Jason Kendall officially retired yesterday, after a brief attempt at a comeback with the Royal’s double-A team. As a fitting tribute to Kendall’s legacy of getting hit by 254 pitches for 5 teams, those 5 teams did not get hit by any pitches last night. Kendall got hit 177 times for the Pirates, and 6 times for the Cubs, and those two teams took last night off from plunking each other as a tribute to Kendall. He got hit 35 times for Oakland, and Oakland remembered that by not getting hit by the Blue Jays last night. Another 30 times, Kendall got plunked for the Brewers, and despite being the most plunked team in the league this year, the Brewers took last night off from getting hit as a tip of the cap to Kendall. And his final team, the Royals, where he got his final 6 HBPs – they too resisted the urge to lean in to any pitches last night against the Angels.
In Seattle, Alex Rodriguez got his 165th career plunk and a broken hand, and Ichiro broke a streak of 1,463 plunkless plate appearances without a plunk. Felix Hernandez my have been expressing his feelings about Ichiro’s trade to the Yankees, when he he hit Ichiro with a pitch in the 7th inning, then hit Derek Jeter to lead of the 8th, and then broke Alex Rodriguez’s hand with a plunk two batters after hitting Jeter. Ichiro hadn’t been hit by a pitch since July 20, 2010. Arod’s plunk was the 165th of his career, tying him with Kid Elberfeld for 15th place on the all time list. Jeter’s was his 161st, and he’s in 17th place all time. (If Hernandez was throwing those plunks intentionally, Jeter was the only one he hit on the first pitch). Hernandez is now tied for the major league lead in hitting batters this year, with 10.