Archive for September, 2011

2011 Awards for outstanding achievement in the field of HBPs

Friday, September 30th, 2011

It’s time for the 2011 Awards for outstanding achievement in the field of HBPs, and assorted other awards I just like.

Most Plunkable Player Award (most HBPs by a batter):
American League: Carlos Quentin (CWS) – 23 HBPs
National League: Danny Espinosa (WAS), Justin Upton (ARI) – 19 HBPs

Quentin tied the White Sox single season record, set in 1956 by Minnie Minoso – but he got hurt (a non plunk injury) and missed 36 of the last 37 games of the season. Justin Upton broke the Diamondbacks single season record, set in 1998 by Andy Fox. Danny Espinosa had the most HBPs by a switchhitting rookie since Charlie Babb had 22 in 1903. He broke the Nationals franchise record for rookie plunks by 8 HBPs, although of course he was 31 plunks short of the overall single season record for the Nats franchise (50 by Ron Hunt).

The Phil Knell Award (most batters plunked by a pitcher):
American League – John Lackey (BOS) – 19 HBPs
National League – Tim Hudson (ATL) – 15 HBPs

Hudson’s total was the most plunks by a Braves pitchers since Joe Oeschger hit 15 for the Boston Braves in 1921.

Mitch Williams Award (most hit batters by a relief pitcher):
American League – Alfredo Aceves (BOS) – 10 HBPs in relief (15 overall)
National League – Carlos Marmol (CHN), Ernesto Frieri (SD) – 9 HBPs in relief

This is the third consecutive year Carlos Marmol has had at least a share of the Mitch Williams Award.

Plunked Rookie of the Year (most HBPs by a rookie):
National League – Danny Espinosa (WAS) – 19 HBPs
American League – Casper Wells (DET/SEA) – 7 HBPs

The Gus Weyhing Award (most plunks thrown by a rookie):
National League – Dillon Gee (NYM) – 14 HBPs
American League – Ivan Nova (NYY), Tyler Chatwood (LAA), Charlie Furbush (SEA/DET) – 6 HBPs

Gee’s rookie campaign had the most hit batters by a rookie since Johnny Cueto in 2008

Sandy Alomar Award (most plate appearance without an HBP):
American League – Ichiro Suzuki (SEA) – 721 plate appearances
National League – Jose Reyes (NYM) – 586 plate appearances

Ichiro’s total is the most since Caeser Izturis had 728 in 2004 without a plunk.

The General Crowder Award (most batters faced without hitting anyone)
National League – Sean Marcum (MIL) – 823 batters faced, none plunked.
American League – Brandon McCarthy (Oak) – 690 batters faced, none plunked.

Most Plunked Team (the plunk pennant):
American League – Chicago White Sox – 84 HBPs
National League – Washington Nationals – 65 HBPs

Least Plunked Team:
National League – Atlanta Braves – 28 HBPs
American League – Seattle Mariners – 37 HBPs

Most Plunks Thrown:
American League – Boston Red Sox – 90 HBPs
National League – New York Mets – 70 HBPs

The Red Sox have hit 900 batters since the beginning of the 2000 season, making them the first team ever to hit 900 batters in a span of 12 seasons.

Fewest Plunks Thrown:
National League – Milwaukee Brewers – 33 HBPs
American League – LA Angels of 2000 Gene Autry Way – 36 HBPs

American League All Plunk Team:

1st Base: Casey Kotchman (TB) – 12 HBPs

2nd Base: Gordon Beckahm (CHW) – 13 HBPs

Short Stop: Sean Rodriguez (TB) – 11 HBPs at SS, 18 total (a new single season record for the Rays)

3rd Base: Kevin Youkilis (BOS) – 12 HBPs at 3B, 14 total

Left Field: Josh Willingham (OAK) – 11 HBPs

Center Field: Curtis Granderson (NYY) – 12 HBP

Right Field: Carlos Quentin (CHW) – 19 HBP at RF, 23 total

Catcher: Kelly Shoppach (TB) – 9 HBP

Designated Hitter: Johnny Damon (TB) and Vlad Guerrero (BAL) – 7 HBPs

National League All Plunk Team:

1st Base: Mike Morse (WAS) – 12 HBP

2nd Base: Danny Espinosa (WAS) – 19 HBP

Shortstop: Clint Barmes (HOU) – 7 HBP

3rd Base: Aramis Ramirez (CHC) – 9 HBP as 3B, 10 total

Left Field: Matt Holliday (STL) – 8 HBP

Center Field: Nyjer Morgan (MIL) – 11 HBP as CF, 14 total

Right Field: Justin Upton (ARI) – 19 HBP

Catcher: Carlos Ruiz (PHI) – 9 HBP as Catcher, 10 total

Pitcher: Matt Garza (CHC), Clayton Kershaw (LAD), Dillon Gee (NYM), Mat Latos (SD), Josh Collmenter (ARI), Jhoulys Chacin (COL), Ian Kennedy (ARI), Ryan Vogelsong (SF), Ricky Nolasco (FLA), Shaun Marcum (MIL), Randy Wolf (MIL) – 1 HBP

Shaun Marcum got hit by a pitch batting this year, but didn’t hit any of the 823 batters he faced. The last pitcher who faced over 800 batters and didn’t hit anyone, and also got plunked himself in the same season was Bert Blyleven in 1980.

Pinch Hitter: Reed Johnson – 4 pinch hit HBPs, 11 total (This tied the modern record for pinch hit HBPs with Kevin Sefcik for the 1998 Phillies and Fernando Vina for the 1994 Mets)

2011 BACON Title:
American League – Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS) – .850
National League – Jose Reyes (NYM) – .823

2011 BACON x HBP Title:
American League – Carlos Quentin (CHW) – 15.35
National League – Justin Upton (ARI) – 13.77

2011 BACON x Hits Title:
American League – Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS) – 180.2
National League – Starlin Castro (CHC) – 167.07

Most Swings (not including bunt attempts):
National League – Brandon Phillips (CIN) – 1328 swings
American League – Dustin Pedroia (BOS) – 1307 swings

Most Swings that Missed (not including bunt attempts):
American League – Mark Reynolds (BAL) – 429 misses
National League – Ryan Howard (PHI) – 388 misses

Save a Tree award (most plate appearances in which the batter did not risk damaging his bat by swinging it, not including intentional walks… or, most plate appearances with 0 swings):
American League – Ian Kinsler (TEX) – 62 PAs with no swings
National League – Jayson Werth (WAS) – 60 PAs with no swings

Hey, I could do THAT award (most strikeouts in plate appearance in which the batter did not bother swinging the bat)
American League – Brett Gardner (NYY) – 16 swing free strikeouts
National League – Drew Stubbs (CIN) – 13 swing free strikeouts

Most Foul Balls
American League – Dustin Pedroia (BOS) – 584 fouls
National League – Brandon Phillips (CIN) – 572 fouls

Most Foul Balls (Team)
American League – Boston Red Sox – 4614 fouls
National League – Pittsburgh Pirates – 4468 fouls

Most Foul Balls (Ballpark)
American League – Fenway Park – 4714 fouls
National League – Dodger Stadium – 4472 fouls
(Miller Park and Oakland Coliseum had the fewest foul balls this year with 3967 at Miller and 3976 at Oakland)

Fastest plunk
National League – Aroldis Chapman (CIN) hit Matt Downs (HOU) – 100mph – 05/10/2011
American League – Justin Verlander (DET) hit Carlos Santana (CLE) – 97.5mph – 06/14/2011

Teen Wolf Award (Most Home Runs on dates of full moons)
National League – Matt Kemp (LAD) – 4 hr
American League – Brent Moreal (CHW), Mark Teixeira (NYY), Matt Wieters (BAL), Asdrubal Cabrera (CLE), Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS) – 3 hr

Most plunks by day of the Week

Sunday – Danny Espinosa (WAS) – 7 HBP
Monday – Justin Turner (NYM) – 5 HBP
Tuesday – Mark Teixeira (NYY), Willie Harris (NYM) – 4 HBP (All of Harris’s HBPs this year were on Tuesday)
Wednesday – Carlos Quentin (CHW) – 6 HBP
Thursday – Justin Upton (ARI), Curtis Granderson (NYY) – 4 HBP
Friday – Craig Gentry (TEX) – 5 HBP (Gentry only got hit 6 times this year – 5 on Fridays)
Saturday – Robinson Cano (NYY), Carlos Quentin (CHW), Aramis Ramirez (CHC) – 4 HBP

Miguel Cairo was hit 7 times in 2011 – once on each day of the week. The last time that happened was 1973, for Willie Horton of the Tigers.

Most plunks against a single team
American League – Casey Kotchman (TB) – 5 HBP vs the Blue Jays
National League – Justin Upton (ARI) – 5 HBP vs the Nationals

Most teams plunked by
National League – Danny Espinosa (WAS) – at least one HBP from 13 different teams
American League – Sean Rodriguez (TB) – at least on HBP from 12 different teams

Most teams plunked
American League – Fausto Carmona (CLE) – 10
National League – Carlos Marmol (CHC), Dillon Gee (NYM), Charlie Morton (PIT), Randy Wolf (MIL) – 8

Most plunks against pitchers born in Montana
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (BOS) – 1

Bob Genghis Khan award (most hits by a player born in San Dimas, California)
Brett Pill (SF) – 15 hits

Most foul balls in one plate appearance
Brandon Belt (SF) – 12 fouls on Sept 4th in the 3rd inning, off Daniel Hudson (ARI)

Most foul balls with a runner going (season total)
American League – Dustin Pedroia (BOS) – 29
National League – David Freese (STL), Andrew McCutcheon (PIT) – 20

Most throws to first by a pitcher
American League – Justin Verlander (DET) – 204
National League – Anibal Sanchez (WAS) – 189

Most slump-free award (SPAM leaders)
National League – Jose Reyes (NYM) – 1.90 SPAM
American League – Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS) – 2.06 SPAM

(SPAM measures a batters slump-proneness by calculating the batter’s average hitless streak per plate appearance – more here)

Most Streak prone (HAM leaders)
American League – Adrian Gonzalez (BOS) – .478 HAM
National League – Jose Reyes (NYM) – .437 HAM

(HAM is a stat pioneered by the Japanese team known as the Nippon Ham fighters – either that or it’s another stat I made up, and it’s explained here)

Congratulations to Jose Reyes for winning the Sabermeatric triple crown in the NL with his .437 HAM, 1.9 SPAM and .823 BACON.

2011 Award for most plunks in a park named after Beer

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

It’s that time again – time to award the baseball season’s most coveted award – the Most Plunks in a park named after Beer award! And this year’s winner, for the 2nd consecutive season, is – Rickie Weeks! Rickie only got hit 8 times this season, but they were all at home at Miller Park, and 8 was enough this year to win the Beer Park HBP title. Prince Fielder had 5 HBPs at parks named for beer, and Matt Holiday, Jon Jay, Ryan Braun and Carlos Gonzalez had 4 each – so I guess they all get beer park bronze medals. Only 134 batters were hit by pitches at parks named for beer this year, well below last year’s total of 166.

On the pitching side, Randy Wolf wins the award for most plunks thrown at parks named after beer, with 9. Jason Hammel was the runner up with 5, despite playing for the Astros, whose home park is named after Orange Juice. Jason Motte, who I believe is named after applesauce, hit 4 batters at beer parks while playing for the Cubs who play at Wrigley, which is named after a person, not a gum. Tim Hudson and Ubaldo Jimenez also hit 4 batters at parks named for beer.

1553! Four more plunks than last year!

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

League wide plunk rates had been falling since 2006 – and if it kept going another year I was worried that sometime in the next two centuries the league would become entirely plunk free. But worry not – 1553 batters were plunked in 2011, up 4 HBPs from 2010′s total of 1549. So plunks aren’t going extinct! I hope. Also, only 662 pitchers were used this year, which is only the third most ever after the 666 pitchers used in 2007 and the 664 pitchers used in 664. So, it might not be the case that 15 or 20 years from now it will take so many pitchers to get through a major league season that you will have to pitch.

Sean Rodriguez got plunked with the bases loaded during the Rays ridiculous season saving comeback from a 7-0 deficit, giving Rodriguez 18 plunks for the season. That’s the new record plunks in a single season for the Rays. Hopefully Rodriguez will have another strong season next year and be able to break his own record. 41 bases loaded plunks occurred in 2011, but Chris Iannetta was the only one to do it twice.

Neither Danny Espinosa nor Justin Upton got plunked yesterday, meaning they’ve finished the season tied for the NL lead in HBPs.

Johnny Damon got his 50th career plunk last night, Ted Lilly threw his 60th, and Ryan Howard got his 40th. Howard is the 21st player to get hit 40 times for the Phillies.

The Mets did not hit anybody yesterday, so they only tied their best season ever for hitting batters.

More coming soon in the annual Awards post.

FINAL BACON race update:
Jacoby Ellsbury – .850
Jose Reyes – .823
Robinson Cano – .822
Miguel Cabrera – .820
Ryan Braun – .814

Weeks ties Brewers career record with 95th!

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Back in March, it seemed like Rickie Weeks was a lock to break the Brewers franchise record for getting hit by pitches sometime in the 2011 season – and then he got hit 3 times in April and twice in May. He wasn’t getting hit as much as last year, but he was still on pace to break the record. But then he got through June without a single plunk, and July past with only 1 Rickie Weeks plunk, and it started to look like maybe Rickie Weeks didn’t get hit by pitches any more. Then he got hurt and missed all of August. So he’s spent months in the low 90s for career plunks, so close to the 95 plunk record for Brewers career plunks… but he just wouldn’t go on one of those runs we know he’s capable of – getting hit 3 or 4 times in a week. He just kept building the suspense. Until last night, he finally pulled even with Geoff Jenkins when Ross Ohlendorf hit him in the 5th inning last night. That was the 2nd time Ohlendorf has hit Weeks, and the 10th time Weeks has been hit by the Pirates. Tuesday is Rickie’s 2nd least favorite day of the week to get hit by pitches, with only 11 Tuesday plunks. He has now been hit 45 times at Miller Park.

There were 9 HBPs last night, bringing the season total to 1540 – 9 plunks behind last years total. They’ve got one day of games to try to hit each other 10 times to beat last year’s plunk total, although there may be one or two bonus games since both wild card races are tied. 662 players have pitched in the majors this year, which is the 3rd most ever. 666 players pitched in 2007, and that’s the record.

Ryota Igarashi of the Mets hit Ramon Hernandez, giving the Mets 70 hit batters for the season. That ties the Mets record for HBPs thrown by it’s pitchers in a single season. Tune in tonight to see if 2011′s Mets can hit more batter than the Mets team that hit 70 batters way back in 2008.

BACON race update:
Jacoby Ellsbury – .849
Robinson Cano – .827
Jose Reyes – .823
Miguel Cabrera – .819
Ryan Braun – .819

Blue Jays break franchise record for hitting batters

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Dustin McGowan of the Blue Jays hit Alejandro de Aza of the White Sox, and that means the Blue Jays have hit 77 batters this year. That breaks the Blue Jays single season record for hitting batters, which was previously 76 in 2001. The White Sox have been hit 84 times this season, which is the most they’ve ever been hit in a season in franchise history.

League wide, we’re up to 1531 HBPs on the season, which is 18 plunks short of last years total. Stay tuned to find out if the 2011 season can exceed the plunk total of the 2010 season.

Prince Fielder was among three Brewers hit by a pitch yesterday, giving him 10 plunks on the season. He’s now reached doubled digits in HBPs in 5 of the 7 seasons he’s played in the majors (and one of those was a 39 game cup of coffee). He has 78 plunks for his career, which leads all batters under 29 years old by a margin of 28 plunks. Jeff Francouer is the only other player in the league who is under 29 and has been hit 50 times.

BACON race update
Jacoby Ellsbury – .848
Robinson Cano – .831
Jose Reyes – .821
Ryan Braun – .819
Miguel Cabrera – .817

Upton takes Dbacks single season record, share of NL lead

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Justin Upton took plunk number 19 on the season when Tim Lincecum hit him in the 1st inning last night. He’s the first Diamondback’s batter ever to take 19 HBPs in a season, breaking the single season record of 18 set by Andy Fox in 1998. Congratulations Justin Upton! Overall that was plunk number 30 of Upton’s career, and the 25th ever thrown by Lincecum. Upton is now, once again, tied with Danny Espinosa for the National League lead in HBPs.

Sean Rodriguez also got hit by a pitch yesterday, extending the single season record of the other expansion team from 1998. He’s the first Ray to get hit 17 times in a season after Brett Cecil hit him yesterday.

BACON race update:
Jacoby Ellsbury – .847
Robinson Cano – .830
Jose Reyes – .819
Ryan Braun – .818
Miguel Cabrera – .815

Hafner within 3 of Indians record

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

11 Batters were hit by pitches yesterday, leaving the league 39 plunks short of last years total of 1549. The 1500th plunk of the 2011 season was thrown by Francisco Liriano and landed on Travis Hafner. That was Hafner’s 76th career plunk, and that leaves him 3 plunks behind Napolean Lajoie for the Indians franchise record for career HBPs.

Ricky Romero of the Blue Jays hit Desmond Jennings of the Rays, and that was the 200th plunk ever to occur in a game between the Rays and Blue Jays. Romero has hit 14 batters this year, which would be tied for the American League lead except for John Lackey‘s 19 plunk reign of terror. Or awesomeness, depending on how you want to look at it. Desmond’s HBP was the 2000th ever recorded by a batter born in Alabama.

BACON race update
Jacoby Ellsbury – .844
Robinson Cano – .829
Jose Reyes – .818
Ryan Braun – .817
Miguel Cabrera – .814

Tim Hudson throws 99th, takes NL lead

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

10 batters were hit yesterday, bringing the 2011 season HBP total to 1499. With just 5 days of regular season baseball left, we’ll need to average 10 plunks each day to tie last years total of 1549 plunks. So it’s possible that this will be the first year since 2006 in which more players were hit by pitches than the year before, but it’s going to be close.

Tim Hudson‘s done his part to increase plunks this year by hitting 15 batters to lead the National League. But Dillon Gee is still right behind him with 14 and he’s scheduled to pitch today. Hudson’s plunk of Mike Morse last night was his 15th of the season and 99th of his career. Morse is also having a good year with 13 HBPs, and he has 11 career plunks at Nationals Park now, which ties him with Mike Morse for the park record.
Hudson has now hit 52 batters as a Brave, and that ranks 10th in franchise history, just ahead of Tom Glavine, and 2 plunks behind John Smoltz for 9th place.

Josh Willingham got his 75th career plunk yesterday, on a throw from Angels pitcher Jered Weaver. That was the 2nd time this season that Weaver threw a plunk to Willingham.

Bacon race update:
Jacoby Ellsbury – .843
Robinson Cano – .828
Jose Reyes – .817
Ryan Braun – .816
Miguel Cabrera – .813

Dellin Betances becomes 500th Yankee to hit a batter

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Yankees rookie Dellin Betances made his major league debut last night, and he didn’t hit a batter until the 5th batter he faced. Unfortunately he walked three of the last four so he managed to throw his first career HBP with the bases loaded. He’s the fourth pitcher this year to have a bases loaded plunk be the first HBP he ever threw, and the 2nd Yankee to do it. The last person to throw a bases loaded plunk quicker than that was Josh Roenicke who threw a bases loaded plunk to the 2nd batter he ever faced, although obviously he didn’t load the bases before doing that. On Sept 24, 2006 Juan Morillo of the Rockies started his career with three walks and a bases loaded plunk.
But on the plus side, Betances is the 500th pitcher to hit a batter for the Yankees, and that’s a pretty good milestone.

Josh Kinney of the White Sox hit Jason Kipness of the Indians and that was the 107th plunk thrown this year by a pitcher who once plunked Craig Biggio. Last year the Biggio Plunkers hit 150 batters.

BACON race update:
Jacoby Ellsbury – .843
Robinson Cano – .828
Jose Reyes – .817
Ryan Braun – .815
Miguel Cabrera – .811

Espinosa gets 19th to lead NL

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Danny Espinosa continued his amazing rookie season last night by getting hit by a pitch from Justin De Fratis. That gives Espinosa 19 for the season, and his career. Espinosa is just the third National Leaguer to get hit that many times as a rookie, joining Frank Robinson (20 in 1956) and Charlie Babb (22 in 1903). Babb, like Espinosa, was a switch hitter, and including Babb and Espinosa there have only been 6 switch hitters ever who got hit 19 times in a season. Babb and Dave Hollins did it once each, FP Santangelo did it twice in 1997 and 1998, Dan McGann did it 6 times between 1898 and 1908, and Tommy Tucker, the first player to get hit by 200 pitches, did it 7 times between 1887 and 1895. So that’s some pretty rare company for Danny Espinosa. He’s also leading the NL by one plunk over Justin Upton. He’d be the 28th player to lead his league in plunks as a rookie, but that just goes to show you the league has always enjoyed throwing at rookies.

Randy Wolf got hit by a pitch, making him just the 11th pitcher to take a plunk this year. Last year 20 pitchers got hit by a pitch, and in 2009 there were also 20 plunks by pitchers. Wolf joins Dave Bush as the only Brewers pitchers who have been hit by a pitch in a season when they also hit at least 13 batters.

Mets pitcher Chris Schwinden hit Rafael Furcal with a pitch, meaning the Mets have now hit 68 batters this season. The Mets single season record for hitting batters is 70.

BACON Race Update:
Jacoby Ellsbury – .843
Robinson Cano – .828
Jose Reyes – .816
Ryan Braun – .815
Miguel Cabrera – .811