HBPs of note: April 26, 2010
There were only 3 plunks in yesterday’s Major League Baseball action, and they were all notable. Chase Utley broke out of his spring HBP slump, and got his first plunk of 2010 after 85 plunkless plate appearances. That moves his Phillies record total to 108, which ties him for 56th place on the all time plunk list, with Bill Joyce and Mo Vaughn. This has to have been a disappointing start for Utley after Baseball Prospectus projected him to get hit 27 times this year. Hopefully this will be the first step toward turning his season around in the HBP category.
Speaking of Mo Vaughn, Kevin Youkilis moved a step closer to his Red Sox HBP record by getting hit by the 60th pitch of his career. Youk is now 11 plunks behind Mo Vaughn in career plunks for the Red Sox, and Vaughn, Youkilis and recent Hall of Fame inductee Jim Rice are the only players in Red Sox history to get hit 60 times. The moves Youkilis ahead of Carlton Fisk and 80s HBP legend Don Baylor on the franchise list. (Baylor only played 268 games for the Red Sox, but it took Youkilis 708 games to get hit more times).
Youkilis’s 60th plunk was thrown by Blue Jays pitcher Casey Janssen, and that pitch turned out to be the 1,500th plunk ever thrown by the Blue Jays. Janssen plunked Youkilis once before, on May 8, 2007.
Finally, the 3rd notable plunk of yesterday’s games landed on the substantial target known as Prince Fielder of the Brewers. Fielder leads the Majors with 7 HBPs now, which breaks the Brewers franchise record for April plunks. Jeremy Burnitz got hit 6 times in April of 2000. The Brewers lead all teams with 15 plunks, and that matches there highest total in franchise history as of April 26th. They got hit for the 15th time on April 26th of the 2003 season, and that year they got 17 HBPs in April. It looks likely that this years Brewers will at least match that start. Prior to yesterday, Fielder had only been hit 5 times on Mondays, making that his least plunked day of the week, but now he’s been hit 6 times on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. He’s been hit 11 times on Wednesday and Friday, and 8 times on Sunday.
Zach Duke threw that one, and it was the 2nd time Duke has plunked Fielder. Fielder joins Reed Johnson and Yadier Molina on the list of batters that have been plunked twice by Zach Duke.