12% of all HBPs that have happened at Citizen’s Bank Park have landed on Chase Utley. Homer Bailey threw Utley’s 144th career plunk last night, moving Utley ahead of David Eckstein on the all time plunks list, into sole possession of 23rd place. Utley needs one more to tie Jose Guillen. 144 plunks is, of course, a big milestone in the HBP world because it’s half way to 288, and 288 is how many plunks someone would need to take the all time record away from Hughie Jennings.
Cubs rookie Chris Rusin made his major league debut last night, facing the Brewers, and got through the first three innings perfectly – 9 up, 9 down. But then he plunked Norichika Aoki leading off the 4th inning for Aoki’s 9th plunk of the season, and then hit Aramis Ramirez three batters later. Rusin is the first pitcher this year to hit two batters in his major league debut. Ramirez is now up to 97 career plunks, moving closer to becoming the 2nd Brewer this year to join the 100 plunk club. Norichika Aoki got hit again later in the game, giving him 10 on the season, leading all rookies. He’s 2 plunks short of tying the Brewers record for plunks by a rookie. The Brewers have now been hit 72 times this year, 21 more than the next most plunked team. They’re on pace to get hit 96 times this year.