Tim Hudson put his hatred of the American League on display last night, plunking three batters, although they all paid him back by scoring runs after reaching base. Hudson is only the 4th Braves pitcher to hit 3 batters in a game, since they moved to Atlanta, and he’s the first Braves pitcher to hit three American League batters in a game. Those were his 87th (Erick Aybar), 88th (Peter Bourjos) and 89th (Maicer Izturis) career plunks.
However, Hudson is still one plunk behind the 2011 major league leader, and that’s just because his former Braves teammate Jo-Jo Reyes hit his 6th batter of the season. That was the first time ever that a Blue Jays pitcher hit an Astros batter (Chris Johnson).
Speaking of firsts, Marlon Byrd become the first Cubs batter ever plunked by the Red Sox, and then he became the first Cubs batter ever plunked twice by the Red Sox. (Unless you want to count post-season plunks, and then the first Cub plunked by the Red Sox was Max Flack on September 3, 1918, who got plunked by some guy named George Herman Ruth.) That’s just the 2nd 2-plunk game for a Cub in interleague play (Mark Grudzeilanek had the other on June 3, 2003 against Tampa Bay).
Dave Bush threw his 80th career plunk last night, hitting Jimmy Rollins; and that was the 400th HBP of the 2011 season, by my count.
Jason Werth got his 33rd career plunk last night, from Baltimore pitcher Jason Berken. But yesterday was Werth’s birthday and it was an RBI plunk. Werth is the first batter this year to get plunked on his birthday and the 5th of the DH era to get an RBI plunk on his birthday. Interestingly, the last batter to get an RBI plunk on his birthday was also named Jason, and was also facing the Orioles at the time – Jason Bay, on September 20th, 2009.
Shin-Soo Choo also got an RBI plunk yesterday, off Travis Wood of the Reds. That was the 70th RBI plunk in interleague history, and the 5th for the Indians. The Indians trail only the Brewers for most RBI plunks in interleague play, but the Brewers have done that 6 times.
Nick Swisher got hit by RA Dickey in the Mets/Yankees game, and that was the 50th plunk in subway-series history.
Ryan Braun became the first batter this year to get hit by a pitch, and then get picked off first base.