White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin got hit by a pitch in his 5th consecutive game last night, which is a record for at least the length of time we have such records for. We don’t know for sure that Hughie Jennings or Tommy Tucker never got hit in 5 different games, but we do know that Craig Biggio never did it, among his 285 career HBPs – not even in the year he got hit 34 times. Jason Kendall’s been hit 229 times, but never in 5 consecutive games – not even in the back to back seasons he got hit 31 times. Don Baylor never had a streak of more than 4 games with a plunk, and that one wasn’t even in the season he set the American League record with 35 plunks. Ron Hunt got hit 50 times in 1971, but didn’t manage to get hit in more than 3 games in a row.
So Carlos Quentin is truly in the midst of something special. In reverse order, he’s been plunked by Josh Beckett, David Aardsma, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jon Lester and Zach Miner. That’s 4 right-handers and one lefty (Lester), four starters and one reliever (Aarsma), and 4 Americans and one pitcher from Japan. Four of those 5 hit him with pitches over 90 miles per hour, according to MLB Gameday, with only Lester using an 80.3 mph change up. The others were moving 94.7 (Beckett), 94.5 (Aardsma), 93.8 (Daisuke) and 90.3 (Miner) mph, when leaving the hands of the pitchers. Miner, Daisuke and Aardsma all hit him in the 4th inning, while Lester waited until the 5th and Beckett waited until the 8th inning to hit Quentin.
So tonight Quentin and the White Sox face Brian Bannister and the Royals. We’ll see if Quentin can get hit in a 6th consecutive game. He’s also just 4 HBPs away from the White Sox single season record now, and he’s only 1 plunk away from the record for the most HBPs by a batter whose last name starts with Q. Joe Quinn has been the most plunked Q since 1901 with 39, but Quentin has 38 in just 252 career games.