo didn't match that debut. He did hit Craig Counsell though, and that was Counsell's 50th career plunk, as well as the 498th plunk in Miller Park history.

Justin Verlander hit recent Red Sox acquisition Chris Woodward twice yesterday, which is a career high for Woodward.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jeter ties Nelly Fox on all-time list, leaves early to celebrate

HBPs of note: August 12, 2009

Derek Jeter collected his 142nd career HBP yesterday, tying him with Nelly Fox for 22nd place on the all-time list, and extending his Yankees career record total, as well as his guys-born-in-New-Jersey career record. He left the game with a bruised foot, which probably just means he wanted to celebrate instead of playing the rest of the game. Alex Rodriguez stayed until the end of the game, and in the 11th inning he got hit by his 148th pitch. That plunk put him on base to score the winning run. Rodriguez is 20th on the all-time list, but he's in 2nd place among batters born in New York (137 plunks behind that record), and in 2nd place among batters born under the astrological sign Leo (35 plunks away from 1st). He's the 5th most plunked Yankee of all time.

Gary Sheffield got plunked for the 135th time in his career, extending his lead over David Eckstein to 2 plunks in the category of plunks by batters born in Florida.

Jamey Wright threw his 133rd career hit batter, and Jeff Weaver hit number 121 in his career.

Elvis Andrus got hit for the 5th time in his career, making him the first batter born in 1988 to reach that total. He's tied for the rookie lead, and has 5 of the 8 plunks recorded by batters born in Craig Biggio's rookie year.

Houston rookie Bud Norris got hit for the 1st time in his career, but that plunk was the 999th in Land Shark Stadium history.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Marmol ties reliever record

When Carlos Marmol plunked Shane Victorino last night, that was Marmol's 11th of the season. He's tied for the Major League lead in plunks, despite not starting a single game this year. The most plunks any pitcher has thrown in a season in which he did not start a game was 11, by Mitch Williams in 1986. So assuming the Cubs don't make a surprise move and move Marmol into the starting rotation, he'll at least tie that record.

11 plunks is also the most thrown by a relief pitcher in a season since 1986, but it's possible that a pitcher who worked as both a starter and a reliever hit more than 11 batters in relief appearances in some season prior to that, so we can't quite establish this as the single season hit batters record for relief pitchers from the data I have available.

He could also be the first pitcher ever to lead the Majors in plunks without starting a game, as noted in this article.

Bad Examples

HBPs of note: August 11, 2009

Eleven batters got hit by pitches around the league, but there were a couple of really bad examples of the art of the plunk on display in Boston. First, Miguel Cabrera put together a textbook display of how not to use your elbow pad. He got plunked in the first inning by Junichi Tazawa, and for some reason the replay shows him ducking his elbow pad out of the path of the ball and getting hit on the hand. That's distinctly not how you do it. He left the game with a bruised hand (though not until after the inning was over, so he didn't need a pinch runner). For Tazawa, that was the 1st hit batter of his major league career.

Then later in the next inning, Rick Porcello hit Kevin Youkilis and that was the 5,925th time a batter born in Ohio was hit by a pitch. Youk was so excited by this, he wanted to celebrate and rushed out to the mound yelling "5925 for Ohio! WOoooOO! Give me a hug!" and Rick Porcello yelled "That's ridiculous! I'm uncomfortable with your affection! And that's not even a round number, why are you so excited about an arbitrary milestone like 5,925?" and the fans yelled "Yoouuuuuuuk" (because they do that no matter what he does), and his manager yelled "This is the inappropriate time and place to celebrate!". And the benches emptied and everyone jumped around trying to seperate the over-excited Youkilis from the uncomfortable Porcello. And then the umpire, misunderstanding the whole situation, threw both Porcello and Youkilis out of the game. But aside from all that, it was the 10th plunk of the season for Youkilis, and his 2nd in the past 2 days. It was the 52nd of his career. Porcello is a rookie and that was only his 2nd career hit batter.

In Milwaukee, Braden Looper hit Kevin Kouzmanoff with a pitch, bringing Kouzmanoff within one HBP from the Padres career record. Kouzmanoff has been hit 34 times, while the most plunked Padres ever, Gene Tenace, got hit 35 times. Hopefully someone told Brewers catcher Jason Kendall about this, so he could point out that he's been hit 37 times on Tuesdays alone.


Shin-Soo Choo got his 20th career plunk, and Roy Oswalt got his 5th career plunk. Oswalt joins Mike Hampton as the only active pitchers who have been hit 5 times. Oswalt's HBP was also the 998th at Land Shark Stadium (though the park didn't have that name for most of them).

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Inge plunked for 14th time this year

HBPs of note: August 10, 2009

Brandon Inge got hit by Ramon Ramirez last night, pushing Inge's season total to 14. He's now 1 plunk behind American League plunk leader Kelly Shoppach in the race for the AL's most plunkable player award. He's also just 3 plunks behind Chase Utley for the overall season lead. It should be an interesting race the rest of the year.

Esmailin Caridad made his major league debut last night, pitching for the Rockies, and became the 16th pitcher this season to hit a batter in his debut. However, he was fairly patient about dealing his first plunk, waiting until the 6th batter he faced to throw it. No rookie has hit the first Major League batter they faced this year, but a couple of pitchers hit the 2nd batter. Caridad was the 427th pitcher to hit a batter this year, though just the 11th for the Rockies. Only Oakland has fewer pitchers with at least one hit batter this season, with 10.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Ozzie Guillen exaggerates more than 12 Trillion Bloggers.

Apparently MLB is concerned about Ozzie Guillen's comments about excessive plunks recorded by the White Sox. Guillen said:
"When we went to Cleveland, they hit two guys, not on purpose, but someone can get hurt out there. You can pitch in, but if you don't know how, don't do it. It gets to the point when they hit us seven times, 20 times in one week, and we hit one and they're the headhunters and that's a [problem] with Major League Baseball."


The only problem I see with his rant is that nobody got hit 20 times in one week. If they did, they'd be winning a whole lot of baseball games, but nobody has been able to muster that kind of offensive attack, at least not in the past 50 years. The most any team has been plunked in a standard Sunday through Saturday calendar week is 12 times. The 1997 Astros accomplished that feat between September 7th and 13th (Craig Biggio got hit 4 times by 3 teams in that span). Just in case Ozzie was talking about just any odd span of 7 days, the most any team has been plunked in that length of time, since 1960, was 13 times by the 2004 Pirates (May 28th to June 3rd). The most the White Sox have been hit in a seven game span, since 1960, was 12 times from June 15th to the 21st in 1961.

This season, the Indians have been plunked the most in a Sunday to Saturday week, with 9 plunks between May 1st and 7th. The Red Sox have matched that total in a 7 day span from April 20th to 26th. The White Sox haven't been hit more than 7 times in a 7 game span this year, and that was back in April so this past week hasn't even been the worst the White Sox has seen this year.

The other think Ozzie Guillen might not understand is that Paul Konerko may have been hit by several pitches in the past few games (4 this month), but he's still only been hit 74 times in his career and that's only good for 2nd place among batters born in Rhode Island. He needs to get hit 60 more times just to tie Nap Lajoie's Rhode Island HBP record. Then again - maybe Ozzie is trying to help that along by starting plunk feuds that will result in more pitches available for Konerko to get hit by. You never know. But at least they should have all the facts.

240 and 241 for Kendall

HBPs of Note: August 9, 2009

Jason Kendall may have been sending a message to, or receiving a message from modern HBP record holder Craig Biggio yesterday. Either that or he just got plunked twice. Biggio's team, the Astros, hit Kendall twice at the ballpark where Biggio recorded 56 of his 285 career HBPs. Kendall brought his career total to 241 and is now just 2 plunks behind Ron Hunt for 5th place on the all time list. The Brewers catcher has been hit 10 times this season, making this the 12 season he's reached double digits in HBPs. That ties Biggio's career total for double digit plunk years - only Tommy Tucker (13) and Don Baylor (14) were hit 10 or more times in more seasons. Wandy Rodriguez threw number 240 to Kendall, and Jose Valverde threw number 241. Neither had plunked Kendall before yesterday.

241 HBPs, by the way, is the same number of plunks that you'd get if you added up the career HBP totals of everyone who has batted for the Tampa Bay Rays this year (24 players). And, there are three other major league teams whose entire 2009 roster hasn't been hit as many times as Kendall - the Rockies (208), Diamondbacks (216), and Twins (238).

Adrian Beltre got hit by Jeff Bennett bringing his career total to 50. That's a decent total, but during the span of Beltre's career, 103 other batters have been hit by 50 or more pitches. Jason Kendall holds the Adrian-Beltre-Era-Record with 195

Jeremy Hermida got his 20th career plunk, which was made more interesting because Jamie Moyer threw it. Moyer has now thrown 3 of Hermida's 20 career plunks. For Moyer, it was his 136th plunk thrown.

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rodriguez plunked 17 times by Red Sox (not in one game)

HBPs of note: August 8, 2009

Red Sox pitcher Ramon Ramirez hit Alex Rodriguez with a pitch yesterday, pushing Rodriguez's career total to 147, and his total against the Red Sox to 17. That ties him with Derek Jeter for 2nd place among active players in getting plunked by the Red Sox. They've hit Jason Giambi 19 times. Other than those three, among active players, only Jason Kendall has been hit that many times by a single team, though he's been hit over 17 times by the Astros, Cubs, and Reds. Rodriguez is still in 20th place on the all time HBP list, and needs 4 more to catch Chet Lemon for 19th place.
That plunk also made Rodriguez the first batter to accumulate 5 HBPs at New Yankee Stadium.

In other action, Chan Ho Park threw his 135th plunk, which puts him tied for 19th place on one version of the all time list, and 31st place on a different version of the list.

Brandon Inge got his 55th career plunk and his 13th this season, which puts him tied for 3rd place in this years HBP race. That's a career high for Inge.

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Canadians plunk 1000 batters

HBPs of note: August 7, 2009

Jesse Crain of the Twins hit Brandon Inge yesterday, and since Jesse Crain was born in Toronto that makes a recorded total of 1000 plunks thrown by Canadians in major league history. (Of course this total is inexact due to poor record keeping in the long-long ago years). That was also the 12th this year for Inge.

David Eckstein got hit for the 133rd time in his career which puts him 33rd on the all time list. He's one plunk behind Gary Sheffield for the record among batters born in Florida, but Sheffield is still playing too.

Oliver Perez and Mark Buehrle both threw their 52nd career plunks - Perez hit Eckstein and Buehrle hit Shin-Soo Choo (for Choo's 12th this year).


Kevin Kouzmanoff got hit for the 8th time this year, and the 33rd time in his career. He's two plunks away from tying the Gene Tenace for the Padre's career record.

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Crying foul

One of the interesting things about baseball is that it may have been propping up the Thesaurus industry for the last century. Home runs in particular have dozens of different names, depending on whose announcing the game or calling the highlight - dingers, jacks, round-trippers, big fly etc. HBPs can be plunks, but are sometimes beanballs, or purpose-pitches or messages, or preemptive/retaliatory strikes. But foul balls are just stuck being called foul, and generally if you call something foul it doesn't have a very positive connotation.
Foul balls are not offensive or obscene or dishonorable, as the name might suggest, and they don't constitute a rules violation like a foul in other sports. Yet they're still stuck being called foul, even though they have many positive outcomes. They provide fans with memorable souvenirs, allow batters to see more pitches during their plate appearance (and possibly get hit by one), and they stimulate concession sales and the dry cleaning industry when people spill their beverages trying to catch them. They also give us a chance to feel superior to people in higher income brackets when some rich guy in the luxury boxes bobbles a foul pop-up and drops it down to the lower level - were the upper-upper-middle class can afford seats. That's social justice, right? Foul balls also teach fans to pay attention to the game, by occasionally rocketing toward their heads at high speed. The high-speed line drive into the stands can lead to a bad outcome, but the vast majority of the fans love a good foul ball.

So I figure foul balls need some more enjoyable nicknames. The only foul ball nicknames I've ever heard are the backward homer, and for certain instances, the 400 foot strike. But why not the "pitch count raiser" or the "souvenir donation" or the "attention getter" or the "wake up call to section 112 wakeup call". Okay, none of those are great, but we can work on it, right?

Anyway, here's a look at the much-under-publicized list of the league leaders in non-home-run baseball disposal this season (not counting fouls caught for outs) as of the end of play on August 6th:
BatterTotal Foul Balls
Todd Helton 391
Brian Roberts 390
Emilio Bonifacio 385
Carl Crawford 375
David Wright 358
Pablo Sandoval 352
Andre Ethier 351
Shin-Soo Choo 349
Aaron Hill 346
Clint Barmes 344



Here are the team totals leaguewide:
Rockies 3,050
Rays
2,954
Indians
2,923
Padres
2,911
Twins
2,900
Nationals
2,895
Reds
2,883
Cubs
2,873
Marlins
2,868
A's
2,864
Royals
2,837
Blue Jays
2,803
Dodgers
2,801
Giants
2,801
White Sox
2,797
Diamondbacks
2,765
Rangers
2,763
Tigers
2,747
Cardinals
2,739
Astros
2,730
Mariners
2,727
Yankees
2,707
Red Sox
2,702
Pirates 2,693
Braves
2,662
Angels
2,657
Mets
2,575
Phillies
2,545
Brewers
2,482

It's interesting that the Rockies go through so much trouble to humidify all their baseballs at Coors, and then lead the league in foul balls - though that total includes home and road games, and possibly foul balls that don't reach the stands (though most of those still get tossed into the stands anyway).


Here are the leaders in total foul balls hit during plate appearances that ended with an HBP:
BatterTotal Foul Balls
Ryan Garko 12
Kelly Shoppach 10
Kevin Youkilis 8
Yunel Escobar 8
Nyjer Morgan 7
Melvin Mora 7
Casey Blake 7
Brandon Inge 7
Placido Polanco 7
Shin-Soo Choo 7


Interestingly, Chase Utley leads the league in HBPs with 17, but he's only hit 4 foul balls in plate appearances in which he got plunked.

This years record for most fouls in a single plate appearance is 13 by Freddy Sanchez on April 16th (7th inning facing Chris Sampson). Casey Blake has this years mark for most fouls before a plunk with 6 on April 25th (7th inning, facing Matt Daley).




NOTE: All foul ball data is derived from MLB.com's Gameday files, and may contain discrepancies with other foul ball data from other sources. Then again, there might not be any other sources.

Coming next week: which players annoy base runners the most by fouling off pitches with runners going, and which teams have been worn out the most by all that unnecessary running and going back to their base.

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Paul Konerko ties park record for US Cellular Field plunks

HBPs of note: August 6, 2009

Paul Konerko got hit by an Ervin Santana pitch yesterday, bringing his career total to 73, and his total at US Cellular Field to 35. That ties Frank Thomas for the career record for HBPs at the White Sox home ballpark.

Here's the top ten list for career HBPs at US Cellular Field:
Paul Konerko - 35
Frank Thomas - 35
Magglio Ordonez - 25
Ray Durham - 24
Jermaine Dye - 23
Aaron Rowand - 23
Carlos Quentin - 20
A.J. Pierzynski - 18
Carlos Lee - 17
Joey Cora - 15

Only two other batters were plunked yesterday - Dustin Pedroia and Ronny Cedeno. Pedroia broke the single game record for guys name Dustin Pedroia getting hit by a pitch at the New Yankee Stadium. Ronny Cedeno got hit by a pitch at PNC park, and therefor failed to break the New Yankee Stadium HBP record for batters named Dustin Pedroia. That record is probably out of reach for him.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Utley joins 100 plunk club

HBPs of note: August 5, 2009

Chase Utley didn't wait around long on the brink of the 100 plunk milestone. He got his 99th career plunk on Tuesday, and found number 100 Wednesday on a 5th inning change-up from Jorge De La Rosa. Utley is the 68th player to get hit by 100 pitches, but he's the first to do so for the Phillies, and he's just the 23rd player ever to take 100 plunks for one team. He joins Derek Jeter and Melvin Mora as the only active players with 100 plunks for there current team, although Jason Kendall did it with the Pirates and Jason Giambi took 100 HBPs with the Yankees. That plunk was also the 400th HBP in Citizens Bank Park history. And that HBP extends Utley's league leading total to 17.

Albert Pujols and David DeJesus both got their 65th career HBPs. Pablo Sandoval got his 5th.

Thirteen different pitchers from 7 countries threw the fourteen plunks recorded in yesterdays games.


Here's the full list of players who have taken 100 pitches for one franchise:
Craig Biggio (Astros) - 285
Hughie Jennings (Pre-1900 NL Orioles) - 205
Jason Kendall (Pirate) - 177
Tommy Tucker (Braves) - 150
Brady Anderson (Orioles) - 148
Minnie Minoso (White Sox) - 145
Derek Jeter (Yankees) - 141
Frank Chance (Cubs) - 137
Art Fletcher (Giants) - 132
Jeff Bagwell (Astros) - 128
Nellie Fox (White Sox) - 125
Carlos Delgado (Blue Jays) - 122
Frank Robinson (Reds) - 118
Ron Hunt (Expos) - 114
Bill Freehan (Tigers) - 114
Frankie Crosetti (Yankees) - 114
Jason Giambi (Yankees) - 109
Honus Wagner (Pirates) - 107
Brian Downing (Angels) - 105
Melvin Mora (Orioles) - 104
Sherm Lollar (White Sox) - 101
Jake Beckley (Pirates) - 100
Chase Utley (Phillies) - 100

Alex Rodriguez is the next closest player to joining this club, but he only has 74 with the Yankees. Next up is Paul Konerko, who got his 69th plunk with the White Sox yesterday. Then Jorge Posada is tied at 65 with Pujols and DeJesus, who just joined him at 65 plunks with their teams.

Don Baylor, by the way, never got hit by 100 pitches for a single team, but he is still the only player who's been hit over 50 times for three different teams.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Just Manny being hit by 100 pitches

HBPs of note: August 4, 2009

It was a busy day for baseballs hitting batters yesterday, with 19 HBPs around the game. That's the most plunks on a single day in the 2009 season, and the first 19 plunk day since July 19, 2008.

Manny Ramirez got career plunk number 100, off Brewer Chris Smith. Ramirez is the 67th batter in Major League history to be hit by 100 pitches, and he joins Jose Guillen and Miguel Tejada as the only Dominican players to reach that milestone.

Chase Utley got his 99th career plunk, and his 16th of the season, moving ahead of Kelly Shoppach for the league league lead this year. Jason Hammel threw that one, but probably didn't know that hitting him again would have created the very interesting circumstance of having two players reach 100 plunks on the same date, and it would have been the 400th plunk in Citizens Bank Park history. Maybe that's a good thing though, that pitchers don't know these things.

Mark DeRosa picked a good time to get his 45th career HBP - in the 10th inning of a tie game, with the bases loaded. His RBI plunk put the Cardinals ahead of the Mets, but then Albert Pujols stole his glory with an insurance grand slam putting the Cardinals ahead by 5.

Former teammates Grady Sizemore and Ryan Garko both got their 55th career HBP yesterday, and Jonny Gomes got his 40th. Joel Pineiro threw his 40th career plunk. Garko's plunk was thrown by Astros pitcher Felipe Paulino, and that was the 1900th plunk thrown in Astros history.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ryan's plunked 46 times

HBPs of note: August 3, 2009

Ryan Garko and Ryan Zimmerman were both hit by pitches yesterday, bringing the total HBPs this season by batters name Ryan to 46. That's already the 4th most plunks by Ryans in any season in baseaball history, and it gives the Ryans a commanding lead for the most HBPs in the 2009 season. Players name Carlos are the second most plunked group with just 32. For Zimmerman, it was his 10th career HBP, and for Garko it was his 54th - but his first since being traded to the Giants. That was a pretty surprising trade for the Indians, because they still had an outside shot at breaking last year's modern team record for HBPs, but they probably can't do it without Garko.

Milton Bradley got his 35th career HBP, and Andre Ethier got his 20th. Mike Hampton threw his 49th career plunk, Aaron Harang threw his 39th, and Scott Kazmir threw number 29 of his career.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Rolen hit for 110th time

HBPs of note: August 2, 2009

Scott Rolen got plunked yesterday, bringing his career total to 110. He's still been hit more times than anyone else born in Indiana. But, that was his first plunk since joining the Reds.

Miguel Tejada got his 106th career HBP, and his 10th this season. This is his 6th year in double figures for plunks, but his first 10 plunk year with the Astros.

Oakland rookie Tommy Everidge got plunked for the first time in his career, making him the 7,220th major league player known to have been hit by a pitch. That was also the 500th HBP recorded by someone born in 1983.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Peavy denied chance at Padres record

HBPs of note: July 31, 2009

Yesterday was MLB's non-waiver trading deadline, which always takes over the headlines pushing out the important news of people getting hit by pitches, but this year there were a couple of trades with a big impact on HBP races or records. Jake Peavy was sent to the White Sox, even though he was just 2 hit batters away from breaking the Padres career franchise record. This just half a season after the Padres traded Khalil Greene when he was just 3 plunks away from the team record. In other trade new, Victor Martinez was traded from the Indians to the Red Sox, which is only significant because it should give more playing time to Kelly Shoppach. At the moment, Shoppach is tied for the league lead with 15 plunks, despite the fact that he's only played in 57 of the Indinans 103 games. If he can get some more plate appearances, he could really get hit by some pitches.

In actual HBP news, the Indian's Shin-Soo Choo got hit by a pitch thrown by Fu-Te Ni of the Tigers, which by some mathmatical coincidence was the 35th HBP to hit a Korean born player, and the 35th HBP thrown by a pitcher from Taiwan. That was Ni's first HBP, and he now holds the record for the shortest last name of a pitcher who has hit at least one batter. For Choo, it was his 11th of the season and the 18th of his career.

10 batters were hit by pitches yesterday, and 1 of them, though it's difficult to which, was the 1000th plunk of the year. This is the 12th consecutive season in which 1000 plunks were recorded by the end of July, but with only 1,007 HBPs, this year is the lowest end of July total since before that streak started. The last time MLB got through July without 1000 HBPs was 1997, which means this year has seen the lowest number of HBPs through July of any season since the league was expanded from 28 to 30 teams.

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