Archive for June, 2010

Matusz hits Barton – again

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

HBPs of note: June 29, 2010

Brian Matusz is having an interesting season.  He started the year without ever having hit a batter, but he hit Daric Barton on April 18th, and Mark Teixeira on June 1st.  Then last night, he hit Daric Barton again.  He has 3 career hit batsmen, and two of them are Barton.  He’s faced 415 batters this year, so he’s had plenty of chances to hit other batters, but Matusz seems to prefer to plunk Daric Barton.  Maybe he doesn’t like the way Daric spells his name or something.  Or, he might not like batters from Vermont.

Christian Guzman got his 30th career plunk on a pitch contributed by Jesse Chavez.

James Shields threw his 30th plunk in the Majors, hitting JD Drew.  That was Drew’s 51st HBP, and his 10th since joining the Red Sox.

So far this year, 303 different batters have been plunked a total of 727 times.  That’s the lowest total June 29th plunk total since 1997.

S.P.A.M. by team

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Last week I unveiled a new method of measuring how slump-prone major league players are, calling it the Slump Proneness Analysis Metric, or SPAM.  It’s part of a growing collection of new sabr-meat-ric stats I’m working on, to fill in the many holes left by the current trends in baseball statistics, along with Bacon, which measures batting consistency from game to game.  I mentioned in the introduction to S.P.A.M. that it could be easily used on a team level instead of just a player level, so here it is.  Put simply, S.P.A.M. is the average length of hitless streaks per plate appearance.  So in this case, we look at team hitless streaks, taking each plate appearance and assigning it 0 if it’s a hit, 1 if it’s the first non-hit plate appearance after a hit, and 10 if it’s the 10th consecutive hitless plate appearance for the team.  Add all those up and divide by the number of plate appearances, and you get the average hitless streak of the team, or as I call it, their S.P.A.M. (Intentional walks are excluded from this calculation, but everything else is left in).

Here are the 2010 S.P.A.M. rankings by team, including their SPAMs just for the month of June.

Team 2010 S.P.A.M. 15+ PA hitless streaks Longest hitles streak June S.P.A.M.
Royals 3.02 10 25 2.78
Yankees 3.03 12 21 3.21
Reds 3.04 11 23 2.99
Twins 3.05 10 25 3.20
Dodgers 3.09 8 29 2.97
Red Sox 3.11 14 24 2.75
Rangers 3.14 12 25 2.66
Cardinals 3.15 13 20 3.18
Tigers 3.15 11 31 3.23
Orioles 3.18 10 25 2.99
A’s 3.25 16 30 2.55
Rockies 3.32 11 23 3.29
Giants 3.32 16 21 3.07
Astros 3.33 12 23 3.34
Brewers 3.33 15 31 3.69
Mets 3.34 15 22 3.13
Pirates 3.36 8 23 3.06
Marlins 3.36 11 33 3.26
Cubs 3.38 17 27 3.31
Nationals 3.43 13 34 3.86
Indians 3.49 13 31 3.47
Phillies 3.49 17 32 3.74
Angels 3.56 17 29 3.22
Braves 3.57 15 37 3.04
Diamondbacks 3.59 16 29 3.33
Mariners 3.61 10 35 3.34
Padres 3.62 18 26 3.91
White Sox 3.66 14 32 3.55
Blue Jays 3.81 17 26 3.95
Rays 4.18 20 48 4.51

Not surprisingly, the Rays come out looking really bad based on this stat – having had 2 different no-hitters thrown against them this year (or rather one perfect game and a no hitter). That leads to some very long hitless streaks. But, they’ve had 20 different streaks of 15 or more consecutive plate appearances without a hit, so it’s not just that they’ve run up against some pitchers on the wrong night – the appear to be slump-prone in general. A 15 PA hitless streak is approximately a 5 inning draught of hitlessness, give or take some walking and HBPs.  They’ve had 3 different stretches of over 30 plate appearances of hitlessness.
Also not much of a surprise is that the Royals lead the league with the best S.P.A.M. They also have the highest batting average in the league (tied with the Rangers). But, the Rangers have been slightly less good at evenly distributing their hits. Oakland has had the best S.P.A.M. in June, at 2.55.  Those just go to show that avoiding hitless streaks doesn’t translate directly to winning, because you also have to cause some hitless streaks, which just means we’ll have to look at S.P.A.M. from the pitching side next.

Carpenter breaks New Hampshire plunking record

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

HBPs of note: June 28, 2010

Chris Carpenter began yesterday tied with Stan Williams for the most hit batsmen ever thrown by a pitcher from New Hampshire.  But, Carpenter pitched yesterday and Stan Williams hasn’t pitched since 1972, so if you were to guess which one of them would become the all time New Hampshire leader in hitting batters, you’d probably go with Carpenter.  He didn’t disappoint, throwing his 72nd career plunk by hitting Justin Upton.  That gives him 72 career plunks, the most ever for a pitcher born in New Hampshire.  Carpenter also tied Tommy Hanson for the National League lead in plunks thrown, with 8.

Speaking of league leaders, Carlos Quentin got his 11 plunk of the year, and his 4th in the last 5 days, to take the American League HBP lead with 11.  Quentin has now been hit 65 times in his career.

Quentin’s teammate AJ Pierzynski got hit by Joakim Soria, giving him 92 for his career and 77 for teams in the AL Central division.  That’s a new AL Central record, breaking his tie with teammate Paul Konerko.  But, the last two times Pierzynski has taken sole possession of that record, Konerko has tied him shortly after.

Travis Hafner got his 10th plunk of the season, which would have tied him for the AL lead, if Quentin hadn’t gotten his 11th.  That’s 68 for Hafner’s career, and he’s 11 away from tying Nap Lajoie for the Indians’ all time plunk record.  That was the 2nd time this year that Hafner has been plunked by Ricky Romero.

Denard Span and Francsico Liriano both set new plunk records at Target Field.  Span has now been hit 3 times at the Twins new park, and Liriano threw his 3rd plunk their.  Liriano hit Austin Jackson and Span got hit by Jeremy Bonderman.  Span’s plunk was the 20th in Target Field history.

115 for Utley – 116 for Rolen

Monday, June 28th, 2010

HBPs of note: June 27, 2010

Chase Utley got hit by a Brian Tallet pitch yesterday, marking his 8th plunk of the season, and his 115th HBP overall.  That put him in a tie for 43rd place on the all time list with Jimmie Dykes, Sherm Lollar and Scott Rolen.  But, that only lasted about an hour before Scott Rolen got hit by Chris Perez, giving him sole possession of 43rd place at 116 HBPs and pushing Utley (along with Dykes and Lollar) back down to 44th.

Tallet’s plunking of Utley was the 1,300th HBP ever thrown by a pitcher born in Oklahoma.

Justin Verlander hit two batters yesterday bringing his career total to 50.  He’s the 384th pitcher to hit 50 major league batters, as far as we know.  Verlander is the first Virginia born pitcher to crack the 50 plunks milestone since 1925 when Eppa Rixey threw his 50th.  He’s the 14th Detroit Tiger to hit 50 batters.

Quentin and Pierre both get 10th

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

HBPs of note: June 26, 2010

On Thursday, Wandy Rodriguez became the first pitcher in the 2010 season to hit 3 batters in a game, but Carlos Silva must have seen that news and thought “I can do that too”.  Also, he had a pair of willing participants in Carlos Quentin and Juan Pierre.  Silva hit Quentin in the 2nd inning, for his 9th HBP of the year, then hit Pierre in the 5th making him the first American Leaguer to get hit 10 times in 2010.  Then he hit Quentin again in the 6th, pushing him into a tie for the AL lead in HBPs with 10.  So currently both National League players with over 10 HBPs this year play for the Brewers, and both 10 plunk AL players are on the White Sox.  Quentin’s 2nd inning plunk was the 950th in US Cellular Field History.  Pierre needs 4 more to be the most plunked batter ever born in Alabama.

Ichiro Suzuki got hit by Randy Wolf pitch for the 2nd time in their careers, but it was only moving at 67mph at impact.  That’s 46 for Ichiro’s career, which ranks 5th on the Mariners all time list.  Randy Wolf has hit 77.

Danys Baez threw a Aaron Hill’s 25th career HBP, and he also threw Hill’s 22nd last September.

252!!

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

HBPs of note: June 25, 2010

Jason Kendall became the third living player with at least 252 major league HBPs when he got hit by a Mitchell Boggs 97mph fastball in the 7th inning last night.  Boggs joins Jay Witasick and Teddy Higuera as modern pitchers who have thrown someone’s 252nd career plunk.  Kendall has now been hit 6 times by pitchers born in Georgia, 22 times in the 7th inning, 17 times by the Cardinals, and 8 times by pitchers born since 1984.  Boggs is the 199th pitcher to plunk Jason Kendall.  11 of the 29 batters the Cardinals have plunked this year have been in games on Fridays.

Rickie Weeks got hit twice last night, by Ryan Rowland-Smith and Chad Cordero, giving him a Major League leading 13 plunks on the season.  Also, he’s now been hit 75 times overall, and 31 times at Miller Park.  Geoff Jenkins holds the Miller Park plunk record at 32, just one ahead of Weeks.  Rowland-Smith’s plunk was the 900th hit batsman thrown by a pitcher born in 1983.

Vicente Padilla threw his 103rd plunk, and also got hit by a pitch – his 3rd career plunk while batting.  He’s the 655 player in Dodgers history to get hit by a pitch.

Wandy hits 3

Friday, June 25th, 2010

HBPs of note: June 24, 2010

Wandy Rodriguez hit former teammate Aubrey Huff in the 4th inning of yesterday’s Astros-Giants game, and then plunked Aaron Rowand in the 5th and Aubrey Huff again in the 6th.  He’s the first pitcher this year to hit 3 batters in a game, and the first Astros pitcher to hit 3 batters in a game since Peter Munro hit 3 Philles on August 25, 2004.  Rodriguez ended the game with 36 plunks thrown, which is the most of any left-handed Astro.

Aaron Rowand’s plunk was his 114th, which puts him in a tie for 46th place on the all time list, with Chase Utley, Bill Freehan, and Frankie Crosetti.

Felix Hernandez hit Xavier Nady with a pitch in Seattle, making that the 200th plunk ever thrown by a pitcher born in 1986.  That was the 550th HBP in Safeco Field history, and the 20th thrown by Hernandez at that park.

Carlos Quentin got his 8th HBP of the season, and his 62nd ever.  He’s been hit about once every 27 plate appearances throughout his career, and leads active players with over 500 plate appearances in that category.

Fielder ties league lead

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

HBPs of note: June 23, 2010

Prince Fielder joined the “people who have been hit by 11 pitches in 2010 club” yesterday, by getting hit by a Brian Duensing pitch.  The only other member of that club so far is Fielder’s teammate Rickie Weeks.  That was Fielder’s 58th career plunking, which ties him with Fernando Vina for 3rd place on the Brewer’s all time HBP list.  Only Weeks and Geoff Jenkins have been hit more times than Fielder for the Brewers.  That was the first time Fielder has been hit on a Wednesday this year.

Ubaldo Jimenez dished out his 30th career plunk hitting Adrian Beltre.  That was the first time since September 15, 2009 that Jimenez gave up a plunk that resulted in a run.  That was Beltre’s 55th career HBP.

Johnny Cueto hit a batter for the 35th time in his career, which is the most of any pitcher born after 1983.

Vladamir Guerrero got his 91st career plunk.

Jay Sporz makes plunkish debut

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

HBPs of note:  June 22, 2010

Jay Sporz made a splash in his first major league pitching appearance, stepping in during the 3rd inning for the Tigers.  He hit the first two batters he faced.  He’s the first pitcher to plunk the first two batters he faced in his Major League debut since Justin Miller did so on April 12, 2002.  He’s the 504th Tiger to hit a batter, and the 384th Tiger to hit 2 batters.

Juan Pierre got his 9th plunk of the year, putting him in a tie with Travis Hafner for the American League lead.  That’s his 76th career plunk, which is just 4 less than Joe Sewell’s record for players born in Alabama.  Pierre could be breaking that record this year.  Tommy Hanson threw that one, and he’s hit a National League leading 8 batters this year.

Ryan Doumit got his 40th career plunk, becoming the 13th Pirate to reach that total.

Jeremy Guthrie threw his 30th career plunk.

John Lannan hit consecutive batters in his debut on July 26, 2007, but not his first two.

Justin Upton – the only plunk in town

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

HBPs of note: June 21, 2010

There were only 3 games yesterday, and 883 pitches thrown in those three games, but one of them hit a batter, and that batter is Justin Upton.   Upton’s plunk was his 3rd this year, and the 10th of his career.  He’s the 25th Arizona Diamondback to get hit by at least 10 pitches in his career with them.  That was also the 30th plunk by a batter born in 1987, and Upton’s 5th plunk at Chase Field.

Chad Gaudin was the thrower of yesterday’s lone plunk, and he’s thrown 5 this year – all in relief appearances.  He now leads the American League in relief hit batsmen, and is tied with Carlos Marmol for the major league lead.