HBPs of Note: June 12, 2009
Kelly Shoppach extended his league leading HBP total last night, getting hit by a 13th pitch. And he’s only played in 38 of the Indians 63 games this season – if they’d just make Shoppach the full time DH instead of making him a backup catcher, he could be on pace for a record setting year. As it is, he’s on pace for around 33 plunks, which would be 2 short of the American League record. Kyle McClellan threw the pitch that plunked Shoppach last night, but he’s only hit 2 batters this year and 6 in his career.
In Philadelphia, the Red Sox and Phillies hit each other 4 times, with 3 of those occuring after the 9th inning. That’s the first game in which there were 3 extra-innings plunks since April 24, 2004 when the Red Sox and Yankees threw 3 extra innings plunkings. Among those in the game last night was Daniel Bard‘s 99.1 mph plunking of Raul Ibanez. Only one plunk in the past two years was clocked at a higher velocity leaving the pitchers hand. Those are the ones you usually want to avoid, but Ibanez took it in the bottom of the thirteenth inning trying to help his team make a comeback. That was Bard’s first career Hit Batter, which means he’s probably the only pitcher with an average plunk speed over 99mph. The other two extra innings plunks were the 25th career hit batter by Phillies pitcher Ryan Madson, which doubled as number 49 in the career of Kevin Youkilis, and the 18th plunking thrown by Justin Masterson, which extends his Jamaican record career total.
Joba Chamberlain hit two batters last night, bringing his season total to 9, which is tied with Tim Wakefield for the major league lead. Apparently the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry now extends to the HBP race.
Also, Reed Johnson got his 96th career HBP yesterday.
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