Friday, July 31, 2009

Garko gets 11th

HBPs of note: July 30, 2009

It was a pretty quiet day for HBPs yesterday, with only 7 plunks around the league. Ryan Garko got his 11th of the season, bringing the Indians season total to 61. That's a lot, but they'll need to pick up the pace a little if they want to break their record from last year.

So far this year, 407 different pitchers have hit 354 different batters a total of 997 times. 925 of those have been the first plunk thrown by a pitcher who had never previously plunked that batter.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Shoppach gets 12th

HBPs of note: June 9, 2009

Kelly Shoppach took a plunking from Brian Bannister last night, bringing his season total to a Major League leading 12. It was also the 25th of Shoppach's career. Later in that same game, his Cleveland teammate Shin-Soo Choo got hit by Juan Cruz for his 6th of the year. Shoppach, Choo and Ryan Garko have been hit a total of 24 times for the Indians this year - the St. Louis Cardinals have only been hit 23 times and they're the 5th most plunked team in the league. The Indians have been hit 42 times as a team this season, which puts him on pace for 113 this season, which would eclipse their record setting total of 103 from last season.

The 2nd most plunked team this season has been the Boston Red Sox. Their left fielder, Jason Bay got hit by Jose Veras pitch, which reader Tom pointed out means that the Yankees have now plunked the Red Sox at least once in all 6 games they've played against each other this season. The Yankees have hit the Red Sox 9 times this season, which ties their 2008 season total for plunking the Red Sox. They lead the league in hitting batters with 36. The Red Sox are 2nd in the majors, having hit 33 batters, but they've only plunked the Yankees twice. That may be related to the fact that the Red Sox have won all 6 games.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

The 2008 Cleveland Indians

I wrote about this years Cleveland Indians over at Let's Go Tribe on Friday, but now that the final totals are in, I thought it would be good to go into a little more depth. You know, 'cause I never quite go into enough depth on these various matters of people getting hit by pitches.

First, let's take a look at those Cleveland Indians who got hit by so many pitches this year:
Ryan Garko - 15
Kelly Shoppach - 11
Grady Sizemore - 11
David Dellucci - 11
Jamey Carroll - 9
Franklin Gutierrez - 8
Casey Blake - 7
Ben Francisco - 6
Shin-Soo Choo - 5
Travis Hafner - 5
Asdrubal Cabrera - 4
Jhonny Peralta - 4
Sal Fasano - 3
Jason Michaels - 1
Andy Marte - 1
Jason Tyner - 1
Victor Martinez - 1

The Indians got the most get-hitting out of the designator get-hitter position, with 16, but another 15 HBPs were racked up by Indians playing 1st Base or Catcher. Really the only part of the defensive lineup that didn't pull an equal load was the left side of the infield - they got just seven HBPs from their third basemen and four from the shortstops. Every other position had at least 10 HBPs and they got two as pinch hitters. Although, none of the Indians pitchers managed to get hit by a pitch. The Indians at least tied for the American League lead in HBPs at 3 different positions (although Jermaine Dye could take the RF lead today or tomorrow if he gets hit twice). Shin-Soo Choo was there most versatile plunk victim, having been hit by a pitch while playing 4 different positions (RF, LF, DH, PH). He's tied for the league lead in that category.

The Indians were hit 103 times by 72 different pitchers. Those pitchers were, on average, 28 year and 10 months old, 6 ft 2.9 inches tall, and 208 pounds. They averaged 4.7 years of major league experience before this year, but 19 of their plunks were thrown by pitchers in their first season in the league. 57 of the plunks were thrown by pitchers with 3 years of prior experience of less. The pitches they plunked Indians with left their hands at an average of 86.9 miles per hour, and hit the Indians at an average of 79.8 miles per hour.

Here's the full list of pitchers with how many Indians they plunked this year:
Justin Verlander (DET) - 6
Josh Beckett (BOS) - 3
Freddy Dolsi (DET) - 3
Armando Galarraga (DET) - 3
John Lackey (LAA) - 3
Kenny Rogers (DET) - 3
Chad Billingsley (LAD) - 2
Daniel Cabrera (BAL) - 2
D.J. Carrasco (CWS) - 2
Alberto Castillo (BAL) - 2
Johnny Cueto (CIN) - 2
Jorge De La Rosa (COL) - 2
Jeff Francis (COL) - 2
Mark Lowe (SEA) - 2
Darren O'Day (LAA) - 2
Darren Oliver (LAA) - 2
Vicente Padilla (TEX) - 2
Scott Richmond (TOR) - 2
Carlos Silva (SEA) - 2
Javier Vazquez (CWS) - 2
Edinson Volquez (CIN) - 2
Jered Weaver (LAA) - 2
Scott Baker (MIN) - 1
Brian Bass (MIN) - 1

Miguel Batista (SEA) - 1
Denny Bautista (DET) - 1
Nick Blackburn (MIN) - 1
Shawn Camp (TOR) - 1
Manny Delcarmen (BOS) - 1
Lenny DiNardo (OAK) - 1
Justin Duchscherer (OAK) - 1
Scott Feldman (TEX) - 1
Keith Foulke (OAK) - 1
Jason Frasor (TOR) - 1
Chad Gaudin (OAK) - 1
Roy Halladay (TOR) - 1
Felix Hernandez (SEA) - 1
Fernando Hernandez (OAK) - 1
Jim Johnson (BAL) - 1
Chris Lambert (DET) - 1
Jon Lester (BOS) - 1
Aquilino Lopez (DET) - 1
Javier Lopez (BOS) - 1
Mike MacDougal (CWS) - 1
Greg Maddux (SD) - 1
Shaun Marcum (TOR) - 1
Dustin McGowan (TOR) - 1
Zach Miner (DET) - 1
Mike Mussina (NYY) - 1
Joel Peralta (KC) - 1
Elizardo Ramirez (TEX) - 1
Clay Rapada (DET) - 1
Dennys Reyes (MIN) - 1
Greg Reynolds (COL) - 1
Josh Rupe (TEX) - 1
Adam Russell (CWS) - 1
Ervin Santana (LAA) - 1
Joe Saunders (LAA) - 1
Bobby Seay (DET) - 1
Greg Smith (OAK) - 1
Joakim Soria (KC) - 1
Justin Speier (LAA) - 1
Ryan Speier (COL) - 1
Matt Thornton (CWS) - 1
Ramon Troncoso (LAD) - 1
Tim Wakefield (BOS) - 1
Chien-Ming Wang (NYY) - 1
Jarrod Washburn (SEA) - 1
Ehren Wassermann (CWS) - 1
Chris Waters (BAL) - 1
Jamey Wright (TEX) - 1
Barry Zito (SF) - 1
Eight of those guys hit Cleveland Indians exclusively this season - Elizardo Ramirez, Scott Richmond (twice), Clay Rapada, Ehren Wasserman, Keith Folke, Jason Frasor, Freddy Dolsi (three times), and Fernando Hernandez. Also, eight of those pitchers threw their first career HBP at the Indians this year - Chris Lambert, Scott Richmond, Clay Rapada, Freddy Dolsi, Armando Galarraga, Zach Miner, Fernando Hernandez and Darren O'Day. The next best team in that category got hit by just 4 pitchers with their first career plunk. There are some repeats in those lists, including Freddy Dolsi who has now hit three batters in his career - all Indians. Also, 5 of those 8 guys who hit an Indian for their first hit batter play for the Detroit Tigers, who plunked the Indians a total of 21 times this season. That's more than any team has hit any other team since sometime before 1957, if it ever happened at all.

Here's the list by team:
DET - 21
LAA - 12
CWS - 8
BOS - 7
SEA - 7
TOR - 7
BAL - 6
COL - 6
OAK - 6
TEX - 6
CIN - 4
MIN - 4
LAD - 3
KC - 2
NYY - 2
SD - 1
SF - 1

Detroit's impressive 21 plunkings of the Indians includes 5 of those pitchers who had never hit a batter before. Detroit's Justin Verlander hit 6 Indians, for the league lead, and he's one of only two pitchers to hit an Indian this season that they had also plunked in a previous season. And the other is also a Detroit Tiger.
Kenny Rogers hit Casey Blake on June 7th of this year and on September 23, 2003. Justin Verlander hit Ryan Garko on August 28 and April 17 this year, and July 5th last year... and May 31st last year. But no other time... so far. Garko vs Verlander was the only matchup that resulted in two HBPs for the Indians, even though there were 28 other matchups league-wide where a pitcher hit a batter twice, and one 3 plunk matchup. So Garko was the only Indian to get hit twice by the same pitcher among all 103 HBPs. Also, Detroit's Christ Lambert was the only pitcher to plunk an Indian in his first Major League appearance. Cleveland only hit the Tigers 7 times, so it remains unclear what the Tigers were so angry about.

Maybe the Tigers wouldn't have hit the Indians so much if they saw the following stats about how much better the Indians bats work in games in which they get hit by pitches.
HBPs in gameGamesRunsRBIHitsHRtotal HBPs
1 or more7239336366667103

1 or more7224580.2710.4280.3570.785

Yes, that's 365 RBI in 90 games without a plunk and 363 RBI in 72 games with at least 1 plunk. The only they they do slightly worse when they're getting hit by pitches is hit homers. But, they're not much better in games when they hit homers than in games when they get hit by a pitch - they were 57-39 (.594) when they hit a home run in 2008, and 42-30 (.583) when they got hit by a pitch. And anyway setting the MLB hit by pitch record is much more important than those wins and loses, and they weren't going to set any home run records now that they test for steroids.

If you check out the splits page over at you can find out a whole bunch of other interesting stuff about the Indians 103 HBP season. Such as, they got hit 44 times on two strike counts, but only 5 times on 3 ball counts. They never got hit on a 3-0 count, or even during an at-bat that started with 3 balls. Only 17.4% of the Indians plunks occured on the first pitch of the plate appearance, but for the rest of the league, 18.1% of plunks occur on the first pitch. The Indians got hit 25 times in plate apperances that lasted 5 or more pitches - 6 more than the next best team in that category this year.

Once again, it was a great season for the Indians - the 8th best in major league baseball history, and the best in Major League Baseball history (the capitalized version considers such records to begin in the year 1900, except sometimes when the don't). But they could get hit by even more pitches next season. Ryan Garko, for example, was 5 HBPs short of his career high of 20 last season (when he broke the Indians franchise record). Grady Sizemore was 6 short of his 2007 total. So, we can only hope that 2009 will bring even more amazing HBP achievements for the Cleveland Indians. (As long as they don't get hurt... nobody sets HBP records from the disabled list.)


Friday, September 26, 2008

HBPs of note - Sept 25, 2008

Grady Sizemore got hit by Jon Lester in Boston last night, making that the 101st HBP for the Indians this year, which is a new MLB record! Being an MLB record means that it's a post-1900 record, as there are still 7 teams who got hit over 100 times in seasons between 1891 and 1899 in the National League and American Association. But 101 HBPs in this age is absolutely amazing, especially since the league-wide plunk rate as down this season. With only 3 regularly scheduled days left, this season's batters are 114 HBPs short of last years total of 1755. But still, the Cleveland Indians have been hit by 101 pitches and counting.

In other HBP news, Johnny Cueto hit Geoff Blum in Houston, which give Cueto 14 hit batters on the season, and probably locks up the season lead among rookie pitchers. Josh Rupe is the second most plunk-prone rookie with 10.

AJ Pierzynski got hit by Kevin Slowey, marking the 85th plunking of Pierzynski's career, and rumors persist that he deserved every one of them.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

HBPs of note - Sept 22, 2008

Josh Beckett made an excellent effort at being the first American League pitcher to throw the pitch that became the opposing team's 100th plunk of a season, but he only made it to 99, plunking three Cleveland Indians last night. Ryan Garko, Kelly Shoppach and Ben Francisco all got hit by Beckett's pitching. Those three have accounted for 30 of the Indinas 99 HBPs this season. 99 HBPs is already an American League record for most HBPs by a team in a single season. They need 1 more to join the 1997 Houston Astros as the only teams since before the year 1900 to get hit by 100 pitches in a season.

Luis Castilo and Jose Guillen also got hit by pitches last night. Castillo's was his 11th career plunk which leaves him just 112 plunks short of the record for players born in the Domican Republic, behind... Jose Guillen who extended that record to 123. Zach Miner threw the one to Guillen, and Neal Cotts hit Castillo.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

88 Indians hit by pitches

The Cleveland Indians are on a roll, of late, and not just because they've won 10 consecutive games. They've been hit by 21 pitches in August, which brings their total to 88 for the season. That leaves them just 12 plunks away from being the first American League team to get hit 100 times in a season, and they'd be just the 2nd post-1900 major league team to reach triple digits in plunks. And they've got the entire month of September - another 30 games - still to play.

Prior to this week, the most any modern team had been hit before the beginning of September was 82 times, by the 2004 Pirates. They finished that season with 95 HBPs, which is the 21st century record. That team featured Craig Wilson getting hit 30 times, and Jason Kendall adding another 19. The 1997 Houston Astros, who are currently the only post-1900 team to get hit by 100 pitches, were led by Craig Biggio's 34 HBPs. But at the 132 game mark, that team only had 68 HBPs - so the Indians are 20 plunks ahead of the pace set by a team that got hit 100 times. However, the Indians probably aren't going to get hit 32 times in their final 30 games the way that Astros team did.

Perhaps most impressively, the Indians have a commanding lead for the most plunked team in the league this season. They're 24 HBPs ahead of the 2nd place Yankees, despite the Yankees enormous payroll, and their 3 veteran batters with over 130 career hbps. The last time a team finished 24 plunks ahead of the next most battered team was 1978 when Don Baylor's California Angels got hit a league leading 67 times, while the a trio of teams tied for 2nd at 42. If the Yankees are eliminated from playoff contention soon and have nothing left to get hit for, Cleveland could expand their lead and be the first team since 1898 to win the Plunk Pennant by 30+ HBPs.

Now for the bad news - September is the 9th month of the year, and so far this season, Cleveland has averaged 22 HBPs in even numbered months, and only 11 plunks in odd numbered month. They got hit 23 times in April, 12 in May, 22 times in June, 10 in July and 21 so far in September. So, unless they can break that trend in odd-numbered September, their three remaining August games could be the key to the Indians hopes of reaching 100 HBPs. If they don't get hit this weekend, and only meet their odd-numbered-month average in September, they would only reach 99.


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