Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Plunks at the movies

You probably already knew, if you've been reading this website, that Chase Utley leads the major leagues with 24 HBPs this season. But did you know, that the total revenue of the #1 movies on the days Chase Utley has been hit by pitches is $264,892,743? That's what you get if you look at how much the number 1 movie on each day he got hit made that day, and add them all up. He's the only player over the $200 million mark, although the #1 movies on days when Miguel Tejada has been hit have made $194,974,437 on those nights - which is pretty good for just 11 dates. "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" made $62,016,476 on the day Chase Utley got hit while it was #1 at the box office, but Juan Pierre got hit on three different days while the Transformers sequel was number 1, for a box office total of $123,131,506. That's the most for any plunked player/#1 movie combination this season. So, if baseball contracts were somehow written so that players who got hit by a pitch received a percentage of the box office take of the number one movie from the day they got plunked, this would somehow make some sense. And what a wonderful world that would be.

16 different movies have been #1 on dates when Chase Utley has been plunked this season - he got hit twice while "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian", "G-Force", "Obsessed", "The Final Destination", "Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself", "Angels&Demons" and "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" were number 1, and once each when "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen", "Funny People", "Star Trek", "District 9", "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs", "Up", and "Hannah Montana the Movie" were number 1 at the box office.

Utley has been plunked 7 times on days when a movie from Sony Pictures was the top box office film, which ties Jason Kendall for the most plunks during one studio's days on the top of the hollywood numbers. Kendall was also plunked 7 times this year while Sony had the top film. Utley was hit most often while movies labeled as Comedies were number 1, with a league leading 7 plunks under those circumstances. However, Kelly Shoppach got hit 8 times while action movies were number one, and Ryan Garko has been hit 8 times while people were at Adventure movies, instead of watching baseball.

Overall, batters were hit the most this season on days when "Up!" was number 1, with a total of 99 plunks, although current number 1 movie "Cloudy with a chance of meatballs" is up to 96 plunks already (through Monday, September 28th). 95 batters got plunked while Star Trek was number 1, and 92 plunks occured while Transformers was on top.

The Indians were hit 10 times on days when "Up!" was number 1, making them the only team to get hit 10 times this year while a single film was number 1. Of course there's no connection between the name of that movie and the Indians franchise trajectory this season. The Marlins have been hit the most often during the reign of "Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs", with 8 plunks, but they'd probably prefer more meatballs thrown to them than beanballs. Also interesting is that the Red Sox have been hit the most while "Obsessed" was number one, and the Cubs have been hit most often while "I can do bad all by myself" was number 1.

The Brewers tied for the most plunks with the Phillies while "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" was number 1, although Prince Fielder was not plunked on a day when that movie was #1.

(box office numbers are from www.the-numbers.com and are through Monday, September 28th)

Blog Jinx

HBPs of note: September 29, 2009

Yesterday, some blog posted that the Atlanta Braves were 9-0 when Yunel Escobar has been hit by a pitch this season, and that the Oakland A's were 7-0 when Kurt Suzuki was hit by a pitch. Last night, Yunel Escobar was hit by a pitch, and the Braves lost, and Kurt Suzuki was hit by a pitch in an A's loss. That's a little weird. On the plus side, that was career plunk number 20 for Escobar, and his 10th of the season.

Mark Ellis and Nate McLouth both reached the 40 career HBPs milestone yesterday - Ellis' 40th plunk was thrown by Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, and McLouth got his from Marlins starter Josh Johnson. Ellis is the first batter born in South Dakota to reach 40 plunks. He passed Dave Collins for the South Dakota record on his last plunk (July 24th).

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blue Moons, Green Clovers, Purple Horseshoes, and... Yunel Escobar HBPs

Football coaches and football broadcasters love to point out the stats surrounding turnovers, and how much more likely a team is to win when they turn over the ball less often than their opponent. Well, in baseball this year, the team that gets hit by the most pitches wins 58.9% of games. That's pretty good, but certain players are really good at improving their team's chances of winning when they get hit by pitches. The best this year has been Yunel Escobar. The Atlanta Braves are 9-0 when Yunel Escobar gets hit by a pitch. That seems like something they might want to know.

Among batters with 10 or more HBPs this season, Shin-Soo Choo has increases his team's win percentage the most when he gets hit by a pitch. The Indians are 12-4 when he gets hit by a pitch, for a .750 win pct, but when he doesn't get plunked they're a .374 team. Clint Barmes has the best win percentage in his games with at least one HBP, at .900. But the Rockies are still 79-67 for a .541 win percentage when Barmes doesn't get hit, so he hasn't improve his team's chance with a plunk quite as much as Choo has. But still, if you want to win a game against the Rockies, plunking Clint Barmes appears to be a bad idea.

On the other end of the scale, the Dodgers seem to have trouble when a couple of their players get plunked. They've won at a .592 clip this season, but when Andre Ethier gets hit, they've won 5 and lost 8. When Russel Martin gets hit, they've won only 45.5% of their games. If Ethier had just stayed out of the way of all pitches, and the team had won their games at their rate during non-Ethier-plunk games all year, they'd have 3 more wins. Aside from those two Dodgers, Kelly Shoppach, Jason Kendall and Josh Willingham are the only three players with at least 10 HBPs whose teams do worse when they take one for the team. Kendall's Brewers are .461 when he gets hit and .500 when he doesn't. Willingham's Nationals are .300 when he gets hit, and .348 when he doesn't. Making the Nationals lose more is no easy feat. Shoppach's Indians win 40% of the time when he gets hit, but when he doesn't get plunked they're a .414 team.

Here are all this years players with 10 or more plunks, and how their team does in games when they get plunked:
BatterHBPTeam Record when
batter has at least one HBP
Team Record when
batter doesn't get hit
Difference
Shin-Soo Choo (CLE)1612-4 (.750)52-87 (.374)+.376
Marlon Byrd (TEX)108-1 (.889)77-69 (.527)+.361
Clint Barmes (COL)109-1 (.900)79-67 (.541)+.359
Aaron Rowand (SF)1311-2 (.846)71-71 (.500)+.346
Paul Konerko (CWS)106-3 (.667)69-78 (.469)+.197
Brandon Inge (DET)1711-5 (.688)71-67 (.514)+.173
Kevin Youkilis (BOS)1611-4 (.733)78-59 (.569)+.164
Kevin Kouzmanoff (SD)106-4 (.600)66-80 (.452)+.148
Milton Bradley (CHC)117-4 (.636)72-70 (.507)+.129
Matt Diaz (ATL)138-4 (.667)77-66 (.538)+.128
Carlos Quentin (CWS)137-5 (.583)68-76 (.472)+.111
Ryan Garko (CLE)105-5 (.500)59-86 (.407)+.093
Chase Utley (PHI)2415-8 (.652)74-57 (.565)+.087
Miguel Tejada (HOU)116-5 (.545)67-78 (.462)+.083
Mark Teixeira (NYY)117-3 (.700)94-53 (.639)+.061
Chris Iannetta (COL)106-4 (.600)82-64 (.562)+.038
Ryan Braun (MIL)126-6 (.500)71-72 (.497)+.003
Kelly Shoppach (CLE)186-9 (.400)58-82 (.414)-.014
Jason Kendall (MIL)166-7 (.462)71-71 (.500)-.038
Josh Willingham (WSH)123-7 (.300)49-92 (.348)-.048
Russell Martin (LAD)115-6 (.455)88-58 (.603)-.148
Andre Ethier (LAD)135-8 (.385)88-56 (.611)-.226

As mentioned above, Yunel Escobar has the most wins for a player who hasn't lost a game he's been plunked in. He's 9-0 when he gets hit. Kurt Suzuki has the next most plunks among the undefeated, with 7. Oakland is 7-0 when Suzuki gets plunked. The Phillies are 6-0 when Ryan Howard gets an HBP and the Rangers have not lost any of the 6 games in which Ian Kinsler has been plunked. Florida is 5-0 when John Baker gets hit by a pitch, and the Angels are 5-0 when Erick Aybar registers an HBP.

The most anyone has been hit this season without winning a game is 5 times, by Jonny Gomes. The Reds are 0-5 when Gomes gets plunked. The Indians are 0-4 when Grady Sizemore has been hit, and the Yankees playoff opponents might be interested to hear that the Yankees have lost all four games in which Hideki Matsui has been plunked.

Chase Utley and the 24 plunks

HBPs of note: September 28, 2009

Once upon a time there was a baseball player in the far away land of Philadelphia. His name was Chase Utley and he got hit by a lot of pitches. In the long ago year of 2009, he got hit by 23 pitches... until, September 28th when he faced Tim Byrdak in the 8th inning of the Phillies game against the Houston Astros when he got hit by his 24th pitch of the season, and his 107th overall. Utley has now been hit 47 times at Citizen Bank Park. If he can get one more this year he'll join Hughie Jennings, Tommy Tucker and Ron Hunt as the only players with three consecutive 25 plunk seasons. He's already the only left handed batter with three consecutive seasons over 20 plunks.

That was the 2nd time this month that Tim Byrdak has plunked Chase Utley - he threw Utley's 20th plunk of the year back on September 4th.

In other action yesterday, Ervin Santana threw his 45th career plunk, and became the first major league pitcher to plunk Julio Borbon. Lastings Milledge collected his 30th career HBP, and Hunter Jones threw his first big league plunking. He's the 497th pitcher to hit a batter this season. Aaron Laffey's plunking of Dewayne Wise in Cleveland was the 799th HBP recorded in park history at Jacobs-Progressive Field.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Dave Bush back in the lead

HBPs of note: September 27, 2009

Dave Bush started the day tied with Johnny Cueto for the major league lead in hitting batters, yesterday, but just to show he was serious in the race for the 2009 plunk title, he hit opposing starter Joe Blanton. Bush may have thought that Blanton was planning to hit 8 more batters himself to jump into the race, but one plunk from Bush put any such thoughts out of his head. That's how you send a message. Bush has now hit 15 batters this season, and 73 for his career. Joe Blanton did hit Mike Cameron later in the game, but not until Dave Bush had left. Blanton has now hit Cameron twice in his career, but has only hit 8 batters this season.

Shin-Soo Choo was plunked for the 16th time this season, putting him within 2 HBPs of the American League lead. He's in a tight race with Kevin Youkilis, Brandon Inge and Kelly Shoppach for the AL most plunkable player award.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kendall gets 247th among 15 plunks around the league

HBPs of note: September 26, 2009

Jason Kendall appears to be making a real push to showcase himself in the last few weeks of the season, going into his impending free-agency. He's now been hit 3 times in his last 4 games, including his 247th career plunk last night, of Kyle Kendrick who had not previously hit anyone this year. Kyle Kendrick is the first pitcher whose first and last name both start with a K to klock Kendall. But, Kendall has been hit 22 times overall by 16 pitchers with double initials. Matt Morris hit him 3 times, Antonio Alfonseca, Danny Darwin, Mike Maddux, and Woody Willaims twice each, and Kendall has one plunk from Brian Bannister, Brian Boehringer, Boof Bonser, Chris Capuano, Gary Glover, Jose Jiminez, Jeff Juden (say it with the Js pronounced like Jose Jiminez, it's more fun), Kyle Kendrick (most recently), Mike MacDougal, Mike Mussina, and Ramon Ramirez.

In New York, Kevin Youkilis broke the all-time record for career plunks against Mariano Rivera, with his third career HBP of Rivera. That moves him ahead of Kevin Millar, Ty Wigginton and Rickie Henderson, who have all managed to get hit twice by Rivera. That was Youk's 2nd plunk of the game after being plunked earlier by CC Sabathia. That gives him 16 on the season and tightens up the race for the American League Most Plunkable Player award, with Kelly Shoppach at 18, Brandon Inge at 17, Youkilis at 16 and Shin-Soo Choo at 15.

Rivera had not hit anyone this season, and he and Kyle Kendrick were among 5 pitchers who threw their first plunk of the season last night. Billy Wagner, Kyle Farnsworth, and Lenny DiNardo also got out of the "haven't hit anyone in 2009" club. 496 pitchers have hit a batter this year, so we're 4 pitchers away from the first season ever with 500 different pitchers throwing a plunk.

Also in New York, Daisuke Matsuzaka hit Derek Jeter, making that his 2nd plunking of Jeter. Jeter has now been hit 143 times in his career, which is just over half a Biggio if accept the use of The Biggio as the standard unit of measurement of HBPs. One Biggio = 285 plunks. Jeter continues to be the Yankees all time HBP record holder, but he's still 2nd among active players in being plunked by the Red Sox with 18. Jason Giambi has been hit 19 times by Boston, and is still active, even though he no longer plays in the American League East. But, the Red Sox have a two plunk lead on the Orioles as the team who has hit Jeter with the most pitches.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Foul balls by... home run difficulty?

Wednesday, I put up a post about rating plunks by difficulty, and what batters have had the most HBPs by difficulty. The theory being that we could rank plunks by how frequently the thrower of each plunk throws plunks, and then add up the scores to see which batters have been hit the most by the pitchers who don't hit that many batters. So, reader KL Snow was intrigued by that, but more interested in applying the same method to home runs. The only problem is, I'm not a huge fan of home runs and usually try not to write about them, but I do like to answer questions when people take the time to leave a comment and ask them. Home runs just still have a certain 'roidiness surrounding them, aside from their being somewhat overrated as a stat in the first place, and generally taking too much focus away from HBPs. So, in a very confusing compromise, here's a post about home runs by difficulty, badly disguised as a post about foul balls.

As we know, lots of people are good at hitting foul balls. And some batters are good at hitting home runs. But it's a lot easier to hit home runs off some pitchers than others, and some pitchers hardly ever give up homers. So what happens if we can find a way to confuse the matter rate home runs by difficulty for those batters who have hit the most foul balls? Or look at who has hit the most foul balls among those who have hit the most difficult home runs?

There are a lot of factors that go into the difficulty of the home run, and among the top of the list are the ball park and the weather. But we'll ignore those for now and just look at which pitchers have given up homers at the highest rate this year. If we take each homer and assign it a score based on the pitchers' Batters Faced per Home Run Allowed, we can add those up for each batter and get their total home run difficulty. So, since Carlos Marmol has given up only 1 homer to the 324 batters he's faced, that homer is worth 324 points to the guy who hit it (John Baker). Chris Sampson has given up 2 homers to the 248 batters he's faces, so those homers are worth 124 points each - although both were to Alfonso Soriano so he gets 248 points for the 2 of them. Zack Greinke has given up 11 homers to 860 batters, so each of those homers is worth 78.18 points to the batters who have hit them. And, since Braden Looper has given up 37 homers in his 859 batters faced this year, his homers are only worth 21.86 difficulty points to the batters who hit them. Makes sense, right?

Here are the home run difficulty scores for the top ten foul ball hitters this season, and their HBPs, just because:
BatterFoul BallsHome Run DifficultyHome RunsHBP
Brian Roberts (BAL)535519152
Todd Helton (COL)509530142
Carl Crawford (TB)509502148
Pablo Sandoval (SF)505871224
Andre Ethier (LAD)50110553113
Derek Jeter (NYY)501580174
Aaron Hill (TOR)4811060335
Ryan Howard (PHI)4771784426
Shin-Soo Choo (CLE)4755691715
Jayson Werth (PHI)4721275348

And here are the top 20 batters in home run difficulty, with their foul ball and HBP totals as a side order:
BatterHome Run DifficultyHome RunsAverage HR difficultyFoul BallsHBP
Mark Reynolds (ARI)19884346.234224
Ryan Howard (PHI)17844242.494776
Prince Fielder (MIL)16514239.34479
Albert Pujols (STL)16204734.473909
Adam Dunn (WSH)14483838.14444
Adrian Gonzalez (SD)14323936.724325
Carlos Pena (TB)132639343759
Raul Ibanez (PHI)12983339.323324
Jayson Werth (PHI)12753437.514728
Chase Utley (PHI)12473140.2439323
Evan Longoria (TB)12373139.893998
Derrek Lee (CHC)12263535.033803
Ryan Zimmerman (WSH)12203139.363922
Russell Branyan (SEA)12193139.343779
Mark Teixeira (NYY)12173732.8838811
Kendry Morales (LAA)12133139.144102
Dan Uggla (FLA)12023040.064067
Justin Morneau (MIN)11943039.84013
Jason Bay (BOS)11663632.393549
Paul Konerko (CWS)11452840.8935010


As you can see, Mark Reynolds is leading the league in home run diffuculty, by a pretty wide margin (but he's not in the top 20 in foul balls, and has only 2 HBPs). His most difficult plunk was off Joel Pineiro, who has only given up 7 homers while facing 815 batters. Reynolds is also the only batter to homer off of Cristhian Martinez, Boone Logan, and Josh Wilson, although only two of those rate as difficult, because Josh Wilson has only faced 10 batters this year. Reynolds has the highest average difficulty per homer of any batter with 15 or more homers, but he has 43. He also has struck out 208 times this season, breaking his own single season strikeout record, and he's the only batter ever to strike out 200 times in a season, as well as the only batter to strike out 200 times in back to back seasons, so he's got that going for him.

Among the top 20 batters in total difficulty, Prince Fielder has the highest score on a single homer. He hit the only homer this season off Blaine Boyer, and Boyer has faced 230 batters. That's the third highest difficulty score of this season behind John Baker's homer of Carlos Marmol (324 batters faced per homer), and Ryan Sweeney's homer off Robinson Tejada (269 batters faced per homer).

Albert Pujols leads the majors with 47 homers, but he's kind of feasted on cupcakes, relatively speaking. He's tied with Jason Bay for the most home runs off pitchers who give one up more often than once every 30 batters, with 18 each. Pujols most difficult homer scored just 58.8 points, off Sean Green.

As you can see from the next list, Mark Reynolds also leads the league in home run difficulty among those with at last 400 foul balls hit:
BatterHome Run DifficultyHome RunsAverage HR difficultyFoul BallsHBP
Mark Reynolds (ARI)19884346.234224
Ryan Howard (PHI)17844242.494776
Prince Fielder (MIL)16514239.34479
Adam Dunn (WSH)14483838.14444
Adrian Gonzalez (SD)14323936.724325
Jayson Werth (PHI)12753437.514728
Kendry Morales (LAA)12133139.144102
Dan Uggla (FLA)12023040.064067
Justin Morneau (MIN)11943039.84013
Michael Cuddyer (MIN)11382939.254183


But, Chase Utley leads the league in home run difficulty among players with at least 10 HBPs (which is really the standard all stats should be qualified by - if you haven't been hit by ten pitches, your season just shouldn't count):
BatterHome Run DifficultyHome RunsAverage HR difficultyFoul BallsHBP
Chase Utley (PHI)12473140.2439323
Mark Teixeira (NYY)12173732.8838811
Paul Konerko (CWS)11452840.8935010
Andre Ethier (LAD)10553134.0350113
Brandon Inge (DET)10472738.7938317
Ryan Braun (MIL)10442936.0241612
Clint Barmes (COL)10152344.1445610
Josh Willingham (WSH)8842338.4531512
Kevin Youkilis (BOS)8132532.5141114
Kevin Kouzmanoff (SD)6621738.9139110



And lastly, just because it might be interesting, here are the ten lowest average difficulty scores among players with 30 or more homers:
BatterHome Run DifficultyHome RunsAverage HR difficultyFoul BallsHBP
Miguel Cabrera (DET)9133129.454515
Aaron Hill (TOR)10603332.124815
Jason Bay (BOS)11663632.393549
Mark Teixeira (NYY)12173732.8838811
Carlos Pena (TB)132639343759
Andre Ethier (LAD)10553134.0350113
Troy Tulowitzki (COL)10273034.234152
Nelson Cruz (TEX)11013234.413052
Albert Pujols (STL)16204734.473909
Derrek Lee (CHC)12263535.033803


Andre Ethier, Ryan Braun and Clint Barmes are the only players this season with at least 10 plunks, at least 400 foul balls hit, and over 1000 total home run difficulty points.

(all stats are through September 24th)

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Kendall achieves 246th career plunk

HBPs of note: September 24, 2009

Jason Kendall was hit by yet another pitch last night, bringing his career total to 246. Plunk 246 was thrown by Tyler Walker of the Phillies in the 8th inning. That was Kendall's 214th plunk by a right-handed pitcher, and his 34th plunk in the 8th inning. The only inning in which he's been hit more often in his career is the 1st inning, when he's been hit 37 times.
Also, it was Kendall's 4th career plunk on September 24th - he had previously been plunked by Julian Tavarez (2001), RA Dickey (2005), and Ervin Santana (2006) on September 24th. He's been hit 4 times on 5 other days of the year, but he's been hit 5 times on April 30th and August 9th. He's now been hit 116 times on even days of the month and 130 times on odd numbered days. And he's been hit 114 times in odd numbered months and 132 times in even numbered months. That probably means something important.
On the downside for the Brewers, they lost the game and are just 5-7 this season when Jason Kendall gets hit by a pitch. Prior to last night, they were 2-0 when he got plunked in the 8th inning, but now they're 2-1.
Tyler Walker became the 194th pitcher to plunk Kendall. Pitchers whose last name starts with W have now tied those with M last initials for the most plunkings of Kendall, with 26 each. Kendall had not previously been plunked by a Walker, (but he has been hit 8 times by the Texas Rangers).
Kendall is up to 15 plunks this season, making this the first time since 2005 that he's reached that number. He was hit 20 times in 2005. Also, it was his 20th plunk at Miller Park. He joins Andres Galarraga as the only players who have been hit 20 times in three different ballparks since 1986 (the Jamie Moyer era).

That's a lot of stuff about Jason Kendall - good thing there were only 4 plunks yesterday (three were thrown by Californians). Manny Ramirez was hit for the 103rd time in his career, and Ricky Romero threw his 10th plunk of the season, and the 10th of his career, which puts him 3 hit batters ahead of Jeff Niemann for the season lead in hit batters by a rookie pitcher.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Major League pitchers set new record - and Chase Utley hit again

HBPs of note - September 23, 2009

Prior to yesterday, only 488 pitchers had hit a batter in the major leagues this year, and that wasn't as many pitchers as there were in 2007 who hit at last on batter. 489 different pitchers hit a batter that year, but that was the record. Never before had 490 different pitchers hit at least on batter in a single major league season. Until yesterday. Ian Kennedy hit Howie Kendrick to become the 489 pitcher to throw a plunk in 2009, and Kevin Mulvey of the Diamondbacks hit Eli Whiteside to break the record and be the 490th pitcher with a plunk this year. Only 1,478 total plunks have been thrown this year, which is 372 plunks short of the single season record and could be the lowest total since 1997, but every year we seem to need more arms to throw all those plunks. Overall there have been 660 different players who pitched this season, and only170 of them have pitched without hitting anyone. The record for most pitchers used in a season is 666.

The Phillies were visiting Florida for a game last night, and Chase Utley was among 4 batters hit by a pitch. He was also one of two batters to be plunked by a Dutchman, making that his first HBP by a pitcher from the Netherlands. Utley has now been plunkd by pitchers from 10 different countries among his 106 career plunks and his league leading 23 plunks this season.

Nick Johnson got his 11th HBP of the season, and Carlos Quentin got his 13th of the year yesterday. Dustin Pedroia got his 20th career HBP, and CJ Wilson threw the 20th of his career.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Plunks by difficulty

It's easy to find out what batter has been hit by the most pitches in a given season, by just counting the bruises, but how can we figure out who is truly skilled at the art of the HBP and who is just getting a lot of plate appearances against the criminally insane? Okay, there probably aren't more than a few pitchers who are actually criminally insane, but the truth is that it's much easier to get hit by Johnny Cueto or Joba Chamberlain this season, than by James Shields or Clayton Kershaw. So, what happens if we weight each plunk by level of difficulty?

To establish a level of difficulty for each plunk, we can just look at the season rate of batters face per plunk thrown for each pitcher. So, when Kevin Youkilis got plunked by Rick Porcello this year, that plunk was worth 323 difficulty points, because Porcello has only hit one out of every 323 batters he's faced this year. But when Youk go hit by Brandon League, that only counts for 49 points because league has hit 6 out of the 294 batters he's faced, or one out of every 49. Then once we assign difficulty scores to each plunk we can see that Youkilis has a season difficulty total of 1850 - which is third best in the league.

Obviously these number are subject to change, because each pitcher's plunk rate will change every time they pitch, and we're basing the difficulty scores on the pitcher's plunk rate for the whole season. But, here are the leaders in 2009 plunks by total difficulty score:
BatterTotal HBP
Difficulty
HBP
Chase Utley (PHI)2,60522
Jason Kendall (MIL)2,02514
Kevin Youkilis (BOS)1,85014
Shin-Soo Choo (CLE)1,73415
Carlos Quentin (CWS)1,66912
Brandon Inge (DET)1,62017
Andre Ethier (LAD)1,60813
Ryan Braun (MIL)1,59712
Kelly Shoppach (CLE)1,54018
David Eckstein (SD)1,3129

As you can see, Utley still tops the league, and pulled off some notably difficult feats of plunkery like being hit twice by Chris Volstad, who has only hit one other batter among his 663 batters faced. He's still helped the most by shear volume of plunkings though, and his average difficulty per plunk was just 118.4 - 9th best among batters with 10 or more plunks.

Kelly Shoppach is 2nd in the majors in total HBPs, but when we rank them by difficulty he drops down to 9th, due to the number of high volume plunkers he's been hit by. The pitchers who hit Shoppach have hit, on average, one out of every 85.5 batters they've faced this year, and he's been hit by 4 different pitchers who hit at least one batter for every 50 they've faced - Dave Bush (34.6 BF per HBP), Luis Ayala (45), Jamey Wright (47.1) and Johnny Cueto (48.6). Shoppach's been hit by a lot of pitchers who have hit a lot of batters.

Among batters who have been hit at least 10 times this season, Jason Kendall has the highest average difficulty per plunk, at 144.6. He was helped greatly by receiving Aaron Cook's only plunk of the season, amon 627 batters faced. Clint Barmes had the lowest difficulty score among batters with 10 plunks, at just 65.4. Seven of the ten pitchers who plunked Barmes this year have plunked batters at a rate better than one plunk every 50 batters. So, don't go picking up Barmes for your HBP fantasy league next year, just because he had a career high this season.

Also of note, as of today, Shin-Soo Choo has been hit by 5 different pitchers who have only thrown 1 plunk this year. If none of those pitchers hits another batter (Damaso Marte, Fu-Te Ni, John Bale, Juan Cruz, and Marc Rzepczynski), Choo will be the first batter to get hit by 5 different one-plunk-wonders since 2000 when Fernando Vina did it. Nobody in the Jamie Moyer era has been hit by 6 pitchers who only threw one plunk in the season. The only others to do that 5 times in a season are Craig Biggio in 1998, FP Santangelo in 1997, Dave Hollins in 1992 and Don Baylor in 1986.


If Utley were to finish the season with his current HBP Difficulty score, it would rank 23rd among season scores in the Jamie Moyer era (since 1986). Don Baylor's '86 season is the highest, with a 6,314 score on 35 plunks. Baylor has the 2nd best season too, with a 4,479 in 1987 on 28 HBPs, but Jason Kendall's 31 plunk season in 1998 takes third place with a score of 4,284. Chase Utley's best season was last year, when he got a 2,707, but he could easily beat that if he just gets one more plunk from someone who hasn't hit many people.

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Kendall gets 245th

HBPs of note: September 22, 2009

Before yesterday, 192 different pitchers had hit Jason Kendall with a pitch. One of them was named Kip Wells, and one of them was named Randy Wolf, but before yesterday, none of the pitchers who had plunked Jason Kendall was named Randy Wells. But, now we can finally say that Jason Kendall has been plunked by Randy Wells. Wells plunked Kendall in the 6th inning yesterday, making him the 193rd pitcher to plunk Kendall, and the 14th to do so while in a Cubs uniform. Jason Kendall has now been hit 18 times by the Cubs, and 3 times by Cubs pitchers who were born in the state of Illinois.

In Toronto, Jose Bautista heroically stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 9th inning with the bases loaded and his Blue Jays down by one run - he got hit by a pitch, tying the game and sending it to extra innings. He also scored the winning run after walking in the 11th.

46 year old Jamie Moyer hit 24 year old Chris Coghlan for Moyer's 138th career plunk and Coghlan's 4th. That plunk had the 2nd biggest age difference between the pitcher and batter this year - 2nd only to Moyer's plunking of 20 year old Fernando Martinez. Coghlan is tied for the 2nd most HBPs in the league since August 30th when he was hit for the first time in his career - which was also the 1000th plunk in Marlins franchise history.

Nate McLouth's plunking by Nelson Figueroa was the 50th in Citi Field history.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tight race in final weeks for most hit batters of the 00s

There are less than two weeks left of the baseball decade of the 00s, and with the decade coming to a close, players are no doubt racing to enshrine themselves in statistical history by leading the decade in various statistical categories. Among the most important of these, and among the tightest of races, is the Hit Batters stat. From the beginning of the 2000 season to this morning, Tim Wakefield and Jeff Weaver have each plunked 106 batters. But, playing time may be the big issue deciding this race. Wakefield is struggling with injuries, and gutted through a rainy start last, but didn't hit anyone. Weaver has been relegated to relief role with the Dodgers and only has 3 appearances and 4 innings pitched this month. Jamey Wright has a longshot chance at catching them, with 101 plunks.

Here are the top 20 pitchers in hitting batters during the first decade of the 2000s:
Tim Wakefield - 106
Jeff Weaver - 106
Jamey Wright - 101
Vicente Padilla - 99
Chan Ho Park - 97
Randy Johnson - 88
Pedro Martinez - 85
Matt Clement - 85
Jeff Suppan - 82
Barry Zito - 81
Carlos Zambrano - 81
Jamie Moyer - 79
Kerry Wood - 79
Bronson Arroyo - 76
Byung-Hyun Kim - 75
John Lackey - 73
Kenny Rogers - 72
David Bush - 72
Tim Hudson - 71
Julian Tavarez - 70
A.J. Burnett - 70

Hopefully either Weaver or Wakefield will be able to throw one more plunk this year to break the tie. Also, since Weaver missed last season and Wakefield has struggled with his health this year, it could be the last plunk either of them throw.

On the batting side of the HBP scene, Jason Giambi would have to get 18 more times this year, and Jason Kendall would have to avoid every remaining pitch for anyone not named Jason Kendall to lead the 00s in HBPs. Kendall has been hit 155 times since the beginning of the 2000 season. He'll join an illustrius list of decade HBP leaders, after Craig Biggio ('90s), Don Baylor ('80s), Ron Hunt ('70s), Frank Robinson ('60s) and Minnie Minoso ('50s).

Here are the top 20 in HBPs for the decade:
Jason Kendall - 155
Jason Giambi - 138
David Eckstein - 134
Craig Biggio - 132
Carlos Delgado - 126
Alex Rodriguez - 125
Jose Guillen - 110
Melvin Mora - 108
Aaron Rowand - 108
Derek Jeter - 106
Chase Utley - 105
Jason LaRue - 104
Reed Johnson - 98
Craig Wilson - 90
Geoff Jenkins - 87
Miguel Tejada - 87
A.J. Pierzynski - 84
Fernando Vina - 84
Scott Rolen - 83
Alex Cora - 82

Kendall is a free agent this winter, so hopefully someone will give him a job to keep getting hit into the next decade.

In news from other hitting stats, Ichiro Suzuki (2,015) will take home the 00s decade hits title. He's currently 88 hits ahead of Derek Jeter (1,927) for the decade, despite not playing in 2000. Miguel Tejada (1,837), Vlad Guerrero (1,743) and Johnny Damon (1,740) round out the top 5, but Todd Helton (1,737) and Alex Rodriguez (1,731) could still catch Damon or Guerrero.

Some other batters probably lead the decade in hitting home runs, but since this was the decade we learned a lot about what players have done to help themselves hit home runs over the past 20 years I'm not going to publicize those tainted accomplishment by listing them. I will mention, however, that Jamie Moyer was victimized for 268 home runs during the 00s so far, and Javier Vazquez is right behind him with 267 homers allowed. Only Ferguson Jenkins (301 in the '70s) and Robin Roberts (327 in the '50s) gave up more homers in a decade than those two, and without looking I'll say that those two pitched a more innings. Jeff Suppan is third this decade with 257, but hopefully he can't catch Moyer or Vazquez. Livan Hernandez is next with 250, and Mark Buehrle is 5th for the decade with 236. Those positions probably won't change by the end of the season, but the Vazuez vs Moyer race for most home runs allowed could be interesting.

Another tight race for the end of the decade, is the Sacrifice Fly race on the batting side. Take a look at the top 10 Sac Fly leaders for the 00s:
Mike Lowell - 76
Orlando Cabrera - 76
Carlos Lee - 74
Bobby Abreu - 66
Carlos Delgado - 65
Garret Anderson - 62
Alex Rodriguez - 60
Todd Helton - 60
Carlos Beltran - 60
Jeff Conine - 59

I'm sure Lowell, Cabrera, and Carlos Lee will be going all out for the rest of the season to sacrifice fly their way to history, joining Frank Thomas, Andre Dawson, Al Oliver, Brooks Robinson, and the other Frank Thomas from the 50s as the only players to lead a decade in sac flies, since they were first officially tracked in the mid 50s. Hopefully the adrenaline of that historic chase won't cause them to hit those sacrifice flies too far and turn them into home runs.

Rowand get 108th

HBPs of note: September 21, 2009

Aaron Rowand collected his 108th career plunk last night, which puts him in a tie with Mo Vaughn and Bill Joyce for 54th on the all time list. Rowand is tied with Melvin Mora for 8th in HBPs for this decade, but he'll have to get hit 46 more times by the end of the year to pass Jason Kendall for the first decade plunk title of the 2000s.

Kevin Millwood threw the 64th and 65th plunks of his career, which were also the 10th and 11th of hthis season for him. That makes this year the first double-digit plunk season of his career. He's the first player since Kevin Appier in 2001 to throw at least 10 plunks in a season after going 12 season without ever doing so in his career.

Josh Butler and Henry Rodriguez both plunked batters in their major league debuts last night, making them the 487th and 488th pitchers to hit a batter this year. That leaves the 2009 season one pitcher short of the record for most pitchers with at least one plunk. In 2007, 489 different pitchers hit a batter. Also, 658 different players have pitched in the major leagues so far this year, just short of the 2007 record of 666 pitchers. Butler threw Aramis Ramirez's 75th career hbp.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Inge makes AL HBP title race interesting

HBPs of note: September 20, 2009

Brandon Inge got plunked for the 2nd consecutive day yesterday, bringing his season total to 17. He appears to be making a late charge at the American League plunk title for this season, and is now just one behind Kelly Shoppach. Inge has been plunked 3 times in September, while Shoppach hasn't been hit since August 22nd. Chase Utley still leads the majors with 22 plunks, but he's in the NL. That plunk for Inge also moved him into sole possession of 2nd place on the all time HBP list among batters born in Virginia.

Jason Bay got hit for the 9th time this season - he's the 2009 plunk leader among players with three letter last names. But, his plunks per last name letter ranks only 5th this season, behind Chase Utley (4.4), Bradon Inge (4.25), Shin-Soo Choo (3.75), and Matt Diaz (3.25).

Carlos Zambrano threw his 82nd career plunk, which leaves him just 6 short of Kerry Woods' Cubs record of 88 plunks thrown. Zambrano should have two starts left this season, so he could reach that record this year if he applies himself, but doesn't apply himself so vigorously that he gets thrown out after hitting the first three batters of his next start, on three pitches, and gets suspended for the rest of the season. You always have to strike the the right balance with these things - just plunk casually.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Eckstein moves into top 30 on the all time list

HBPs of note: September 18, 2009

David Eckstein got plunked by Charlie Morton yesterday, moving him into a tie for 30th place on the all time plunk list at 134. He's now tied with Baseball Hall of Famers Nap Lajoie and John McGraw, along with nickname hall of famer, Dummy Hoy.

AJ Burnett threw his 70th career plunk, hitting Rob Johnson. Placido Polanco got plunked for the 80th time in his career, and Ryan Howard got plunked for the 25th time since he joined the major leagues.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Historical Bacon

For those of you interested in the recent history of BACON, you can now find the complete BACON stats for the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 seasons by following those links. So, you can learn things like that Ichiro .906 BACON this year is the highest in the last 5 years, and that Chase Utley, David DeJesus, Reed Johnson, Shea Hillenbrand and Aaron Rowand are the only players in the last 5 years who have finished the season with over 15 plunks times BACON. Utley is the only one who has done it more than once, and he's working on a third straight year. Or, that Quinton McCracken was really inconsistent in 2005.

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More foul balls by pitchers - or less foul balls by pitcher

Last week I confidently wrote that I was going to post the major league pitching leaders in the category of foul balls allowed, and that I fully expected no one to care about that. But, it turns out that commenter KL Snow (from Brewcrewball) almost cared about it, but was more interested in which pitchers give up the fewest foul balls.

So, here are the ten pitchers who have given up the fewest fouls this year, with a minimum of 500 batters faced:
PitcherFoulsTotal PitchesTotal Batters Faced
Tim Wakefield (BOS)2801841528
Jason Berken (BAL)2911834501
Fausto Carmona (CLE)3091973513
Ervin Santana (LAA)3312058544
Micah Owings (CIN)3432010521
Brad Bergesen (BAL)3431864519
Joba Chamberlain (NYY)3462480645
Francisco Liriano (MIN)3472187579
Derek Holland (TEX)3491964538
Scott Richmond (TOR)3502043528


And here are the ten pitchers who have the lowest number of foul balls, as a percentage of their total pitches thrown (fouls/total pitches):
PitcherFouls as pct of pitchesFoulsTotal PitchesTotal Batters Faced
Joba Chamberlain (NYY)13.95%3462480645
Livan Hernandez (WSH)13.98%3782704732
Trevor Cahill (OAK)14.44%4102840729
Ryan Dempster (CHC)14.61%4012744729
Jason Marquis (COL)14.71%4242883824
Bronson Arroyo (CIN)15.04%4623071842
Tim Wakefield (BOS)15.21%2801841528
Chris Carpenter (STL)15.60%3712378674
Fausto Carmona (CLE)15.66%3091973513
John Lackey (LAA)15.68%3952519686


Now obviously, some of those foul balls count as strikes, so lets see what happens if we exclude the strikes and just look at non-strike fouls - or foul balls hit with 2 strikes in the count. Here are the pitchers who have given up the fewest non-strike fouls:
PitcherNon-strike foulsTotal PitchesTotal Batters Faced
Jason Berken (BAL)871834501
Tim Wakefield (BOS)961841528
Ian Snell (SEA)1082222572
Ervin Santana (LAA)1132058544
Jeff Suppan (MIL)1142401658
Brad Bergesen (BAL)1141864519
Francisco Liriano (MIN)1172187579
Todd Wellemeyer (STL)1182019542
Aaron Cook (COL)1202243628
Fausto Carmona (CLE)1231973513


And, non-strike fouls as a percentage of total pitches:
PitcherNon-strike Fouls as
pct of pitches
Non-strike FoulsTotal PitchesTotal Batters Faced
Jason Marquis (COL)4.30%1242883824
Livan Hernandez (WSH)4.62%1252704732
Ryan Dempster (CHC)4.63%1272744729
Trevor Cahill (OAK)4.65%1322840729
Jason Berken (BAL)4.74%871834501
Jeff Suppan (MIL)4.75%1142401658
Ian Snell (SEA)4.86%1082222572
Joba Chamberlain (NYY)5.08%1262480645
Yovani Gallardo (MIL)5.15%1613125776
Bronson Arroyo (CIN)5.18%1593071842

So those guys are all pretty good about not throwing a lot of pitches that get wasted or fought off and don't count for anything, except an increase pitch count. While we're here, we might as well see who gets the most pitches fouled off after two strikes.
Here are the league leaders in non-strike fouls:
PitcherNon-strike foulsTotal PitchesTotal Batters Faced
Scott Baker (MIN)3192884733
Justin Verlander (DET)3023434868
Max Scherzer (ARI)2772855695
Randy Wolf (LAD)2763027792
Cliff Lee (PHI)2513299901
Jon Lester (BOS)2413136780
Cole Hamels (PHI)2362866742
Clayton Kershaw (LAD)2302808657
Ricky Nolasco (FLA)2292714705
Doug Davis (ARI)2223137802


And, the leader in non-strike fouls as a percentage of total pitches:
PitcherNon-strike Fouls
as pct of pitches
Non-strike FoulsTotal PitchesTotal Batters Faced
Scott Baker (MIN)11.06%3192884733
Max Scherzer (ARI)9.70%2772855695
Randy Wolf (LAD)9.12%2763027792
Scott Kazmir (LAA)8.89%2082339583
Justin Verlander (DET)8.79%3023434868
Ricky Nolasco (FLA)8.44%2292714705
Cole Hamels (PHI)8.23%2362866742
Clayton Kershaw (LAD)8.19%2302808657
Johan Santana (NYM)7.84%2022575702
Brad Penny (SF)7.80%2092681672

(And, because I feel the need to say something about people getting hit by pitches,)
Jorge De La Rosa leads the league in giving up non-strike fouls in plate appearances where he eventually hit the batter, with 6. He's hit 7 batters, but he gave up 6 non-strike fouls to those batters he plunked - the most he gave up in a single plate appearance was 4. On April 25th, Rockies rookie Matt Daley gave up 5 non-strike fouls to Casey Blake before getting tired of that game and hitting him. That's the most this season, in a single plate appearance that resulted in a plunking.

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15th for Choo

HBPs of note: September 17, 2009

Cleveland's Shin-Soo Choo got plunked yesterday, bringing his season total to 15. That's the highest single season total for a Korean born player ever, and in fact it's the first time since 1888 a player born outside North or South America (or the Caribbean islands) has been hit by that many pitches in a season. Reddy Mack was born in Ireland in 1866 and got hit 15 times for the 1888 Louisville Colonels.

In Chicago, Dave Bush put himself back into a tie for the Major League lead in hitting batters by throwing Milton Bradley's 40th career HBP. Bush now has 14 on the season.

Armando Galarraga of the Tigers plunked Willie Bloomquist, thereby recording the 900th plunk ever thrown by a Venezualan pitcher in the major leagues.

Kenji Johjima got plunked in the 14th inning of the Mariners-White Sox game, just before Ichiro connected for the game winning hit. That was the latest HBP of the season, by inning number. Last year there were 5 plunks recorded in the 14th inning or later including a 22nd inning HBP by Khalil Greene, but Johjima was the first to get plunked later than the 13th inning this year. That plunk was also Johjima's 20th at Safeco Field, and Scott Linebrink's 20th career plunk thrown.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

plunks by batting line

Before today's games, there had been 2184 major league baseball games, in in those games 7,342 batters have gone 1 for 4 at the plate. But only 123 of those 7,342 1 for 4 games also included an HBP for the batter. Batter seem to get hit much more often when they go 1 for 3. Batters have only gone 1 for 3 4,559 times this year, but they been hit by a pitch in the same game as a 1 for 3 performance 289 times. There have been 287 instances of a batter going 1 for 3 with one plunk, and 2 instances of a 1 for 3 day at the plate with 2 plunks. 1 for 3 has been the most popular batting line this year, in games that also included an HBP. The 2nd most popular thing to do in the same game as getting hit by a pitch is going 0 for 3. That's been done 238 times this season.

Here are the various batting lines batters have put up in games when they also got hit by pitches:
Batting LineTotal GamesGames with an HBPTotal HBPs
1-34559289291
0-34832238241
0-22720165170
1-47342123124
1-21348105107
2-314219496
2-439889192
0-147296571
0-08336465
0-452085959
3-49282122
2-22012123
1-112191313
2-518151010
1-518521010
3-314488
0-584755
3-581622
4-515911
3-69211
4-71211
1-616512
2-619511
4-64011


Chase Utley, Jose Guillen, Brandon Inge and Matt Holiday have all gone 1 for 3 with a plunk 5 times this season, but Utley also went 0 for 3 with a plunk five times. Although actually he went 0 for 3 with one plunk four times and 0 for 3 with two plunks once. Chase Utley has also been plunked in two thirds of the games in which he went 1 for 2 at the plate. Alberto Callaspo leads the league in going 1 for 4 with 39 games, but he's hasn't been hit by a pitch while doing that this year. Dan Uggla leads all batters in going 1 for 3 with 25 such games, but he's only been plunked once doing so. Adam Everett and Gerald Laird are tied for the lead in 0 for 3 games with 24 each, and have been plunked a combined 3 times in those games. Uggla has the most 0 for 4s in his game log with 30, with just 1 plunk in those games, and Jimmy Rollins is five 0 for 5 games ahead of any other player with 14 0 for 5 games, and hasn't been plunked in any of them. That can't be good for your bacon.

Utley reachs 22 for the season, 105 for career

HBPs of note: September 16, 2009

Chase Utley continues to find new ways of getting hit by pitches (with a league leading 22), and last night's method was to get hit by someone named Tyler Clippard. Clippard had never plunked a batter before, but he does pitch for the Washington Nationals and they've now hit Chase Utley 6 times this year. He's the first batter to get hit by the same team 6 times in a season since Carlos Delgado was plunked 6 times by the 2005 Phillies. Neither Craig Biggio nor Don Baylor ever got hit more than 6 times by a single team in a season, but Fernando Vina and FP Santangelo got hit 7 times 2002 Reds and the 1997 Astros, and Ron Hunt got hit 11 times by the 1971 Mets.

Brian McCann got plunked in the 9th inning of the Braves/Mets game, and the pinch-runner who replaced him came around to score the winning run on an always-exciting walk off error.

Including Tyler Clippard, 484 pitchers have hit a batter this year - the record is 489.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Canadian Bacon

Just because we now have a stat called BACON and... Canadians.

Here are the top five Canadian born players by BACON:
Joey Votto - 0.751
Jason Bay - 0.699
Justin Morneau - 0.677
Russell Martin - 0.651
Michael Saunders - 0.520


As a people, Canadians haven't produced very good BACON this year, compared to players born in other countries.
Here are the cumulative BACONs by nation of birth
Japan - 0.718
Colombia - 0.712
South Korea - 0.705
Panama - 0.696
Cuba - 0.690
Venezuela - 0.686
Puerto Rico - 0.682
Dominican Republic - 0.678
Nicaragua - 0.676
USA - 0.657
Australia - 0.649
Canada - 0.644
Germany - 0.639
Netherlands Antilles - 0.575
Mexico - 0.517


And, not that it fits in, here is the team by team cumulative BACON for 2009, through yesterdays games.
Yankees - 0.727
Angels - 0.713
Blue Jays - 0.698
Orioles - 0.688
Twins - 0.687
Rangers - 0.687
Red Sox - 0.686
Dodgers - 0.682
Indians - 0.682
A's - 0.679
Marlins - 0.677
Rays - 0.674
Mets - 0.670
Royals - 0.667
Tigers - 0.664
Mariners - 0.662
Astros - 0.661
Braves - 0.659
Brewers - 0.659
White Sox - 0.651
Phillies - 0.650
Rockies - 0.650
Cardinals - 0.646
Cubs - 0.646
Diamondbacks - 0.646
Nationals - 0.641
Giants - 0.639
Padres - 0.636
Reds - 0.629
Pirates - 0.629

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Feldman throws 900th plunk in Arlington history

HBPs of note: September 14, 2009

Scott Feldman started the game for the Texas Rangers yesterday, facing the Oakland A's at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, but he might not have known going in that 899 batters had been hit by a pitch in that park's major league history. He made it threw 6 innings without adding to that total, but before the 7th inning, maybe someone told him about the impending milestone because he hit Daric Barton - making that the 900th HBP in Rangers Ballpark in Arlington history. He also hit Adam Kennedy a couple of batters later, just to make sure. Daric Barton's plunk was his first of the season, and also the first HBP recorded by a batter born in Vermont this year. Barton has been hit 5 times, but he's still 138 plunks behind Carlton Fisk for the Vermont record. Speaking of Carlton Fisk, the last time a batter born in Vermont was plunked by a pitcher born in Hawaii was August 31, 1981 when Milt Wilcox hit Carlton Fisk - until yesterday, when Feldman plunked Barton.

Kennedy's plunk was the 65th of his career.

Ryan Braun got his 12th plunk of the season yesterday, which leads National League left fielders, and leaves him one plunk away from doubling his career total in a single season - he'd been hit 13 times prior to 2009 (in 2 seasons). That means that was the 25th plunk of Braun's career.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Designated Hitter Hitters

So far this year, only 56 designated hitters have been hit by pitches. DHs will probably put up their lowest combined plunk total since 1998, and maybe even their lowest total for a full season since 1993.

Here are the year by year totals for DHs during the Jamie Moyer era:
2009 - 562001 - 1021993 - 55
2008 - 1042000 - 811992 - 64
2007 - 921999 - 1001991 - 50
2006 - 841998 - 631990 - 67
2005 - 991997 - 741989 - 46
2004 - 1251996 - 751988 - 74
2003 - 1101995 - 631987 - 98
2002 - 1101994 - 351986 - 67

(That's plunks while the batter was batting as a DH - no pinch hitters in the DH spot, or any of that.)

Manny Delcarmen, Ricky Romero, Joe Saunders, Robinson Tejeda, Jeremy Guthrie, Darren O'Day, and Darren Oliver have all hit 2 DHs this year, but nobody has done it more times that that. Of the top 30 active pitchers in the field of plunking designated hitters, only 7 of the 32 have hit one this year, for a total of 8 plunks. (You get 32 pitchers in the top 30 because several are tied.)
PitcherHit Designated
Hitters (career)
Hit Designated
Hitters (2009)
Tim Wakefield200
Randy Johnson140
Jamie Moyer130
Jarrod Washburn121
C.C. Sabathia121
Jeff Weaver120
Daniel Cabrera110
Freddy Garcia100
Pedro Martinez100
Mark Buehrle91
Tim Hudson90
Cliff Lee81
Nate Robertson80
Johan Santana70
Darren Oliver62
Derek Lowe60
Ted Lilly60
Gil Meche60
Mariano Rivera60
Kyle Lohse60
Casey Fossum60
Bronson Arroyo60
Scott Schoeneweis60
Ervin Santana60
Scott Feldman51
Fausto Carmona51
Julian Tavarez50
Sidney Ponson50
J.C. Romero50
Jose Contreras50
Javier Vazquez50
Chan Ho Park50

Inge plunked 30 times at Comerica Park (not in one game)

HBPs of note: September 13, 2009

The Detroit Tigers hosted the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park yesterday, and the Jays paid back the hospitality by hitting Brandon Inge with a pitch - making him the first batter to be plunked 30 times at Comerica Park. Placido Polanco is the next most plunked player at that park with 21, but he didn't get hit yesterday.

Jeremy Guthrie hit Mark Teixeira for the 2nd time this year, tying Vicente Padilla for the league lead in plunking Mark Teixeira. Guthrie pitched for the Orioles, and Teixeira was widely rumored to want to sign with his home town Baltimore team last winter before accepting his contract with the Yankees, so the Orioles might have incentive to plunk Teixeira because of that. But, it's more likely that Guthrie has a personal vendetta against the Teixeira family for their blantant disregard of the "I before E" rule.

Luis Castillo got up to 503 plate appearances without being plunked this season, but Pedro Martinez ended that streak yesterday.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Marmol plunks a shortstop

HBPs of note: September 12, 2009

Carlos Marmol must have read this yesterday, because he plunked Paul Janish ending the streak of 5 days without a shortstop being plunked. Marmol has plunked 12 batters this season though only two of them have been shortstops.

Johnny Cueto hit Jake Fox for the 2nd time this season. Cueto now leads the majors with 14 hit batters, along with leading the majors in plunking Jake Fox.

Prince Fielder got his 9th HBP of the season, tying him with Nick Johnson as the most plunke national league first basemen. Doug Mientkiewicz got plunked for the first time this season, making him the 406th different batter to get plunked this year, and he was hit by Waldis Joaquin who became the 477th pitcher to hit someone.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

21 for Utley

HBPs of note: September 11, 2009

Prior to last night, Tim Byrdak, Mike Pelfrey, John Lannan, Joel Hanrahan, and AJ Burnett had all plunked Chase Utley on a Friday. Nelson Figueroa must have realized that all the cool kids were plunking Chase Utley on a Friday, because he wanted to do it to - although he did throw three non-plunking pitches to Utley before hitting him in the first inning last night. Utley is now up to 21 HBPs on the season leading the majors, but while he's been plunked on every day of the week, he has 6 on Friday. He's now been hit 14 times by right handed pitchers this year. That was also the 150th plunk by a 2nd baseman this year.

That was Utley's 104th HBP of his career, but Melvin Mora also got hit by a pitch yesterday and he's up to 109. Todd Helton got his 50th career HBP yesterday, Matt Holiday got his 55th, and Nick Johnson got his 65th. Jose Bautista got his 25th career HBP. Helton's 50th was his first plunk this year, after 560 plate appearances with no plunks.

No shortstops were hit by pitches yesterday, and in fact no shortstops have been plunked since September 6th.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Fouls balls by pitcher

Ever wonder which pitchers have the greatest number of their pitches turned into foul balls? No? It sounds completely irrelevant to your fantasy league team, and won't help you figure out exactly what the problem is with your favorite team so you can impress sports radio hosts by calling in and telling them?
Well... here it is anyway.

Total fouls by pitcher, for the 2009 season:
PitcherFoulsTotal PitchesFoul Pct
Justin Verlander731333022.0%
Scott Baker672278324.1%
Cliff Lee663317520.9%
Randy Wolf628293221.4%
Edwin Jackson588297419.8%
Jon Lester577303119.0%
C.C. Sabathia574319618.0%
Roy Halladay565295119.1%
Johan Santana561257521.8%
Matt Cain559289119.3%
Matt Garza553298218.5%
Josh Beckett551297418.5%
Max Scherzer546274719.9%
Clayton Kershaw546280819.4%
Kevin Millwood541288318.8%
Roy Oswalt536270919.8%
Wandy Rodriguez535295518.1%
Aaron Harang531266619.9%
Felix Hernandez527308317.1%
Brad Penny524258820.2%


Here are the top pitchers by fouls as a percent of total pitches (500 pitch minimum):
PitcherFoulsTotal PitchesFoul Pct
Russ Springer26399026.6%
Matt Daley18772525.8%
Rafael Betancourt19678025.1%
Scott Baker672278324.1%
Jonathan Papelbon246107922.8%
Eddie Guardado14362822.8%
Matt Thornton231101522.8%
Jordan Zimmermann356157522.6%
Scott Linebrink21293822.6%
Octavio Dotel231103122.4%
Luis Ayala14866922.1%
Shawn Kelley14063522.0%
Daniel Bard16776022.0%
Justin Verlander731333022.0%
Jesse Crain16173721.8%
Johan Santana561257521.8%
Phil Hughes283130321.7%
Randy Wolf628293221.4%
Mariano Rivera19189421.4%
Frank Francisco14568521.2%



And, while we're here, how about an update on which batters have hit the most fouls this year:
BatterFoulsTotal PitchesFoul Pct
Brian Roberts490248019.8%
Carl Crawford476222721.4%
Andre Ethier466239619.4%
Todd Helton466239719.4%
Pablo Sandoval455186924.3%
Derek Jeter445240218.5%
Jose Lopez439196922.3%
Robinson Cano437204221.4%
Shin-Soo Choo436239518.2%
Aaron Hill435219019.9%
David Ortiz434227119.1%
Ryan Howard427246417.3%
Clint Barmes426205520.7%
David Wright423223418.9%
Jayson Werth422261216.2%
Ian Kinsler422210720.0%
Matt Kemp422229718.4%
Johnny Damon420231218.2%
Chone Figgins418270115.5%
Brad Hawpe417221418.8%


And here are the batters who hit the most fouls as a percent of total pitches they've thrown (500 pitch minimum):
BatterFoulsTotal PitchesFoul Pct
Pablo Sandoval455186924.3%
A.J. Pierzynski376155624.2%
Vladimir Guerrero254108223.5%
Ivan Rodriguez342147323.2%
Delmon Young263113523.2%
Rod Barajas329144222.8%
Wes Helms19284322.8%
Micah Hoffpauir17879122.5%
Jeff Francoeur412184422.3%
Jeremy Reed12957822.3%
Jose Lopez439196922.3%
Matt Tolbert12958322.1%
Bengie Molina337152622.1%
Alex Gonzalez283128522.0%
Josh Bard21196821.8%
Dioner Navarro302138821.8%
Aramis Ramirez220101721.6%
Jarrod Saltalamacchia258119421.6%
Miguel Montero317147721.5%
Carlos Guillen20495321.4%

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Lackey throws 9th inning plunk

HBPs of note: September 10, 2009

It was another slow Thursday for HBPs yesterday - Sean West of the Marlins hit Mets batter Wilson Valdez, Dusty Hughes of the Royals hit Detroit's Gerald Laird, and Angels franchise plunking leader John Lackey hit Mariner Jose Lopez. But Lackey's plunk was interesting because he threw it in the 9th inning. That's the 2nd time this season that a starting pitchers has hit a batter in the 9th inning - something that only happened once in each of the past two seasons.

Here are the year by year totals for plunks thrown by starters in the 9th inning or later, just to show that pitchers used to be able to pitch for a whole game:
2009 (to date) - 2
2001 - 2
1993 - 4
2008 - 1
2000 - 8
1992 - 9
2007 - 11999 - 7
1991 - 3
2006 - 4
1998 - 8
1990 - 7
2005 - 5
1997 - 7
1989 - 5
2004 - 4
1996 - 5
1988 - 14
2003 - 6
1995 - 7
1987 - 9
2002 - 4
1994 - 4
1986 - 14


The last time a starter hit a batter later than the 9th inning was June 4, 1995 when Tim Wakefield started the game, but didn't hit Dan Wilson until the 10th inning. Could that be the last time that ever happens? That, by the way, was Wakefield's first plunk for the Red Sox, which makes it 161 plunks ago.

The other instance of a starter throwing a plunk in the 9th inning this season was thrown by Edwin Jackson on August 5th - but he didn't finish the game.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Reed Johnson

Word out of Chicago Cubs land is that Reed Johnson is going to miss the rest of the season. He's probably not on your fantasy league, and unless you're a hard core Cubs fan you probably wouldn't notice his absence - unless you had him in your HBPs-only fantasy league. Johnson broke his foot by hitting a foul ball into it, which proves that he's much safer getting hit by pitches than hitting them, but also leaves him with just 7 plunks this year. That makes 2009 the first season since 2002 in which Reed Johnson didn't get hit by at least 10 pitches.

Johnson entered the Major Leagues in 2003, with an impressive rookie total of 20 HBPs, and he's been hit by at least 10 pitches in every season since then - until 2009. He was the only active player with double digits in HBPs in every year of his career, and had the longest active streak of seasons with 10+ plunks. With Johnson's streak over, that leaves Aaron Rowand with the longest such streak - his 12 plunks this year give him 6 straight seasons with 10 plunks dating back to 2004. But, unless one of this year's rookies can get hit a few more times, we're left without a single active player who's been plunked 10 times every year of his career.

Two years ago, I worked out that Johnson was on pace to contend for the HBP record sometime around 2019 if he could keep up his pace, and keep playing that long. To reach 288 plunks a player would have to average 14.4 plunks per season and play 20 years - neither of which is an easy thing to do. But, since joining the Cubs both of those have looked more unlikely for Reed Johnson. At the end of 2008 he had been plunked 15.3 times per season. Only he, David Eckstein and Jason Kendall were getting plunked often enough to have a chance at the record, given a 20 season career. After this year, he's fallen to 14.0 plunks per season. Eckstein and Kendall are still above 14.4 plunks per season, but both have shown signs that a 20 year career might be too much to expect. Chase Utley has pushed past Johnson into the contenders club with 14.7 plunks per season (with time still left this year), and Carlos Quentin could join the club if he goes on a streak and gets 7 more this year.

So, while it's sad to see Reed Johnson break his streak, he's a free agent this winter, and perhaps he can find a new team that's more appreciative of the art of the plunk, where he can get back into the chase for 288.

Konerko plunked at US Cellular Field

HBPs of note: September 9, 2009

Paul Konerko got hit by a pitch at US Cellular Field yesterday, but that's nothing new because he already held the park record for getting hit by pitches. That was the 37th time he'd been hit at the White Sox home park. But, that was his 10th plunk of the season which ties the Paul Konerko Era record for most plunks in a season by a player named Paul Konerko. Or, it tied his career high. He's got 76 for his career - but he's still 58 plunks behind Nap Lajoie for the Rhode Island record. And, he's just over half way to Minnie Minoso's club record 145 plunks (but still in 5th place among White Sox). And, Konerko now has 73 career plunks while playing for a team in the American League Central Division, which is just one behind the AL Central record - currently 74 by Matt Lawton.

Yadier Molina got his 20th career plunk yesterday, which makes 78 plunks for Molinas in general. Jeff Suppan threw that one, bringing his career total to 91, but he still needs to plunk 3 more Molinas to break the record for Molina plunking. Zach Duke and Tim Wakefield hold the Molina plunking record with 3 each, but Duke has only plunked Yadier and Bengie, while Wakefield has only plunked Bengie and Jose Molina. No pitcher has plunked all three Molinas.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Martinez and Tomko hit batters

HBPs of note: September 8, 2009

Or is it HBPs of note: July 10, 1998? That was the last time Pedro Martinez and Brett Tomko hit batters on the same day. Pedro hit Rafael Palmeiro and Tomko hit Andy Fox - one of Fox's 18 plunks that year, to set a Diamondbacks single season record which still stands. But yesterday, Pedro hit Willie Harris for his 138th career plunk thrown and his first since August 26, 2008. Pedro had gone more than a year without hitting a batter - his longest plunk-free stretch since throwing his first HBP on May 16, 1993 (when he hit Steve Finley). Tomko hadn't hit anyone since August 2, 2007, but he hit AJ Pierzynski yesterday, who had been up to 458 plate appearances with no plunks this season. That plunkless streak was uncharacteristic for Pierzynski, since he's now been hit 86 times in his career.

3 of yesterday's 7 HBPs were thrown in the 9th inning.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ichiro is good.

As you've probably heard by now, Ichiro Suzuki recorded the 2,000th hit of his (American) Major League career. And just in case there was any doubt about it, that's amazing. But, maybe not everyone is clear how amazing it is. You've probably heard or read some form of the statement that he's the only player to get to 2000 hits in less than 10 seasons, or that he's the 2nd fastest player to 2000 hits in terms of games played - but you might say "hey wait a minute - Ichiro was 27 when he showed up in the Majors, after nine years and 1,278 in Japanese pro ball. You can't just compare him to other guys first 9 seasons, because they were much less experienced when they started playing in the majors". Well, that seems like a logical arguement so lets take a look at all the players who have had 2000 hits in any 9 consecutive year span - that way we can see if these years, which are clearly Ichiro's prime, match up against other players in their prime.

Players with 2000 hits in 9 consecutive years:
PlayerYearsHits
Ichiro Suzuki
2001-2009
2000

Well hey, that's not a very long list is it? From 1894 to 1902, Willie Keeler had 1905 hits. Prior to this year, that was the best span of 9 consecutive years ever, and that was a long time ago. He was the only player to break 1900 hits in 9 consecutive years, before Ichiro joined him in June. Pete Rose had 1,863 hits from 1968 to 1976. Al Simmons, the guy who got to 2000 hits in fewer games than Ichiro, had 1813 hits from 1925 to 1933. Ichiro's first 8 seasons were actually the 36th best NINE year span in history.

It is true though, that Ichiro has had longer seasons to work with than the guys who played before 1962, and none of his years in the Majors has been interupted by a labor dispute. To level the playing field, lets let Ichiro have his first 9 seasons, and we'll see how many other players have 2000 hits in their 9 best seasons, regardless of where they fell in the player's career.

Players with 2000 hits in their best 9 seasons, not necessarily consecutive:
PlayerYearsHits
Ichiro Suzuki
2001-2009
2000

That's another really short list, isn't it? Ty Cobb's best season was 1911 when he had 248 hits. His next best was 1912 with 226, and 1917 after that with 225. If you throw in his next 6 best season (1909, 1907, 1922, 1924, 1915 and 1916), his total for those 9 is 1,958. That used to be the best 9 season total ever. Only 5 other players have broken 1900 hits in their best 9 seasons combined -
Paul Waner - 1,937 (1927-30, 1932-34, 1936-37)
Rogers Hornsby - 1,926 (1917, 1920-22, 1924-25, 1927-29)
George Sisler - 1,913 (1917, 1919-22, 1924-25, 1927, 1929)
Pete Rose - 1,910 (1965-66, 1968-70, 1973, 1975-1976, 1979)
Wille Keeler - 1,905 (1894-1902)

It's not as though Ichiro is just squeeking by these totals either and the Mariners still have 24 games left this year.

From the beginning of the 2001 season to this morning - the span of Ichiro's career - he has 2000 hits, and the next best player in those years has 1,710 (Derek Jeter). Ichiro could have take a season off and still have the most hits since 2001 - even if the season he chose to sit out was the year he broke the single season record for hits.

Perhaps most impressively, this season has been the most consistent of Ichiro's career, with a BACON of .917. Here are his year-by-year BACON scores:
2009 - .917
2008 - .825
2007 - .845
2006 - .784
2005 - .791
2004 - .859
2003 - .803
2002 - .822
2001 - .883

And did I mention that he also holds the record for career HBPs by a major league player in Japan, with 42?

Labor day plunkings

HBPs of note: September 7, 2009

Dodgers catcher Russell Martin got hit by a pitch yesterday, delivered by Arizona pitcher Max Scherzer, bringing his season total to 10 for this season. That makes him the first Dodger to get hit by 10 pitches in a season since 2004 when Alex Cora got hit 18 times.

On Sunday, Johnny Cueto took the league lead in hitting batters away from Dave Bush, throwing plunks number 12 and 13 of his season (including a third basemen). But on Monday, Bush returned fire, plunking Yadier Molina to regain a share of the season lead. Cueto has now hit a third baseman with 11 of his 27 career plunks.

In other leftovers from Sunday, Joel Peralta hit Chad Tracy, making that the 1500th hbp thrown by a pitcher born in 1976. And, the Braves plunked pitcher Micah Owings with the bases loaded in the 12th inning on Sunday. Only one other pitcher has been hit with the bases loaded this year, and that plunk was also thrown by the Braves.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

more improbable plunkings

HBPs of note: September 5, 2009

Garrett Anderson got hit by a pitch yesterday, which makes that his 2nd HBP of the season - tying his career high. That's just 8 for his career, in 8,907 plate appearances. That's pretty improbable. But not quite as improbable as Andy Laroche being hit by a 9th inning pitch thrown by someone named Blake Hawksworth. Blake Hawksworth? Are baseball players just making up names to sound cool now, the way they used to make up dates of birth and fake dominican birth certificates so they'd sound younger? Anyway, whatever Blake Hawksworth's real name is, he threw his first career plunk, making him the 81st Canadian ever to throw a plunk, and the 434th pitcher to do so this year.

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Utley becomes first lefty with three consecutive 20 plunk seasons

HBPs of note: September 4, 2009

Chase Utley has been hit by a lot of pitches, especially for a left handed batter. He's up to 103 for his career, and as of last night he's up to 20 this season, leading the majors. That makes him the first left handed batter ever to get hit 20 times in 3 consecutive seasons. Tim Byrdak contributed last nights plunking, but it was only the 7th of his career, and the first time he hit Chase Utley.

Manny Ramirez got the 102nd plunk of his career last night, andAaron Rowand got his 107th. Rowand's 107th was thrown by Jeff Suppan, and was the 90th hit batter of his career, as well as the 1400th hit batter thrown by a pitcher born in 1975.

Jamie Moyer threw the 137th plunk of his career, plunking Michael Bourn, who has only been hit 4 times, and is only 4 years older than Jamie Moyers career. Pitchers born since the beginning of Moyers career have hit 39 batters, and batters younger than Moyers career have been hit 53 times.

One of those pitchers younger than Moyer's career hit a batter younger than Moyer's career last night. Daniel Hudson hit Josh Reddick, and to make it more interesting he did it in his first major league appearance, and hit the first batter he ever faced, and made it the first plunk of the batter's career (though it wasn't Reddick's first plate appearance). He's the first pitcher this season to hit the first major league batter he ever faced. It took Hudson 5 pitches to hit his first Major League Batter, but on August 13th, Cesar Cerillo of the Padres hit a batter on his 3rd pitch (but it was the 2nd batter he faced).

Also, and perhaps most impressively, Aaron Boone got his 80th career HBP, and his first since coming back from open heart surgery. He might be the first major leaguer ever plunked after open heart surgery.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Fouls by park

So far this year, batters have hit the most foul balls at the Metrodome, and Land Shark Stadium - that's interesting because both are scheduled to be replace in the next couple of years. Hopefully the new parks that replace them will be as fan friendly by providing an equal number of souvenirs in the form of balls hit in the wrong direction. (Though I actually have no way of knowing how many of the total foul balls hit in each park actually end up in the seats).

Here's the park-by-park listing of total fouls, foul rates, and HBP rates for 2009:
ParkFoul Balls*GamesHBPFouls per GameFouls per PAHBP per PA
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome3762693654.520.7030.007
Land Shark Stadium3726724651.750.6470.008
Safeco Field3694693353.540.7020.006
Oriole Park at Camden Yards3676683654.060.6870.007
PETCO Park3622704551.740.6760.008
Wrigley Field3619674354.010.7020.008
Rangers Ballpark in Arlington3584695751.940.6770.011
Dodger Stadium3544695651.360.6730.011
Tropicana Field3542664253.670.7000.008
Great American Ball Park3507685051.570.6650.009
Fenway Park3451665552.290.6820.011
Oakland Coliseum3447673351.450.6770.006
Kauffman Stadium3423673851.090.6620.007
Citi Field3402664751.550.6700.009
Coors Field3381653252.020.6670.006
Yankee Stadium3360654951.690.6510.009
Comerica Park3348674249.970.6650.008
U.S. Cellular Field3333664850.500.6670.010
Rogers Centre3298674349.220.6390.008
Nationals Park3280664949.700.6340.009
Progressive Field3278634152.030.6670.008
Citizens Bank Park3259675548.640.6260.011
Turner Field3197653849.180.6400.008
AT&T Park3149653648.450.6550.007
Minute Maid Park3132654248.180.6290.008
Miller Park3096654647.630.6140.009
Busch Stadium3078694844.610.5970.009
Angel Stadium of Anaheim3010654446.310.5980.009
PNC Park2993643746.770.6160.008

*-Foul Balls include foul tips, but not foul bunts or fouls caught for outs. For some reason.

There doesn't appear to be any connection between ball park plunk rates and the rate of foul balls hit per plate appearance at those parks. The combined plunk rate for the top 15 foul ball rate parks is almost identical to the rate for the bottom 15.


For bonus coverage, here are the 2009 Fan Interference totals by ballpark:
Busch Stadium - 6
AT&T Park - 4
Safeco Field - 4
U.S. Cellular Field - 4
Oriole Park at Camden Yards - 4
PNC Park - 3
Comerica Park - 3
Progressive Field - 2
Citi Field - 2
Citizens Bank Park - 2
Angel Stadium of Anaheim - 1
Fenway Park - 1
Miller Park - 1
Coors Field - 1
Minute Maid Park - 1
Rogers Centre - 1
Turner Field - 1
(2009 Fan Interference data, as usual, is gathered from MLB's Gameday files and isn't particularly official)

The fans at Busch Stadium have handed out 6 ground rule doubles on fan interference calls, but 5 of them were to visiting teams (including two for Craig Counsell). Sometimes clever home fans will grab a ball in play, for a ground-rule double which causes the umpire to send a runner who had scored from first back to third base, negating the run - but that didn't happen in any of the 5 cases at Busch. It's possible that any of those 5 could have been triples if not touched by a fan, but they also could have been runners thrown out at third, maybe.
There have only been two of those ground-rule doubles where a fan costs a team a run this year - and both cost the Mets that run. On May 14, Gary Sheffield hit a ground-rule double to left field at AT&T park that cost Carlos Beltran a chance to score from first, and on April 16th, Mets fans did it to their own team, interfering with a Daniel Murphy hit, and holding Jose Reyes up at third. Beltran scored anyway in the road game, but Reyes did not.
So, keep your hands off balls in play, people. In general though, this year's fan interference total is way down from last year - there have only been 41 fan interference incidents so far, while last year there were 68. There had been 62 already by this date last season.

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Utley given league plunk lead

HBPs of note: September 3, 2009

Chase Utley got hit by a pitch last night, contributed by Giants ace Tim Lincecum, bringing his 2009 season total to 19. That moves him 1 plunk ahead of Kelly Shoppach for the Major League lead. Utley has now been hit 102 times in his career, and if he gets one more this year he'll be the first left-hander ever to get hit 20 times in three consecutive seasons.

Ryan Dempster's 6th inning plunking of Chris Getz yesterday was the 1800th plunk thrown by someone born in 1977. Pitchers born in 1977 have hit more batters than any other vintage.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

A few facts about Dave Bush

Dave Bush might not be the best pitcher in the world, or the best pitcher in Brewers history, or the best pitcher in the world at hitting batters... but he is the best Brewers pitcher ever at hitting batters, now that he holds the franchise record with 51 plunks thrown. Here are a few quick things you might not have known about Dave Bush:

Since joining the Brewers, Dave Bush has hit 9 second basemen and 8 shortstops, leading the majors in both categories over that period of time. 33% of his plunks with the Brewers have been thrown at middle infielders. He's also hit 8 third basemen, but that trails noted third basemen hater Johnny Cueto, who's hit 10 (40% of his total).

20 of the 51 batters Bush has plunked as a Brewer have scored a run after reaching on a plunk... which isn't great (from '06 to '08, about 27% of plunked batters scored runs, league wide). But none of his 51 plunkings with Milwaukee have come with the bases loaded, so that's good.

37 of his Brewers plunkings have been the first plunk of the game, while only 3 come in games when a Brewers batter was already hit. The other 11 have been thrown in games where Bush himself had already hit at least one batter. Obviously in a league where umpires can issue warnings to both teams, getting in the first shot is often key. Brewers batters have only been hit 12 times in 11 games after Dave Bush hit someone.

Since joining the Brewers, Dave Bush has not plunked a Dodger, Brave or Met (plus a bunch of AL teams). He's also never plunked Lance Berkman, even though Berkman has faced him more times than any other batter (36).

19.6% of Bush's plunks have been thrown on Tuesdays, while only 7.8% have been thrown on Sundays.

Dave Bush breaks Brewers plunk record!

HBPs of note: September 2, 2009

Milwaukee starts Dave Bush spent about two months on the disabled list this summer, and through that entire stretch he was tied with Jamey Wright for the Brewer's franchise record for hitting batters, with 49. But, in 2nd inning against the Cardinals last night, Bush hit opposing pitcher Chris Carpenter giving Bush 50 plunks since joining the Brewers. That's the most in Brewers history - and the first time Carpenter has ever been plunked. Then in the next inning, Bush hit Brendan Ryan (for the second time in his career) just to add to his new record. That was Bush's 70th career plunk, and 51st since joining the Brewers. Since the beginning of 2006, when Bush joined the Brewers, no other pitcher has hit 50 batters. Vicente Padilla is 2nd in the post-2005 hit batter standings with 49, Justin Verlander has hit 45, and Daniel Cabrera and Jason Marquis have hit 40 each. Bush is the 2nd pitcher this season to break his team's record for career hit batters, joining John Lackey. Bush, Lackey and Tim Wakefield are the only active pitchers who own their current team's career plunking record, and by pushing the Brewers record over 50, their are now only two major league teams that haven't had a pitcher hit 50 batters for them - the Rays and the Padres.
Here's what the Brewers all time plunking list looks like now:
David Bush, (2006-) - 51
Jamey Wright, (2000-2002) - 49
Bill Travers, (1974-1980) - 42
Bill Wegman, (1985-1995) - 40
Cal Eldred, (1991-1999) - 35
Chris Capuano, (2004-2007) - 34
Jim Slaton, (1971-1983) - 33
Ricky Bones, (1992-1996) - 33
Jaime Navarro, (1989-2000) - 32
Ben Sheets, (2001-) - 31


Along with taking the Brewers Record, Bush also jumped into the Major League Lead in hit batters this season, with a total of 12. He passed Carlos Marmol, Joba Chamberlain and Jonny Cueto who all have 11.

In other news, Matt Garza of the Rays threw his 20th career plunk, and Jose Lopez of the Mariners was hit for the 25th time in his career.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

16 games 2 plunks

HBPs of note: September 1, 2009

They played 16 Major League Baseball games yesterday, and only two batters got hit by pitches. This is a nearly unprecedented level of pacifism in MLB, and it can't be a good sign - like cats and dogs living together, as Dr. Venkman might say. The last time only two batters got hit by pitches on a day with 16 baseball games was August 8, 1982. On June 17th this year there was a slightly worse day for plunking, when only 1 batter got hit in 15 games played that day. But it can't be good for baseball when all those pitches are being thrown without any pitcher caring enough to brush a guy off the plate, or without a batter caring enough to take one of those pitches for the team.

Ervin Santana hit Franklin Gutierrez, and Charlie Morton hit Paul Janish. And nobody else got hit by anyone. Gutierrez was the first Venezuelan batter to be plunked in the 5th inning on a Tuesday this season, and the first Venezuelan to do so since Luis Valbuena got hit in the 5th inning on Tuesday September 16, 2008. Gutierrez and Valbuena swapped teams last offseason as part of the 3-team JJ Putz trade.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Miguel Tejada

Miguel Tejada is the only active player who has been hit by 5 pitches thrown by pitchers born in Minnesota.

Pitchers from Oregon reach 600 plunks thrown

HBPs of note: August 31, 2009

Oregon native Jeremy Guthrie plunked Jerry Hairston Jr. last night, which made that plunk the 600th known plunk thrown by a pitcher from Oregon. So that's something, right?

Bobby Abreu got the 30th plunk of his career, on a day when 4 of the 7 HBPs recorded were ones that hit Venezuelans.

Two different Blue Jays were plunked while visiting Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, and the 2nd of them was the 899th in park history.

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