Archive for June, 2011

17th for Quentin!

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

The White Sox played their 81st game of the season last night, and Carlos Quentin got hit by a pitch.  He’s got 17 HBPs through half a season.  17 x 2 = 34.  The American League single season record, as if you’ve forgotten, is 35 by Don Baylor in 1986. Is it still too early to get excited about the chances of Quentin making a run at that record?  He’s the first player since Jason Kendall in 1998 to get hit 17 times in his team’s first 81 games, and Kendall, Don Baylor and Ron Hunt are the only players who have done that in the last 40 years.

Quentin’s plunk was the 91st of his career, which leaves him one HBP behind Rickie Weeks for the title of the most plunked player born after 1980.  He also has a 9 HBP lead on the next most plunked American League batter this year.  That HBP was also the 40th ever thrown by Ubaldo Jiminez.

Travis Hafner improved his career plunk total to 72 when David Hernandez hit him yesterday.  Hafner is now just 7 HBPs behind Nap Lajoie for the Indians franchise record for career plunks.

A Tuesday with 7 plunks

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

None of the batters for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim got hit by a pitch last night, which means the Angels are still stuck at 1,999 HBPs in team history.

Seven batters did get hit by pitches though, including Ryan Braun and Brett Gardner.  They became the first left fielders to both get hit in the first inning of since 1985.  The last time both left fielders got hit by pitches in the first inning of a game was August 12, 1985 Brian Downing and Phil Bradley each got hit in an Angels-Mariners game.  For Braun, that was his 35th career plunk, tying him with Ryan Ludwick for 5th most plunks by a batter named Ryan.

Dan Uggla got hit by a pitch for the Braves yesterday, bringing the Braves season total to 12 HBPs.  That means the Braves are still 2 HBPs behind Danny Espinosa and 4 HBPs behind Carlos Quentin this year.  That was the 601st plunk ever recorded by a player named Dan, and he’s one plunk behind Dan Gladden for 4th place among Dans.

Espinosa gets 14th!

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Danny Espinosa continued his amazing rookie season with his 14th plunk of the year last night on a 7th inning plunk from Ervin Santana. The list of rookies who got hit by 14 pitches before the end of June is not a long one, at least going back to 1920. It’s Danny Espinosa – he’s the list. He’s now just 8 HBPs from tying the MLB rookie record, which is only a 103 year old record. The last rookies to get hit by 14 pitches in a season were Jose Bautista and Shane Victorino in 2006. Bautista had 16 that year, and Victorina has 14. But Espinosa still has 83 games on the schedule to add to his 14.

For Ervin Santana’s part of that plunk, it was the 60th of his career, making him just the third Angels pitcher to hit 60 batters. He’s 13 plunks short of John Lackey for the team record, and 11 plunks behind Chuck Finley for 2nd place. That was also his 33rd plunk at Angels Stadium which moves him ahead of Lackey for 2nd place in park history. Chuck Finley has the park record with 38.

Also in that game, John Lannan hit Erick Aybar giving the Angels the 1999th plunk in team history.

In St. Petersburg Florida yesterday, Jonny Gomes returned to Tropicana Field as a visitor. He holds the park record for HBPs there, and he took advantage of a chance to extend that record by getting hit by a pitch from Rays pitcher Adam Russell. Gomes has now been hit 27 times at Tropicana Field, and 57 times overall.

The only other plunk recorded yesterday was Matt Garza‘s 30th career plunk, which landed on Jonathan Herrera. That HBP was the 100th ever recorded in a game between the Cubs and Rockies.

In other news, Happy Don Baylor‘s Birthday! June 28th is in important date in HBP history, and not just because it’s Don Baylor’s birthday. 24 years ago today, Baylor got his 244th career plunk which moved Baylor ahead of Ron Hunt for the so called “modern” major league record, which sounds better than 3rd place on the all time HBP list. Also, on June 28th 2005, Craig Biggio got his 267th career plunk an a Jason Jennings plunk tying Baylor’s final career total.

Angels get 1998th HBP

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Peter Bourjos got hit by Clayton Kershaw in yesterday’s Angels-Dodgers game, and the notable thing about that was that it was the 1,998th HBP in Angels franchise history. That leaves the Angels two plunks away from the historic 2000 HBP milestone, but at the rate they’re going, it’ll probably me another two weeks before they get those last two plunks. The Angels have been hit 7 times on Sundays this year, but they only have 22 plunks. Oakland is the only team that’s had a higher percentage of this years plunks on a single day with 10 of their 28 plunks occurring on Sunday.

10 other batters were plunked yesterday, bringing the league total to 746 HBPs on the year.

NL Leader Danny Espinosa gets 13th

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Danny Espinosa got hit by another pitch yesterday, pushing his season total to a National League leading 13. If he keeps this lead, he’ll be the first switch hitter to lead either league in HBPs since 1992 when Dave Hollins got 19. Yesterday’s plunk was only Espinosa’s third batting right handed, compared to 10 HBPs he’s had batting left handed.

Eight batters got hit by a pitch yesterday, but none of them produced a run. None of them were RBI plunks, and all 8 batters were prevented from scoring runs after reaching on the plunk. That’s the most HBPs this year for a day of baseball where none of the plunked batters scored. The average this year is that 27.3% of base runners who get there on an HBP will come around to score a run. Only 25.6% of batters who reach first on a single have scored a run this year, and only 23.3% of those who walk to first score a run. If the walk is intentional, it’s only 13.3% who score this year.

Cole Hamels hit Mark Ellis with a pitch, and that plunk was the 3,950th in A’s franchise history, and the 4,985th plunk in Phillies franchise history going back to 1887 when the National League started counting plunks.

Lester retakes league lead

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Jon Lester plunked Andrew McCutchen last night putting himself back in the league lead and becoming the first pitcher to reach 10 hit batsmen this season.  Lester has hit 4 batters on Fridays this year, and the Red Sox have now hit 45 batters – 11 more than any other team.

Felix Hernandez became the 5th pitcher this year to throw three plunks in a game, hitting John Buck, Omar Infante and John Buck again.  That’s the 2nd 3 plunk game of his career, and the last of those was his 40th career plunk.  He’s now tied with Bill Swift for 4th place on the Mariners career hit batters list, but he’s not yet half way to Randy Johnson‘s club record of 89.

Mike Morse got his 20th career plunk last night, and somehow 9 of those 20 have occurred in the month of June.  That was his 6th of this season.  Chris Johnson also picked up his 6th HBP of the season last night, and Shin-Soo Choo got his 6th of the season, and Brent Lillibridge also got his 6th of the season.

Utley gets 130th

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Brian Tallet became familiar with the process of hitting Chase Utley with a pitch last June 27th, when he threw a pitch somewhere near Chase Utley and Chase Utley got hit by hit. He used those skills again yesterday and delivered Utley’s 130th career HBP. Utley is now has 37th place on the all time HBP list all to himself, moving ahead of Willie Keeler and Brian Downing. 7 of Utley’s 9 plunks against the Cardinals have been at St. Louis, and 6 have been at the new Busch Stadium. He’s now tied with Xavier Nady for the most plunks by a visitor to the Cardinals new ballpark. Utley’s first 130 plunks break down to 70 against right handed pitchers, and 60 against lefties, including yesterday’s. Also, two of the 9 pitchers who plunked Utley for the Cardinals were born in Oklahoma.

Aaron Rowand also got plunked yesterday, for his 124th. That moves him ahead of Scott Rolan for 43rd place on the all time list. Rowand is 74 plunks behind Frank Robinson for the most plunks by anyone whose last name starts with R. Alex Burnett was the thrower of that one.

Danys Baez threw his 50th career plunk, hitting Daniel Descalso.

Walkoff plunk in New York

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Justin Turner stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 13th inning with the bases loaded, and heroically got hit by the only pitch thrown to him by Brad Ziegler, driving in the winning run on the walkoff HBP. That was first game winning HBP since September 11, 2010 when the Ranger’s Jeff Francouer beat the Yankees on a walkoff plunk. The only other Mets walkoff plunk was by Daryl Boston on April 23, 1992. It was also just the 2nd walkoff plunk in interleague play history.

It was a good day for RBI plunks in general yesterday, not just the walkoff. Including Turner’s game winner, there were 4 RBI plunks yesterday. There has only been one other day since the start of the DH era that included four batters being plunked with the bases loaded – August 4, 2008.

One of those RBI plunks was thrown by John Lackey, who also through another plunk giving him 9 for the year, which ties him with teammate Jon Lester for the major league lead. Lackey is up to 91 plunks for his career.

Aaron Rowand took his 123rd career plunk yesterday (not an RBI). He’s now tied for 43rd place on the all time list with Scott Rolen.

New Busch Stadium gets to 300 HBPs

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Placido Polanco was on the receiving end of a plunk from Jason Motte last night, with the bases loaded, for the 88th plunk of his career. More notably though, it was the 300th HBP ever recorded at the new Busch Stadium. Motte must really have wanted to throw that historic plunk because he also hit Ryan Howard just before hitting Polanco. Motte only faced two batters and hit them both.

Zack Greinke threw his 40th career plunk last night, and his first since joining the Brewers. Matthew Joyce was on the receiving end of that one. Greinke it the 278th pitcher ever to throw a plunk for the Brewers.

Nelson Cruz broke a streak of 646 consecutive plate appearances without a plunk when Fernando Rodriguez hit him. It was Rodriguez’s first plunk as a major league pitcher.

back to back RBI plunks in Boston

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

In Boston last night, Ernesto Frieri had what you’d call a rough 7th inning. He came in with a runner on 2nd, loaded the bases, then plunked Marco Scutaro to drive in a run. Then he hit Jason Varitek to drive in another run. Then he had to go sit down and watch Evan Scribner let both of those guys come around to score runs. So, that was the first time a pair of batters has registered back to back RBI plunks since August 13, 2008 when Ty Wigginton and Mark Loretta did it for the Houston Astros when Ty Wigginton and Mark Loretta did it for the Astros. Neither of them scored a run though. The last time two batters got hit back to back and both scored runs was exactly 5 years ago yesterday. Brian Anderson and Pablo Ozuna got hit back to back with the bases loaded on June 20, 2006, and both scored runs against the Cardinals. Then exactly 5 years later Varitek and Scutaro do the same. There have only been 3 other back to back RBI plunk incidents where both batters scored since the beginning of the DH era.

In Milwaukee, Tim Dillard hit Sean Rodriguez making him the first Brewers pitcher ever to plunk a Tampa Bay Rays batter. The Rays had plunked the Brewers twice before, but that was the first time a Brewer hit a Ray. Also, Nyjer Morgan was plunked square in the back, but was denied first base and the official HBP by umpire Bob Davidson. For some reason, umpires feel the need to make this stupid call once or twice a year, and this case was as terrible a call as any of them.