Sunday, October 4, 2009

Kouzmanoff Breaks Padres Plunk Record!

Finally! He's only been tied with Gene Tenace since August 26th.

HBPs of note: October 3, 2009

Kevin Kouzmanoff got hit by a 3rd inning pitch from Giants starter Matt Cain yesterday, bringing his career total to 36. He the first player ever to get hit by 36 pitches for the Padres, breaking Gene Tenace's 29 year old record. Tenace got his 35th plunk with the Padres on... ready for this?... October 3, 1980. Matt Cain his hit Kouzmanoff twice now, and the Giants have thrown one-sixth of his total HBPs with 6. No other team has hit Kouzmanoff more than 3 times. That's also the 8th plunk on a Saturday for Kouzmanoff, while he hasn't been hit more than 6 times on any other day of the week. Since 1980, aside from Kouzmanoff, there have been 172 instances of a player getting hit 36 times for a major league team, including 11 batters who were hit at least 36 times for 2 different teams, and 1 batter (Andres Galarraga) who did it for 3 different teams. The Twins have had 12 different players get hit 36 times since 1981, but it took the Padres until yesterday to have one player do so. Every other team except the Rays has had at least one player get hit by 36 pitches since 1981, although the Mets, Dodger and D-backs have only had 1 each.

In other plunk news, Carlos Quentin was hit twice yesterday, bringing his total to 15. He could be planning an unprecendented 4 plunk day today to catapult himself into the American League plunk lead. Or, perhaps he'll just get hit once more by a pitcher who doesn't throw many plunks to try to go for the highest plunk difficulty rating in the league, and count on sophisticated voters familiar with new plunk difficulty rating statistics to vote him into the AL Most Plunkable Player award. You know, if it actually existed and was voted on. Those plunks were number 53 and 54 for Quentin's career.

Jerry Hairston Jr. also got plunked twice yesterday, both times by Jeff Niemann. Those were the 68th and 69th of his career.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kendall gets 243 AND 244 - Kouzmanoff ties Padres record

HBPs of note: August 26, 2009

Jason Kendall got hit by a pitch in the 4th inning last night, by Reds pitcher Kip Wells, bringing his career total to 243, tying him with Ron Hunt for 5th on the all time list. But, that tie only lasted about 45 minutes before Kendall got hit again in the 6th, moving him into sole possession of 5th place, with a total of 244. Jared Burton threw that one, as well as Kendall's 230th plunk on September 9th of last year. That was the 12th 2-plunk game of Kendall's career, and the 2nd time he's been hit twice in a game by the Reds. The Reds are lead all teams in the field of plunking Jason Kendall with a total of 26 now, including 6 on Wednesday. The Reds have plunked Jason Kendall at least twice on every day of the week. Kendall has been hit more than the entire 2009 roster of 3 major league teams, although the Rays are up to 245 since I last noted this.

Not to be overshadowed though, Kevin Kouzmanoff got plunked for the 35th time in his career, tying the Padres career record. He joins Gene Tenace as the only two players who have been hit by 35 pitches in a Padres uniform. While it's true that that's only 4 more plunks than Jason Kendall has had on Wednesdays alone, it's still the record for the Padres. Kouzmanoff has only played 3 seasons though, so he's got plenty of time to extend the record, and maybe move the Padres out of last place in terms of franchise career records.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bad Examples

HBPs of note: August 11, 2009

Eleven batters got hit by pitches around the league, but there were a couple of really bad examples of the art of the plunk on display in Boston. First, Miguel Cabrera put together a textbook display of how not to use your elbow pad. He got plunked in the first inning by Junichi Tazawa, and for some reason the replay shows him ducking his elbow pad out of the path of the ball and getting hit on the hand. That's distinctly not how you do it. He left the game with a bruised hand (though not until after the inning was over, so he didn't need a pinch runner). For Tazawa, that was the 1st hit batter of his major league career.

Then later in the next inning, Rick Porcello hit Kevin Youkilis and that was the 5,925th time a batter born in Ohio was hit by a pitch. Youk was so excited by this, he wanted to celebrate and rushed out to the mound yelling "5925 for Ohio! WOoooOO! Give me a hug!" and Rick Porcello yelled "That's ridiculous! I'm uncomfortable with your affection! And that's not even a round number, why are you so excited about an arbitrary milestone like 5,925?" and the fans yelled "Yoouuuuuuuk" (because they do that no matter what he does), and his manager yelled "This is the inappropriate time and place to celebrate!". And the benches emptied and everyone jumped around trying to seperate the over-excited Youkilis from the uncomfortable Porcello. And then the umpire, misunderstanding the whole situation, threw both Porcello and Youkilis out of the game. But aside from all that, it was the 10th plunk of the season for Youkilis, and his 2nd in the past 2 days. It was the 52nd of his career. Porcello is a rookie and that was only his 2nd career hit batter.

In Milwaukee, Braden Looper hit Kevin Kouzmanoff with a pitch, bringing Kouzmanoff within one HBP from the Padres career record. Kouzmanoff has been hit 34 times, while the most plunked Padres ever, Gene Tenace, got hit 35 times. Hopefully someone told Brewers catcher Jason Kendall about this, so he could point out that he's been hit 37 times on Tuesdays alone.

Shin-Soo Choo got his 20th career plunk, and Roy Oswalt got his 5th career plunk. Oswalt joins Mike Hampton as the only active pitchers who have been hit 5 times. Oswalt's HBP was also the 998th at Land Shark Stadium (though the park didn't have that name for most of them).

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Canadians plunk 1000 batters

HBPs of note: August 7, 2009

Jesse Crain of the Twins hit Brandon Inge yesterday, and since Jesse Crain was born in Toronto that makes a recorded total of 1000 plunks thrown by Canadians in major league history. (Of course this total is inexact due to poor record keeping in the long-long ago years). That was also the 12th this year for Inge.

David Eckstein got hit for the 133rd time in his career which puts him 33rd on the all time list. He's one plunk behind Gary Sheffield for the record among batters born in Florida, but Sheffield is still playing too.

Oliver Perez and Mark Buehrle both threw their 52nd career plunks - Perez hit Eckstein and Buehrle hit Shin-Soo Choo (for Choo's 12th this year).

Kevin Kouzmanoff got hit for the 8th time this year, and the 33rd time in his career. He's two plunks away from tying the Gene Tenace for the Padre's career record.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Independance weekend plunks

HBPs of note: July 5, 2009

Only 5 batters were hit by pitches yesterday, and the most plunked among them was Alex Cora. He was only hit once yesterday, but he's put together a career total of 84 plunks, including the latest contribution by JC Romero. BJ Upton also got plunked yesterday, which was only his 9th career HBP, but it was the 2nd time in his career he's been plunked by Scott Feldman.

On Saturday, Kevin Kouzmanoff got his 32nd career HBP, leaving him just 3 away from the Padres career franchise record (currently 35 by Gene Tenace).

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kouzmanoff moves close to Padres record

HBPs of Note: June 16, 2009

Kevin Kouzmanoff got plunked by Felix Hernandez last night, giving Kouzmanoff 31 HBPs for his career. He's just 4 plunks behind Gene Tenace's Padres franchise record for plunks, which has stood at 35 since 1978. It was the second time Felix Hernandez has plunked Kouzmanoff, even though they've only faced each other 13 times.

Jerry Hairston Junior also got plunked yesterday, bringing his career total to 66. He's still 14 plunks behind Bing Miller (80 hbps) on the career list for players born in Iowa, but he took sole possession of 3rd place from Ducky Miller (64 hbps) on his prior plunk.

Melvin Mora also got hit by a pitch, but it didn't count because the umpire ruled he was swinging at the pitch. If it had been an official HBP, it would have been Mora's 100th with the Orioles, making him one of just two players who have been hit 100 times for his current team. But, it didn't count.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Eckstein reaches 130

HBPs of note: May 26, 2009

There were a couple of notable plunkings in the Padres- David Eckstein recorded his 130th career. He's now in 35th place on the all time list, and only 3 behind the David Eckstein Era record, which is currently 132 by Jason Kendall. It was another 9th inning HBP for Eckstein, but not a a game tying RBI plunk like last week. Kevin Kouzmanoff did have an RBI plunk for the Padres in that game, in the 8th inning, as part of an 8th inning rally that came up short. That was the 30th career HBP for Kouzmanoff, and he's now just 5 behind behind Gene Tenace on the Padres all time HBP list.

At Citi Field, Fernando Tatis and Fernando Martinez both got plunked for the Mets. For Tatis, it was his 54th career plunk, and his 4th at Citi Field, which is the park record. There have only been 19 HBPs so far at Citi Field, and 21% of them have landed on Fernando Tatis. Fernando Martinez' plunk was the first of his career, and makes him the first player born in 1988 to be hit by a pitch. Yesterday was the first day on which two different Fernandos got hit by pitches since July 30, 2002 when Tatis and Fernando Vina both got plunked, and it was the first time since July 14, 2000 that two Fernandos got plunked in the same game, for the same team - that was also Vina and Tatis.

Roy Oswalt threw the 60th HBP of his career.

Major League batters recorded 11 HBPs yesterday, which made it the 8th day this year with that number as the total plunks. There have been seven different 10 plunk days, but 11 has been the most popular number of HBPs in a day so far this year. Last year there were only sixteen 11 plunks days all season, but there were 22 days on which 10 HBPs were recorded.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Peavy refuses to abandon quest for Padres hit batsmen record

The big news yesterday was that the Padres agreed to a trade that would send Jake Peavy to the White Sox, but needed Peavy's approval to allow the deal to go through. But, after leaving the fans in suspense all day, he chose to remain in San Diego - where he is 3 hit batters away from breaking the Padres' franchise record in that category. Peavy has hit 44 batters for the Padres, and sits in 4th place in their team record book, behind Brian Lawrence, who plunked 45 batters between 2001 and 2005, and Joey Hamilton and Eric Show, who both hit 46 batters pitching for the Padres. Over the offseason, the Padres traded away Khalil Greene when he was just 4 HBPs away from breaking the team record for getting plunked, so the San Diego front office really seems to be protecting their record book from any of their current players, for some reason.
Peavy is scheduled to pitch against the Cubs today, so maybe if he hits three batters he'll be more willing to accept a trade, with the record already in his pocket.

We now return to our regularly scheduled HBPs of Note, for May 21, 2009:

Kevin Kouzmanoff got plunked for the Padres, bringing his career total to 29, and since that means he's only 6 behind Gene Tenace's Padres record, they'll probably trade him sometime soon. Tim Lincecum was responsible for Kouzmanoff's plunking, and has now hit Kouzmanoff twice, even though he's hit everyone else in the league only 8 times.

David Eckstein also got plunked for the Padres yesterday, bringing his career total to 128. He's tied for 37th on the all time list with Jeff Bagwell, and stays just ahead of Jose Guillen, who also got plunked yesterday. Guillen has 127 career HBPs now, which puts him in 39th place all time, but he has that spot all to himself. Guillen's 127th HBP was also the 65th plunk ever thrown by Carl Pavano.
Possibly more important than his standing on the all time list, Eckstein's plunk occured with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th inning, down by 1 run with 2 outs. His HBP drove in the game tying run, and led to Scott Hairston's game winning single. That's the most clutch late game HBP since Jose Molina's 12th inning game winning walk-off HBP on July 19, 2008.

Ryan Braun got plunked as well yesterday, bringing his season total to 7 - just one plunk behind 2009 plunk leaders Chase Utley, Kelly Shoppach and Carlos Quentin. Braun's was also the 20th of his career.

Kris Medlan made his first major league pitching appearance, starting for the Braves yesterday, and managed to throw his first plunk. But interestingly, the first batter he hit was the opposing pitcher, Aaron Cook. He's the SECOND rookie pitcher this season to plunk the first pitcher he faced, and to throw his first career HBP in his first start, on a plunk to the opposing starter. Marlins rookie Graham Taylor did the same thing against Jamie Moyer on April 26th. Only two other pitchers since 1986 (the Jamie Moyer Era) have plunked an opposing pitcher in their debut, but when Micah Owings did it, he hit another batter before plunking opposing starter Jerome Williams, and when Stan Spencer did it, he gave up a single to opposing starter Paul Byrd before plunking him the second time through the order.

8 batters were hit yesterday, and 5 of them were hit by pitchers who hadn't hit anyone yet this year.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kevin Kouzmanoff breaks PETCO Park HBP record

HBPs of note: May 16, 2009

Red pitcher Jared Burton plunked the Padres' Kevin Kouzmanoff yesterday, giving Kouzmanoff a career total of 14 HBPs at PETCO Park, moving him past Khalil Greene for the park record. Kouzmanoff has been hit 28 times in his career, which is just 8 away from breaking the Padres team record.

Several people reached the always important "multiples of 10" milestones in HBPs yesterday as well - Cubs pitcher Kevin Gregg threw his 20th pitch to hit a batter, and Ian Kinsler of the Rangers got his 20th HBP. In slightly less important "multiples of 5" milestones, Dave Dellucci of the Indians got his 45th HBP, John Lackey threw plunk number 65 of his career, and the Reds Jared Burton threw his 5th. Among the less publicized "multiples of 7" milestones, Oakland's Matt Holiday get his 49th HBP, and Boston's Josh Beckett threw the 42nd of his career. And lastly, among milestones that nobody seems to track, there are the prime number milestones - Seattle's Miguel Batista threw his 67th plunk.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Chan Ho Park and Carlos Delgado combined for 302nd plunk

Chan Ho Park hit Carlos Delgado in last night's Mets-Phillies game, which makes 170 career HBPs for Delgado, and 133 for Park. Delgado is 13th on the all time HBP list, and Park is 19th among pitchers on the hit batters list. Delgado is 2nd among active batters, and 2nd all time among lefties.
Park has hit 24 batters on Wednesdays, and Delgado now has 26 plunks on Wednesdays.

Kelly Shoppach got hit by another pitch, bringing his total to 8 this season, in just 60 plate appearances. He got hit by Justin Masterson, which you probably could have seen coming if you had noticed where Masterson and Shoppach were on this list and this list.

Jose Guillen also got plunked yesterday, making 125 for his career, and Aaron Rowand got the 97th of his career.

Kevin Kouzmanoff, who broke the Padres single season HBP record last year, was plunked for the first time in 2009 yesterday. He began the season with 109 plunk-free plate appearances.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Top 50 batters right now

... at getting hit by pitches.

Below is the list of the top 50 active batters, by their rate of HBPs per plate appearance. The last column is the number of plate appearances they'd need, at their current rate, to reach 288 HBPs, which would be the all time record, breaking Hughie Jennings 287 mark. All data is as of the morning of May 4, 2009, and a 5 HBP minimum is required to make this list.

PlayerHBPPAHBP per
PA per
PA needed
for record
1Carlos Quentin(CWS)451,1260.040025.07,206
2J.R. Towles(HOU)82200.036427.57,920
3Jason LaRue(STL)1032,9410.035028.68,223
4Reed Johnson(CHC)952,7220.034928.78,252
5Ryan Garko(CLE)431,3850.031032.29,276
6Rickie Weeks(MIL)622,0150.030832.59,360
7Jason Kendall(MIL)2357,7680.030333.19,520
8Corky Miller(CWS)124070.029533.99,768
9Ryan Doumit(PIT)341,2270.027736.110,393
10Chase Utley(PHI)873,2210.027037.010,663
11Lastings Milledge(WSH)271,0040.026937.210,709
12Ian Stewart(COL)114130.026637.510,813
13Josh Willingham(WSH)451,6930.026637.610,835
14David Eckstein(SD)1264,7510.026537.710,859
15Ramon Santiago(DET)311,1700.026537.710,870
16Aaron Rowand(SF)963,6420.026437.910,926
17Chris Iannetta(COL)217990.026338.010,958
18Chris Coste(PHI)187060.025539.211,296
19Alex Cora(NYM)813,1870.025439.311,332
20Nick Green(BOS)218610.024441.011,808
21Kelly Shoppach(CLE)187680.023442.712,288
22Chris Burke(SD)311,3740.022644.312,765
23Mike Redmond(MIN)522,3230.022444.712,866
24Jose Guillen(KC)1245,5760.022245.012,951
25Nick Johnson(WSH)572,6360.021646.213,319
26Edwin Encarnacion(CIN)411,9120.021446.613,431
27Kenji Johjima(SEA)321,4990.021346.813,491
28Matt Treanor(DET)188460.021347.013,536
29David DeJesus(KC)612,8740.021247.113,569
30Jason Giambi(OAK)1607,8640.020349.214,155
31A.J. Pierzynski(CWS)854,2430.020049.914,376
32Nate McLouth(PIT)311,5630.019850.414,521
33Carlos Delgado(NYM)1698,6270.019651.014,702
34Melvin Mora(BAL)1025,2110.019651.114,713
35Emmanuel Burriss(SF)73580.019651.114,729
36Jerry HairstonJr.(CIN)633,2380.019551.414,802
37Chris Duffy(MIL)157730.019451.514,842
38Kevin Youkilis(BOS)462,3750.019451.614,870
39Angel Berroa(NYY)532,7620.019252.115,009
40Ryan Freel(BAL)422,1900.019252.115,017
41Jason Bartlett(TB)341,7950.018952.815,205
42Xavier Nady(NYY)462,4630.018753.515,421
43Prince Fielder(MIL)412,1960.018753.615,426
44Travis Hafner(CLE)573,0730.018553.915,527
45Kevin Kouzmanoff(SD)251,3610.018454.415,679
46Shane Victorino(PHI)331,8070.018354.815,770
47Matt Diaz(ATL)191,0470.018155.115,870
48Alex Gordon(KC)211,1970.017557.016,416
49Mike Napoli(LAA)169270.017357.916,686
50Fernando Tatis(NYM)513,0540.016759.917,246

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

HBP records by Ballpark

Here's the list of all the current major league ballparks, and their HBP record holders in games at those parks. As of April 28, 2009.
Angel Stadium of Anaheim
Brian Downing - 50
AT&T Park (Giants)
Barry Bonds - 27
Busch Stadium (Cardinals)
David Eckstein - 13
Chase Field (Diamondbacks)
Luis Gonzalez - 30
Citi Field (Mets)
Jason Kendall - 1,
Gary Sheffield - 1,
Wil Nieves - 1,
Ryan Church - 1,
Josh Willingham - 1,
Hanley Ramirez - 1
Citizens Bank Park (Phillies)
Chase Utley - 35
Comerica Park (Tigers)
Brandon Inge - 24
Coors Field (Rockies)
Larry Walker - 55
Dodger StadiumAlex Cora - 26
Dolphin Stadium (Marlins)
Alex Gonzalez - 32
Fenway Park (Red Sox)
Carlton Fisk* - 45
Great American Ball Park (Reds)
Jason LaRue - 33
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (Twins)
Chuck Knoblauch - 39
Kauffman Stadium (Royals)
Mike Macfarlane - 44
Miller Park (Brewers)
Geoff Jenkins - 32
Minute Maid Park (Astros)
Craig Biggio - 56
Nationals Park
Nick Johnson - 5
Oakland Coliseum (A's)
Jason Giambi - 38
Oriole Park at Camden YardsBrady Anderson - 66
PETCO Park (Padres)
Khalil Greene - 13
PNC Park (Pirates)
Craig Wilson - 52
Progressive Field (Indians)
Travis Hafner - 33
Rangers Ballpark in ArlingtonAlex Rodriguez - 29
Rogers Centre (Blue Jays)
Carlos Delgado - 61
Safeco Field (Mariners)
Ichiro Suzuki - 21
Tropicana Field (Rays)
Jonny Gomes - 26
Turner Field (Braves)
Andruw Jones - 42
U.S. Cellular Field (White Sox)
Frank Thomas - 35
Wrigley Field (Cubs)
Ernie Banks* - 35
New Yankee StadiumJohnny Damon - 1,
Mark Teixeira - 1,
Hideki Matsui - 1,
Shin-Soo Choo - 1,
Nick Swisher - 1,
Kelly Shoppach - 1

*- Not confirmed. There is a chance that someone might have been plunked more at these oldest parks, just not a very good chance. This is at least the post-1960 People just didn't get hit by a lot of pitches for the major portion of the 20th century.

Kevin Kouzmanoff is one plunk behind Khalil Green for the PETCO record. Rickie Weeks could catch Geoff Jenkins for the Miller Park record with anothe 6 plunks at home. Several players are within one plunk of the Nationals Park record, including Chase Utley, who only visits that park. Kenji Johjima is also fairly close behind Ichiro for the Safeco record, with 17.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Plunk Kouzmanoff - Padres new record

Kevin Kouzmanoff has been hit by more pitches this season than any other San Diego Padre has ever been hit by in a single season. He's been plunked twice by the Mets, Giants and Rockies, and once each by the Nationals, Phillies, Dodgers, Marlins, Cubs, Braves, Diamondbacks and Mariners. That means he's been plunked by every team in the NL East and West (except the Padres of course), but only one of the 6 NL Central teams. He's been hit 3 times by pitchers born in February, but hasn't been plunked by anyone born in April, July, November or December. 57% of his 14 HBPs were thrown by pitchers born after 1980, and he's one of only 4 players this season who has been hit by 3 pitchers who are under 6 feet tall. Kouzmanoff has score 5 runs after reaching base on a plunk, but he hasn't been hit with the bases loaded this year.

In the 14 plate appearances in which Kevin Kouzmanoff has been plunked, he's managed to swing at 16 pitches. That leads the league in the category of total swings in plate appearances that end in a plunking. Chase Utley, despite being hit 26 times, only swung the bat 9 times in those trips to the plate. Here's the top 10 list for most swings in HBP plate appearances:
Kevin Kouzmanoff1416
Chris Iannetta1315
Scott Rolen1015
Carlos Quentin2014
Ryan Garko1414
Jason Giambi2014
David Dellucci1114
Lance Berkman713
Nate McLouth1213
Kevin Youkilis1212

In the 14 games Kouzmanoff has been plunked, he's only had 1 home run, and 10 total hits. His batting average goes from .271 in games with no plunks to .208 in games when he gets hit. His slugging goes from .445 to .313, but of course his OBP goes up from .293 to .406. But, the Padres are still 9-5 when he gets hit by a pitch, so it appears to be better for the team when Kouzmanoff gets hit, than when he hits.

But once again, congratulations to Kevin Kouzmanoff for becoming the first Padre to get hit by 14 pitches in a single season, and for being the 2nd player this season to break a franchise single season plunk record. If Kouzmanoff can get hit by another 14 pitches next season, and the next 18 seasons after that, he'll break the all time career record for getting hit by pitches. Unless someone else breaks it first... then he'll need more. He only needs 12 more to be the Padres all time career leader.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

13 - Kouzmanoff ties Padres single season record

Back in July, Kevin Kouzmanoff looked like he was going to shatter the Padres record for getting hit by pitches. He had been 10 times by the end of June, and was up to 12 by July 8th. Then he didn't get hit by a pitch... for the next 56 games and 245 plate appearances. Which is fine, if you're into that sort of thing. But finally, yesterday, Tim Lincecum plunked Kouzmanoff. If Kouzmanoff can get hit once more, the Padres will no longer be tied with the Mets for the lamest single season plunk record in the league. It will leave the Mets alone as the only team that's never had a player get hit 14 times in a single season. But, the question still remains if Kevin Kouzmanoff can get hit by another pitch.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

plunks and winning

Chase Utley has taken 25 plunks for the team this season, but unfortunately the Phillies haven't been able to put them to very good use. Those 25 plunks have come in 21 games, and the Phillies have just 10 wins against 11 loses in games when Chase Utley has been plunked. Of the 24 players with over 10 hbps this year (as of Sept. 9th), only 2 have a worse winning percentage in games with an hbp. The Phillies are, however 2-1 when Utley gets hit at least twice, and 1-0 when he gets hit 3 times in a game, so obviously he needs to get hit more to help his team win.

Aramis Ramirez has been the best at insuring victory for his Cubs by getting hit by pitches. The Cubs are 10-1 in the 11 games in which Ramirez has been plunked. So he's won just as many games when he's been plunked as Utley, but has had 10 less losses while being struck by pitches.
Nate McLouth has seen his efforts at getting hit by pitches wasted the most, with the Pirates winning pct dipping to .272 in the 11 games in which he's been hit by a pitch. Finding a way to make the Pirates winning percentage even worse is an impressive feat in itself.

Here's all the players with over 10 hbps (as of Sept 9th), and the win-loss records in games when they get hit:
Aramis Ramirez (CHC)1110-10.909
Prince Fielder (MIL)117-20.778
Kevin Kouzmanoff (SD)129-30.75
Jason Kendall (MIL)129-30.75
Melvin Mora (BAL)118-30.727
Kevin Youkilis (BOS)118-30.727
Reed Johnson (CHC)128-30.727
Jeff Francoeur (ATL)107-30.7
Chris Iannetta (COL)139-40.692
Aaron Rowand (SF)148-40.667
Alex Rodriguez (NYY)148-50.615
Kurt Suzuki (OAK)106-40.6
Edwin Encarnacion (CIN)106-40.6
Scott Rolen (TOR)106-40.6
Carlos Quentin (CHW)2012-80.6
Josh Willingham (FLO)126-40.6
Rickie Weeks (MIL)147-50.583
Jason Giambi (NYY)2011-80.579
Lastings Milledge (WAS)137-60.538
Carlos Pena (TB)115-50.5
Ryan Garko (CLE)147-70.5
Chase Utley (PHI)2510-110.476
David Dellucci (CLE)115-60.455
Nate McLouth (PIT)123-80.273

Mark Grudzielanek (KC), Jose Molin (NYY), Mike Napoli (LAA), Marco Scutaro (TOR) and Gerald Liard (TEX) are all tied with the most HBPs this year without having lost a game in which they got hit by a pitch. Surely getting plunked is that much more painful when you lose, but those 5 guys are all 5-0 in the games in which they've been hit by pitches.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

milestone shyness

Any day now, the Colorado Rockies are going to throw their 1000th plunk in franchise history. However, now that they're so close to the historic milestone, they've suddenly decided on a unilateral cease fire, and they're stuck at 998. The Rockies are in the midst of their 7th slowest month ever, in terms of handing on HBPs per batter faced. They've hit just 5 batters this August. They've only had 3 full months in franchise history in which they hit fewer than 5 batters - two were in 1993, their first year in existence, and one was September of 2001 when they might have been feeling particularly pacifistic. They haven't hit anyone since August 15th, and only the White Sox have gone longer without hitting an opposing batter.

If the Rockies can hold out another 7 years without hitting two more batters, they can avoid becoming the quickest expansion franchise to hit 1,000 batters, and probably the quickest ever. Previously, the quickest 1000 plunks among the post-1960 expansion teams was thrown by the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners hit their 1000th opponents on July 22, 1999 (John Jaha), in their 23rd season in existence, but the Rockies will make it in just 16 seasons - again, assuming they can't make it the rest of the year without hitting 2 batters. Even without Craig Biggio's help (34 hbps vs the Rockies), they would have probably done it in 17 seasons. Of the senior citizen franchises, the quickest was the Detroit Tigers, who reached 1000 plunks thrown in 1919 - their 19th season. It's probably no coincidence that all-time HBP king Hughie Jennings managed the Tigers from 1907 to 1920. HBP stats for pitchers weren't kept very accurately back then, but they're probably close enough to go with 1919 as the season the Tigers reached 1000. It's a little more difficult with the NL teams that existed prior to HBPs being tracked at all, but particularly given the shorter schedules of the 19th century seasons, we can be pretty sure that the Rockies will be the first franchise to hit 1000 batters in their first 16 seasons.

The Rockies aren't the only ones having trouble getting over an HBP hump though. The Astros are creeping slowly toward 2,000 HBPs collected by it's batters in franchise history - but they've only been hit 39 times this year, and they're stuck at 1,994 at the moment. They've actually picked up the pace a little, getting hit 13 times so far this month, after only 10 in June and July combined.
Kevin Kouzmanoff is one plunk away from tying the Padres single season HBP record, but he's been one plunk away from tying the Padres single season record since July 8th. He has the longest active plunk drought of any player with 10 or more HBPs this season by 15 days. Jason Kendall, who's supposed to be chasing the all time HBP record, has the second longest drought among those with double digit plunks, having been left un-plunked since July 23rd. He's stuck at 229 HBPs, which is one short of tying Dan McGann for 6th place on the all time list.

Maybe they've all been waiting for the right time though. Starting Friday, the Rockies will be playing the Padres, so maybe the Rockies could cross the 1000 plunk mark by hitting Kouzmanoff twice, for the Padres record. Or, if the Rockies can hold out another week, and the Astros can make up some ground by September 5th, they could coordinate the Astros 2000th batter hit with the Rockies 1000th plunk thrown.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

single season record chase updates

As you may know, last year four different players broke the single season HBP record for their team, and several more have a chance to do it this season. Carlos Quentin of the White Sox has used his 5 game getting-hit streak to move within 4 plunks of Minnie Minoso's White Sox record, while Kevin Kouzmanoff seems to have stalled 1 short of the Padres record, going plunkless since July 8th. Michael Bourn of the Astros finally got started on his pursuit of the Astros record with his first career plunk Monday, but he'll still need to get hit 34 more times by the end of the year. And Jason Giambi, Carlos Pena, Damion Easley and Chase Utley all project to within 3 HBPs of their team records - a short hot streak could put any of them over the top.

Here's a chart with each team's current season leader, with their projected season total and their team's single season HBP record, in order of how likely they are to reach the record:
Team2008 HBP LeaderCurrent totalProjected totalFranchise record
SDPKevin Kouzmanoff121613 by Gene Tenace in 1977
CHWCarlos Quentin192623 by Minnie Minoso in 1956
NYYJason Giambi162224 by Don Baylor in 1985
TBDCarlos Pena91214 by Jonny Gomes in 2005
NYMDamion Easley71013 by Ron Hunt in 1963,
and John Olerud in 1997
PHIChase Utley162225 by Chase Utley in 2007
CLERyan Garko111520 by Ryan Garko in 2007
MILRickie Weeks131825 by Fernando Vina in 1998
TEXMilton Bradley7916 by Alex Rodriguez in 2001
ARIAugie Ojeda and
Conor Jackson
71018 by Andy Fox in 1998
CHCReed Johnson111523 by Bill Dahlen in 1898
FLAHanley Ramirez7917 by Carlos Delgado in 2005
TORScott Rolen101422 by Shea Hillenbrand in 2005
COLChris Iannetta91221 by Eric Young in 1996
OAKKurt Suzuki81120 by Don Baylor in 1976, and
Jason Kendall in 2005
LADJeff Kent71020 by Hughie Jennings in 1900
SEAKenji Johjima6819 by Jose Guillen in 2007
SFGAaron Rowand111526 by Ron Hunt in 1970
BALMelvin Mora91224 by Brady Anderson in 1999
CINEdwin Encarnacion7924 by Jason LaRue in 2004
KCRAlex Gordon6823 by David DeJesus in 2007
DETPlacido Polanco5724 by Bill Freehan in 1968
PITNate McLouth101431 by Jason Kendall in 1997 and 1998
ATLJeff Francoeur81129 by Tommy Tucker in 1891
MINDelmon Young5725 by Kid Elberfeld in 1911
ANATorii Hunter6827 by David Eckstein in 2002
BOSKevin Youkilis91235 by Don Baylor in 1986
STLRick Ankiel,
Cesar Izturis, and
Ryan Ludwick
5731 by Steve Evans in 1910
HOUJ.R. Towles,
Lance Berkman,
and Ty Wigginton
6834 by Craig Biggio in 1997
WSNLastings Milledge101450 by Ron Hunt in 1971

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Plunk Kouzmanoff

As you may have heard, San Diego's Kevin Kouzmanoff has been hit by 12 pitches this season, leaving him just 1 misplaced pitch away from tying the Padres' single season franchise record. Kouzmanoff has been plunked by 12 different pitchers, in 12 different games, against 11 different teams so far this season but since we're just reaching the all-star break, he has plenty of time to add to his totals. This is just his 3rd season in the majors, his 2nd with Padres, and he's already more than half way to the Padres' career franchise record. Kouzmanoff has 22 for his career, all while playing for San Diego, and that puts him 6th on the Padres career plunk leaderboard; 13 away from the top spot.

He probably won't have it much longer, but Gene Tenace has held the Padres single season record since 1977, when he got hit by 13 pitches. He broke the prior record of 11, set by Al Ferrara in 1970. Ferrara's 1970 campaign broke his own record of 9, set in 1969, which was the year the Padres joined the league. So assuming Kouzmanoff can get hit a couple more times, he'll be in a pretty small group, among players who have held the Padres single season HBP record. The only other franchises who have, until this year, had so few holders of their single season plunk record are the Nationals and the Diamondbacks. The Nationals started life as the Expos 1969, and had their record initialized by Mack Jones with 15, and shattered by Ron Hunt's 50 in 1971. The Diamondbacks had Andy Fox take 18 for their team in their first season of operation in 1998, and haven't had anyone since then take that record away.

Perhaps the most important result of Kouzmanoff's season for the Padres is getting them out of their last place tie with the Mets for the lamest single season franchise plunk record in the league. But at least the Mets have had 2 batters reach 13 plunks in a season (Ron Hunt and John Olerud are tied for their record). Since the Padres came into the league in 1969, 95 different players have had seasons better than 13 hbps and those 95 done it 182 times, for every franchise in the league other than the Padres and Mets. Since 1969, the Padres are dead last in the majors in plunks per game and plunks per plate appearance. But Kevin Kouzmanoff is there now, and finally the Padres fans have someone in the batters box who isn't going to dive out of the way every time a pitch threatens to brush his uniform.

If you're one of those people who thinks it doesn't matter if a team has a guy who gets hit a lot, think about this: The last 11 World Series have been won by a team that had at least one player with 12 or more plunks that season. So the Padres may be in last place, but at least they've met one criteria for a World Series title, thanks to Kevin Kouzmanoff.

Padres best single season HBP totals, as of 7/10/08
Gene Tenace131977
Derek Bell121993
Kevin Kouzmanoff122008*
Al Ferrara111970
Gene Tenace111978
Sean Burroughs112003
Bobby Tolan101975
Kevin Kouzmanoff102007
Rickey Henderson101996
Ruben Rivera102000

*as of 7/10/08

Padres career HBP leaders as of 7/10/08
PlayerHBPYears with Padres
Gene Tenace351977-1980
Tim Flannery321979-1989
Khalil Greene312003-2008
Sean Burroughs262002-2005
Tony Gwynn241982-2001
Kevin Kouzmanoff222007-2008
Nate Colbert221969-1974
Mark Loretta202003-2005
Gene Richards201977-1983
Bobby Tolan191974-1979
Brian Giles192003-2008


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