A couple of things happened on Saturday in the Cubs/Red Sox game – one was the scary face-plunking of Marlon Byrd which apparently has left him with multiple facial fractures, and the other was the full-on double rainbow of team record breaking plunks, where Carlos Zambrano broke the Cubs all time plunk record hitting Kevin Youkilis, who was at the same time breaking the Red Sox plunk record. So one scary plunk, one inspiring record breaking plunk. Which lesson would the rest of the league take away from that? They went out and got hit by 19 pitches on Sunday – the most HBPs on a day of baseball since August 4, 2009.
Kerry Wood apparently didn’t like having Zambrano break his Cubs record for hitting batters, because he went and plunked Jed Lowrie to push his career total to 96 and his Cubs career total to 90 – tying Zambrano for the most in Cubs history. The media seems to think that might have been more pay back for the Byrd plunking, but Wood wanting to take the record back makes a lot more sense to me.
Rickie Weeks may also have been inspired by the historic Saturday HBP, and he may have realized he hasn’t been making much progress toward the Brewers all time plunk record this year, with only 3 HBPs going into yesterday. But, Ubaldo Jimenez threw a pitch Weeks could get hit by in the 3rd inning, pushing him to 91 career plunks. He needs just 4 more to tie Geoff Jenkins for the Brewers record. That was Weeks’ 16th plunk on a Sunday, which is the team record Sunday plunks, and his 3rd plunk against the Rockies, which is not the team record. Weeks would have to get hit 6 more times by the Rockies to tie Geoff Jenkins for the Brewers record for plunkings against Colorado. Weeks had never previously been plunked by a pitcher whose first initial was “U”, or whose last initial was “J”.
Speaking of inspired plunking-taking, Nationals rookie 2nd baseman Danny Espinosa got plunked for the 8th time this year, tying Carlos Quentin for the season lead. Espinosa appears to be following in the footsteps of great National League 2nd baseman who get hit by a lot of pitches, like Craig Biggio, Jeff Kent, Chase Utley, and the previously mentioned Rickie Weeks. Baltimore’s Chris Tillman threw that one. Espinosa needs 4 more plunks to break the Nationals franchise record for HBPs by a rookie, which is currently 11, set in 1996 by FP Santangelo when the team was the Expos. Espinosa has 8 plunks through 46 games, and in the last 30 years of baseball, 96.4% of players who had been hit 8 times at the 46 game mark finished the season with at least 12 HBPs.
Javy Guerra hit Gordon Beckham in Chicago, for the 997th plunk in US Cellular Field history. That was Guerra’s first major league plunk.
Mike Pelfrey threw his 41st career plunk, tying Dwight Gooden for 4th place on the Mets all time hit batters list.
weeks 16th on sunday
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