Saturday, April 30, 2005

Past results don't predict future HBPs

Biggio successfully defended himself against 11 Greg Maddux pitches, and fought off one from Michael Wuertz to emerge unscathed from last night's game.
Tonight's starting nemesis is 3 time offender Kerry Wood who has more career hit batsmen than wins. Wood hit Biggio at Wrigley on
5/6/1998, and 9/29/2001, and got him right in the Enron Field on 5/25/02.
Craig Biggio has been hit twice on April 30th, in 1995 by Juan Acevedo, and 1997 by Dave Veres.

135 of Biggio's 259 HBPs have occurred at home.

Have I mentioned how much I love

Friday, April 29, 2005

Most plunked day of the week

April 29th may be the day of the year when Craig Biggio has recorded the most HBPs, but it's comparatively rare for him to take one for the team on a Friday. Saturdays have seen the most Biggio HBPs with 50. Here's the breakdown as it stands today:

The most plunked day of the year

Craig Biggio has been hit more times on April 29th than on any day of the year. In 1996 Joey Hamilton hit him in San Diego, in 1997 Roger Bailey of the Rockies got him in a home game. In 2000 against Milwaukee at County Stadium, Biggio was hit first by Everett Stull and later by Curtis Leskanic. In 2001 against the Marlins, Matt Clement topped them all by hitting Biggio twice in the same game.
Today it's Greg Maddux on the mound. He has only hit 119 of the 17084 batters he's faced...
but 2 of those 119 were Craig Biggio.

Greg Maddux also holds the record for most wins in a season in which a pitcher hit Craig Biggio, with his 20 wins in 1993. No other pitcher has hit Biggio and won 20 games in the same season.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Troublesome news

Apparently, in yesterday's whitesox/A's game, Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt actually called Joe Crede back to the batters box after a hit-by-pitch, ruling that he had made no effort to avoid the pitch. It's rule 6.08(b), but it seems like it's almost never called.
On the one hand, I'd hate to see increased focus on this rule effect Biggio, but on the other hand perhaps better enforcement of the rule will make the record that much more meaningful since people won't accuse him of diving over the plate to get hit - sort of like how the new steroid policy will legitimize a Barry Bonds home run record. Okay, bad example.
Anyway, I hope there's room in the rules for a little bit of plunk gamesmanship. Just as the pitcher has a right to brush back a batter in the fight for the inside of the plate, I think the batter has just as much right to take that pitch for the team, and send back the message that he's not going to be intimidated. Like if "Moonlight" Graham could have taken the pitch in the ear, gotten up, and THEN winked at the pitcher (he was a ghost anyway, right? so it's not like he could get hurt...).

Pitch evasion

On April 28th of 1998 Al Leiter hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, but since the Astros are off, our hero ought to be able to avoid being struck by baseballs today. In that spirit, I looked at some of the best ever at not getting hit by pitches today.
Mark Lemke holds the career mark for most plate appearance by someone who never got hit by a pitch, with 3664. The current active leader in that category is Juan Castro of the Twins who has faced 5956 pitches in 1764 plate appearance without feeling the sting of flying cowhide. Of course he could lose his title as active dodge-ball king any day now. Cesar Izturas was up to 1929 plate appearance at the end of '04, but finally got hit for the first time this season.
Not surprisingly, Pete Rose holds the all time mark for most plate appearance that didn't result in a hbp (PA-HBP) with 15,754. Rafael Palmeiro is the active leader in unplunked plate appearance with 11,539. Only 85 of the 42,990 pitches thrown to Palmeiro have hit him.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Two hit batters

... For the Astros today, but neither was named Craig Biggio. Really needs to do something about the way their box scores are currently showing HBPs. They only show them under the pitching totals, it lists every hit batter for both teams in the column for each team, and it often seems to list them multiple times. It's very annoying, but maybe I'm the only one looking.

No pitches to get hit by

The Quest was interrupted by rain last night. Kip Wells - discussed yesterday - will be back out today (weather permitting) trying not to hit Biggio. He's only been hit once on April 27th, back in 2002 by Atlanta's Kevin Gryboski. Houston won that one.

So far this year Mr. Biggio has been hit 3 times, which is the same number of pitches the entire rest of his team have taken. During the span of his career, through 2004, Biggio has taken 25.4% of the Astros' plunkings. Impressive as that is, it's only 10th all time. Ron Hunt took 38.2% of his teams hit-by-pitches over the course of his career, and David Eckstein (not even much of a target) is the active leader with 27.1%.

Player% of teams HBP



Ron Hunt38.2%



Whitey Alperman31.2%



Don Baylor29.8%



Tommy Tucker29.1%



David Eckstein27.1%



Jack Gleason26.8%



Jason Kendall26.4%



Chet Lemon26.3%



Charlie Babb25.7%



Craig Biggio25.4%




(Through 2004)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

You Missed

Pittsburg managed to throw 18 pitches to Craig Biggio yesterday and missed him every time. Over his career 99.33% of the 38,849 pitches throw to him to date have missed him, but so far this season opposing pitchers are failing to hit him with 98.9% of pitches. In 1997 when biggio lead the majors with 34 hbps, he got hit by 1.2% of pitches thrown to him, or about once every 80 pitches.

Shawn Estes is the only opposing pitcher ever to hit Biggio on April 26th, doing so in 1997 in a complete game win for the Giants at the Astrodome.

Tonight's opposing pitcher, Kip Wells, has managed to not hit the batter with 99.7% of his 13,739 career pitches.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Chris Singleton - comparison

In discussing yesterday's Red Sox/Tampa scuffle, a friend asked me how far Chris Singleton was behind Biggio on the all time hit by pitch list.
My answer:
250. At Singleton's current plunk's per game average he could reach Biggio's
current total in another 19,139 games. Or, if he plays every game between now
and then, sometime in the year 2123. So really, what's he got to complain
about. He hardly ever gets hit by Biggio's standards.

Happy Anniversary

Friday, April 22, was the 16th anniversary of Biggio's first hit-by-pitch. He celebrated by getting hit by a pitch.

Today the Astros face Oliver Perez of the Pirates. He has only hit 19 batters in his career, hitting someone every 3.89 appearances on average. Biggio has been hit 4 times on April 25th, including a 2 plunk game in 2002 (both by AJ Burnett).
The Astros are 0-3 in games played on April 25th in which Craig Biggio gets hit.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Target - 287 plunks

The current leader, since 1903, is Hall of Fame short stop Hughie "Yeehah" (EE-Yah) Jennings, with 287 hit-by-pitches. There's some great information on the Hall of Fame website, including his plaque and a brief explanation of his really cool nickname. However, it doesn't list his accomplishment of getting hit 287 times, and holding the career record in that stat for over 100 years. Also, his season-by-season stats on show that he was hit 51 times in 1896, but's list of single season hbp leaders shows Ron Hunt's 50 in 1971 as the single season record. I can only assume that the stats from certain years in the 19th century aren't considered accurate enough to be included with the all time records.

Perhaps the most amazing part of Jennings career mark is that it was done in an age before Ibuprofen (although it may say something for the popular pain killers of the time).


Plunk Biggio - the beginning

It is not widely known, as far as I can tell, that the Houston Astros second baseman Craig Biggio is closing in on an all time major league baseball record set over 100 years ago. He needs to be hit by a pitch 28 more times to break the career record for hit-by-pitches.
I think this is pretty amazing and needs to be further publicized. The name of this blog should not be taken as an endorsement of throwing at Craig Biggio, but getting hit by a pitch is part of the game. Whether he's leaning in and taking one for the team, or just battling for his spot in the batters box, something must be said for Biggio's toughness for standing in there after being struck so many times.
So, this blog is devoted for that pursuit of the record. Hopefully he'll make it this year, and I hope some other people, Astros fans and media, get on board with this and give the proper respect for this quest.