Prior to yesterday, no batter had ever been hit by a pitch in game 5 of a National League Division Series. Of the first 32 NLDS, only half ended in sweeps and only 5 went to a deciding game 5. But this year, for the first time ever, both of the first round series in the National League went to a game 5. Then, in the bottom of the 4th inning of each game, the home team’s 2nd basemen got hit by a pitch. Both had been hit one other time in the series. But Rickie Weeks got hit with one out, on the first pitch of his plate appearance, and Chase Utley got hit with no outs, on a 1-2 count. The other big difference was that Weeks’ team went on to win the game, but Utley’s team ended the game with a shutout loss.
For Weeks, it was his 2nd postseason HBP, and he became the first Brewer ever to achieve 2 HBPs in the postseason, and the first Brewer to get hit by a pitch in a series clinching game. Ian Kennedy threw the pitch that hit Weeks, and that was the 3rd batter he hit in the series, and the 2nd time he hit Weeks. Kevin Brown is the only other pitcher to hit 3 batters in a single NLDS (1998 for the Padres), but Kennedy is the only pitcher to hit the same batter twice in a single NLDS.
For Utley’s part, it was the 5th postseason plunk of his career, which ties him with Carlos Ruiz for the most postseason plunks in Phillies history. Chris Carpenter threw last night’s Utley plunk, and that was his 4th in postseason history.
So, from last night we’ve learned that only 2nd basemen with at least 95 career plunks in the regular season can get hit in NLDS game 5, and teams that get hit by a pitch in NLDS game 5 are 1 and 1. Also, three of the 4 Championship Series teams this year have names ending in “ers”. Prior to this year there had never been more than one team ending in “ers” in the league championship round.