Tuesday, May 31, 2005

another stunning coincidence

Yesterday, Craig Biggio collected his 262nd hit by pitch 6,127 days after Don Baylor became the third player to record 262 career HBPs back on August 20, 1988. The pitcher who plunked Baylor that day nearly 15 years ago started a minor league game yesterday for the Brockton Rox of the independent Can-Am league. That's right, Oil Can Boyd, who dished out Don Baylor's plunk number 262, began his most recent "comeback" on the same day that Craig Biggio recorded plunk 262.
If The Can lives his dream and makes it back to the majors, and happens to plunk Craig Biggio he would become the 7th pitcher to drill both Biggio and Baylor. The current members of that club are Tom Candiotti, Jose DeLeon, Danny Jackson, Mark Portugal, Frank Tanana, and Bob Tewksbury.

More 262/Todd Coffey stuff.

Craig Biggio's 262nd hit-by-pitch was just the third hit batsman dished out by Todd Coffey. Biggio is the first batter not name Jerry Hairston to have been hit by Coffey. Coffey hit Jerry Hairston Jr in his first major league appearance, April 19th this year and came back for another 6 days later on April 25th.

Matt Belisle has hit 3 batters this year, but he has never hit Biggio with a pitch.

Biggio has been plunked once on May 31st. Carlos Zambrano got him in the 7th inning in 2003.


Monday, May 30, 2005


Leading off the 9th inning, Todd Coffey hit Biggio with a 2-1 pitch. Sadly no one batting behind him could drive him in to break up the shutout for the day.

Todd Coffey becomes the 200th major league pitcher to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. I hope someone saved the ball for him.

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back today?

Biggio got in yesterday's game for a pitch hit appearance, but it wasn't a pinch get hit. Hopefully he'll be back in the lineup today, back home again against the Reds. Aaron Harang, today's starter for the Reds, has never plunked Biggio, and he has never been hit on May 30th, so it should be safe to step into the batters box today. On the other hand, history means nothing when the pitch with your name on it comes sailing inside at 90 plus. (You'd thing more guys named Rawlings would get plunked)

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Sure, take a day off

Anyone who's been hit by a pitch 261 times deserves a day off any time he feels like it, but it looks like Biggio may miss a couple after a collision at 2nd base Friday. If he feels up to playing today, he'll get back on the field today against Chris Capuano, who hit him with a pitch last June 12th.
Craig Biggio has been plunked twice on May 29th, both times in the same game in in 1998 at the hands of Pedro Astacio.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

580, but not 262

Craig Biggio recorded his 580th double last night, but the elusive 262nd hit by pitch did not come along. He'll get another chance tonight against Ben Sheets, if Sheets is still feeling up to it at game time (coming off an injury). Sheets plunked Biggio on June 29, 2001.

Jason Simontacchi hit Biggio with a pitch on May 28, 2003, but it might have been just to prove that he doesn't just plunk batters on Friday the 13th.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Biggio vs the top 5

Craig Biggio has been plunked by at least one pitcher among the National League HBP top 5 in every year of his career except 1988 (when he didn't get hit at all), 1991 when he got hit only twice, and 1994 (strike shortened).

Top 5 pitchers in Hit Batsmen, including ties since 1989:
(Pitchers who plunked Biggio that season in bold)
Rick Mahler (10)
Mitch Williams (8)
Dennis Martinez (7)
Randy Kramer (7)
Mike LaCoss (7)
Tim Belcher (7)
Mark Gardner (9)
Jim Deshaies (8)
Joe Magrane (8)
Dwight Gooden (7)
Mike Harkey (7)
Juan Agosto (7)
John Burkett (10)
Juan Agosto (8)
Mitch Williams (8)
Ramon Martinez (7)
Bryn Smith (7)
Greg Maddux (14)
David Cone (12)
Dennis Martinez (9)
Mark Gardner (9)
Orel Hershiser (8)
Darryl Kile (15)
Dennis Martinez (11)
John Burkett (11)
Dwight Gooden (9)
Frank Castillo (9)
Omar Olivares (9)
Armando Reynoso (9)
Frank Tanana (9)
Tim Wakefield (9)
Pedro Martinez (11)
Charlie Hough (10)
Darryl Kile (9)
Allen Watson (8)
Paul Wagner (8)
Mark Leiter (17)
Darryl Kile (12)
Pedro Martinez (11)
Andy Ashby (11)
Joey Hamilton (11)
Kevin Brown (16)
Darryl Kile (16)
Mark Thompson (13)
Kevin Ritz (12)
Al Leiter (11)
Kevin Brown (14)
Roger Bailey (13)
Esteban Loaiza (12)
Al Leiter (12)
Jim Bullinger (12)
Joey Hamilton (12)
Todd Stottlemyre (12)
Pedro Astacio (17)
Orel Hershiser (13)
Al Leiter (11)
Chan Ho Park (11)
Javier Vazquez (11)
Kerry Wood (11)
Jamey Wright (11)
Paul Byrd (17)
Brian Bohanon (14)
Chan Ho Park (14)
Darren Oliver (11)
Jose Jimenez (11)
Pedro Astacio (11)
Orel Hershiser (11)
Jamey Wright (18)
Matt Clement (16)
Rolando Arrojo (16)
Pedro Astacio (15)
Darryl Kile (13)
Chan Ho Park (12)
Rolando Arrojo (16)
Darren Dreifort (12)
Chan Ho Park (20)
Jamey Wright (20)
Randy Johnson (18)
Eric Gagne (16)
Kevin Appier (15)
Matt Clement (15)
Pedro Astacio (16)
Kerry Wood (16)
Julian Tavarez (15)
Vicente Padilla (15)
Randy Johnson (13)
Kerry Wood (21)
Vicente Padilla (16)
Matt Clement (14)
Garrett Stephenson (13)
Brandon Webb (13)
Carlos Zambrano (20)
Jerome Williams (17)
Jeff Weaver (14)
Sun-Woo Kim (13)
Matt Clement (12)

miller (park) time

Doug Davis pitches for the Brewers today. He has never hit Biggio with a pitch, and has only hit 19 batters with 12,244 pitches.
On May 27, 2001 Craig Biggio was plunked by Darren Dreifort in a road loss at Dodger Stadium.

In other news, retrosheet published their annual update yesterday, and they now have some amazing splits and matchup pages. It's not all complete, but it's still some excellent data, which I have no intention of putting to good use.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

plunks around the majors

The Bluejays Shea Hillenbrand and Reed Johnson are currently tied for the league lead in HBPs with 8 each. If they keep up this pace, they would become the first pair of teammates to record 25 or more plunks each since the 1898 Baltimore Orioles, featuring Hughie Jennings and Dan McGann. That pair was hit 46 and 39 times respectively, but Hillenbrand and Johnson aren't likely to approach those totals.
No pair of teammates have broken 20 HBPs each in the same season since Kid Elberfeld and Doc Gessler got plunked 25 and 20 times for the Washington Senators in 1911*.
In 2003 the Bluejays became the second team since 1910 to have 3 players get plunked 15 or more times. Reed Johnson led the way with 20, while Carlos Delgado took 19 and Josh Phelps got 17. The other modern team to accomplish that feat was the 2000 Astros, and they weren't even led by Craig Biggio's 16 plunks (in only 101 games). Richard Hidalgo got hit 21 times that year, and Jeff Bagwell followed with 15.

*There have been only two teams since 1911 with teammates named Doc and Kid, and none since the 1914 Cincinnati Reds. 17 teams before 1911 had teammates named Doc and Kid, so we can identify the Golden Age of Doc & Kid duos as 1898-1914.

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hey, a road win

It was a festival of ground outs to the left until the 8th inning last night, when Craig Biggio reached on an infield hit to the right. But, all the fun of hitting grounders left no time for getting hit by a pitch. A rare road win was a nice consolation prize.
The Astros are off today, making that long trip from Chicago to Milwaukee where the hunt for 262 will continue.

Frank Castillo hit Craig Biggio with a pitch on May 26, 1996.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Greg Maddux notes

In 1994 Greg Maddux posted the best season WHIP (walks + hits per inning pitched) ever for a pitcher who hit Craig Biggio with a pitch that same year, with .896. Pedro Martinez is the runner up with his 1997 season WHIP of .932.
Maddux also leads all Biggio plunkers in career wins (307), strikeouts (2950), shutouts (35), and innings pitched (4,236). He is only 6 losses behind Danny Darwin's career total for second place on that list (Maddux: 176, Darwin: 182), but isn't likely to match Frank Tanana's 236 losses.
Maddux plunked Biggio on 7/31/1993 and 6/12/1994.

no good news from wrigley

Biggio went 2-4 with a double but did not get plunked last night, in another plunk free evening for both teams. Having their ace leave the game early and blowing a lead in the 8th didn't help the Astros much either.
Tonight Greg Maddux is back on the mound tonight after failing to plunk Biggio April 30th.
Kerry Wood, of the Cubs, is the only pitcher to have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch on May 25th, doing so in 2002.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

plunk inflation

Batters are being hit by pitches this season at a rate of about .734 per game, which is down slightly from the past two years. When Craig Biggio entered the league in 1988, league wide plunks per game were around .438 but they have steadily increased throughout his career. The HBP per game numbers from 2001 through this year have been in a range not seen in 100 years. 2001's .778 plunks per game was the first to brake .700 since 1902 when it was .705.
Craig Biggio's and Hughie Jennings stats are more beneficiaries than causes of this trend, and removing their numbers from the overall stats does not impact the league wide totals too greatly.
During the span of Biggio's career (through 2004), there have been .598 HBPs per game, slightly better than the average during Hughie Jennings career, .550. Don Baylor's era was relatively plunk-free with .374 hit batters per game.


unplunked by the full moon

The Cubs threw 112 pitches last night without hitting anyone, including a 4 pitch ninth inning by Ryan Dempster. The Quest will continue tonight when Sergio Mitre has a chance to become the first pitcher named Sergio to plunk Biggio.
Chris Brock of the Phillies hit Craig Biggio with a pitch on May 24th of 2000 in relief of Curt Schilling.

Monday, May 23, 2005

No, I'm not making this up.

Seriously. I looked it up. Tonight, May 23rd, is a full moon. Craig Biggio has been hit by a pitch 10 times on the night of a full moon, in 79 games. His plunks per game for full moon nights is 0.127 while his overall plunks per game is .106. Or, he gets hit once every 9.391 games overall, while under a full moon he gets hit once every 7.9 games. He also bats .291 when there's a full moon, slightly better than his .286 lifetime average. And yes, all of the 10 full moon plunks were night games. 2 of the 10 were at Wrigley but none were in the month of May.


Cubs notes and other points of interest

The Cubs have plunked Craig Biggio 19 times using 12 different pitchers. 12 of the 19 have occurred at Wrigley Field, by 9 different pitchers. Biggio's first Wrigley plunking came on 8/13/1992 in the 7th inning courtesy of Frank Castillo - with his last pitch of the game before being pulled. Castillo learned nothing from that, because he hit Biggio again the next season and a third time in 1996.
Biggio's most recent hit-by-pitch at Wrigley was last June 1st by today's pitch, Glendon Rusch.

In other news, Mike Berardino of the South Florida Sun-Sentinal wrote a piece about Biggio and the record chase over the weekend. He had the opportunity to ask Biggio some questions about the record, and noted some excellent facts such as:
While longtime Astros running mate Jeff Bagwell (tied for fourth on the active list) twice suffered a broken hand from getting hit at the plate, Biggio has never landed on the disabled list due to his strange forte.

and for the hit chart, Biggio says he "has been hit in the head four times and once on the cheekbone."

weekend recap

Craig Biggio survived the weekend interleague series without being drilled by the Rangers, but it's probably just because they missed Pedro Astacio in the rotation. There will be a long post specifically on the subject of Pedro Astacio another time. Biggio saw 47 pitches from the Rangers, hitting 18 of them, while none hit him.
Today at Wrigley, Glendon Rusch pitches for the Cubs. He hit Craig Biggio with his third pitch of the day last June 1st. Jeff Bagwell homered 6 pitches later to drive Biggio in, and the Astros never gave back the lead that day.
Cory Lidle plunked Biggio on this day last year and
Carlos Reyes hit him on May 23, 1998, and .

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Long Weekend Update

Everything you need to know about this weekends dates and probably starters.

Arizona closes out the series against the Astros with Brad Halsey on the mound. Halsey has never plunked Biggio, but since the two have yet to face each other we could say that Halsey has never thrown a pitch to Biggio that didn't hit him.
Bob Walk served up Biggio's second career plunk on May 19, 1989 at the Astrodome. Also on May 19th, Jeff Brantley hit Biggio in 1993 at Candlestick, and Calvin Maduro hit him in 1997 at the Vet. All of Biggio's May 19th plunks have been in parks no longer in use.

Friday, May 20:
Interleague play begins Friday at Arlington where Kenny Rogers will face the Astros. Rogers has never hit Biggio with a pitch, and but has held him to a .067 batting average in 15 at bats. Biggio has been plunked 14 times in interleague play, 4 times by the Rangers, and once as a designated (get)hitter.
Craig Biggio has been plunked only once on May 20th. In 1998 Trey Moore hit him at Montreal. It was Moore's only hit batter that season.

Saturday, May 21:
Chris Young is Saturday's scheduled starter for Texas. Young has never faced the Astros, and only hit 3 of the 356 batters he has faced so far in his career.
Tim Scott hit Craig Biggio with a pitch on May 21, 1993.

Sunday, May 22:
On Sunday, Texas has Chan Ho Park scheduled to pitch. Park is a 3 time Biggio plunker, having drilled him on April 3, 1996 and twice on Sept. 12, 1997. Park has hit 109 batters in his career, tied for 7th among active pitchers.
Biggio has been hit twice on May 22nd. In 1996 by Alan Benes and 2000 by Steve Woodard.

Also of plunk-related note on Sunday, Pedro Martinez faces the Yankees. It has been suggested that the Yankees might throw at Pedro just because they never got a chance to when he pitched in the American League. I don't see it happening. Pitchers seem to hardly ever throw at each other, and if they do it will be like the time the Mets threw at Clemens after the Piazza incidents - half hearted and poorly aimed.

More on 261

Craig Biggio got hit by a pitch last night for the 261st time in his career. Number 261 was his 40th plunk on a Wednesday, 58th in the month of May, and just the 8th batting 3rd in the line up. Russ Ortiz becomes the 199th pitcher to have plunked Biggio.

A commenter yesterday pointed out that MLB.com's Craig Biggio page has a link to a "hit chart" which was disappointing in its total lack of information on where Craig Biggio has been hit by pitches. If I can get hold of game video from all 261 plunks, I'd be happy to compile this chart, so if anybody knows how I can get tape from 242 Astros games, let me know (plunkbiggioATgmailDotcom). Reader Eric N. pointed me to this site, which has quicktime video of Biggio getting plunked on September 5, 1995, so that only leaves 241.

I'd also like to thank Jacob Luft of SI.com for the unsolicited plug in his column yesterday.

And, another thank you to Richard Connelly from the Houston Press who emailed me about Plunk Biggio within a couple of days of my first post, before I even knew that anybody was reading this. In retrospect, I should have come up with better answers for him.
He writes "Baseball, computers and too much spare time -- a deadly combination."
Well... yeah.
But everybody needs a hobby. And, once you have a database of every game Craig Biggio has ever been hit by a pitch, pulling this site together doesn't take much time. Besides, what else are you going to do with a Craig Biggio hit-by-pitch database if you don't turn it into a blog?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


In the 5th inning, 1 out, 0-2 pitch by Russ Ortiz.

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Maybe they shouldn't be called that

Craig Biggio's 1997 Houston Astros hold the modern team record for most HBPs in a single season, racking up 100 that year. This year's Dodgers look to be making a run at that record. With 24 plunks in 39 games they're on pace for 99.7 over 162 games.
The '97 Astros 100 HBP season ranks 8th all time but the 7 seasons ahead of them all occurred before 1900. 6 of those seasons, including the all time record 160 plunk Baltimore Orioles, prominently featured Hughie Jennings.

On the other side of the equation, the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox have hit 25 batters in 39 games, putting them on pace to drill 103.8 batters this year. The all time record is held by the 1899 Cleveland Spiders with 109. If the Red Sox put up 103 that will rank second, ahead of the 1899 New York Giants who hit 100. Third on the list, and the modern record holder, are the 2003 Tampa Bay Devil Rays who plunked 95 batters, just beating their 2002 record of 94 plunks.

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22 and 10 but no 261

Adam Everett and Morgan Ensberg both got hit by pitches, but Biggio stayed out of the way last night. Everett's was the 22nd of his career and Ensberg's was number 10.

Russ Ortiz pitches for the D-backs today but he has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. He averages 4 plunks per year and has one so far this season.

The list of pitchers who have drilled Craig Biggio on May 18th is long and distinguished. Mark Portugal in 1994, Danny Darwin in 1996, Garrett Stephenson in 1997, and Dontrelle Willis in 2004.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Diamondback notes

The Diamondbacks have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch only 7 times, tied with Atlanta for fewest in the National league. Those 7 plunks were dished out by 6 pitchers. Oscar Villareal (DL) and Brandon Webb are the only pitchers still with Arizona of those 6, but they've also picked up Shawn Estes who plunked Biggio twice as a Giant.
Through 2004, the Arizona franchise has hit 392 batters in its history, Randy Johnson accounted for 64 of those. Not including this season, Arizona has only had 87 players pitch for them, so Johnson was 59.5 HBPs above the franchise average for plunks per pitcher. Byung-Hyun Kim is 2nd on the D-backs all time plunker list with 32.


Craig Biggio spent the off day yesterday hosting his charity golf tournament for The Sunshine Kids. We can only hope he kept out of the way of all flying golf balls, although there have been whispers that he crowds the tee.

Javier Vazquez faces the Astros tonight for the Diamondbacks. Vazquez has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, but he has hit 45 batters in 231 starts.

On May 17th 2002, David Williams of the Pirates plunked Biggio to become the first and only pitcher to hit him on this date.

Monday, May 16, 2005

The rearview mirror

Jason Kendall is the next active player behind Craig Biggio on the all time Hit By Pitch list, with 180. He averages about 19.7 plunks per year, so he has an excellent chance of surpassing Hughie Jennings mark (the current record) sometime around the 2010 season. Kendall turns 31 this June, so it's a decent bet he'll still be playing in 5 years. Whether or not he breaks the record will depend on his ability to keep up his current pace and continue to stay healthy, and how long Biggio continues to play and push out the record once he breaks it.

Behind Kendall, at 157 HBPs is Fernando Vina. He's gotten hit about 13 times per season, but at the age of 36 he has a much smaller chance of contending for the record. He would need to keep playing at his current plunk-per-season average for another 10 year, to age 46.

Only David Eckstein and Craig Wilson are likely contenders among active players, based on season averages through 2004. Eckstein has been getting hit 19 times per season, and Craig Wilson 17.75 per season. They should both get into the 287 HBP stratosphere around the 2016 or 2017 season, but it may be too early to judge whether either can expect a 15+ year major league career.

Jose Vizcaino (1 HBP per season) will have to play until he is 309 years old to reach the current plunk record.

Top 10 active players by HBP per season, through 2004:
playerHBP per seasontotal HBP
Jason Kendall19.7180
David Eckstein1979
Craig Wilson17.876
Reed Johnson1638
Craig Biggio15.1260
Fernando Vina13.1157
Mark Teixeira1227
Jason LaRue1277
Melvin Mora10.767
Carlos Delgado10.2127

Being a team guy

I'm sure Craig Biggio didn't want to take the spot light off teammate Morgan Ensberg's first career 3 home run game, so he didn't get hit by a pitch. It would have been pretty embarrassing when the beat writers gathered around Ensberg and asked "What do you think of Craig Biggio getting hit by a pitch for the 261st time?", so number 7 stayed out of the way so Morgan could get his time in the limelight. 261 will have to wait on deck.

Not only is today an off day for the Astros, it's so off that Craig Biggio has never been struck by a pitch on May 16th.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Biggio 4, Ball 0

Craig Biggio won his personal battle against the baseball yesterday. The ball never hit him, but he hit it 4 times (two fouls, a ground out and a homer). Of the 4,377 pitches thrown in yesterdays games, only 15 hit anyone.
Jeff Fassero pitches tonight for the Giants. At 42 years old, he has a chance to break Orel Hershiser's record and become the oldest pitcher ever to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. Hershiser plunked Biggio on May 7, 2000 at 41 years 7 months of age.
3 of Biggio's 260 HBPs have come on May 15th, in three consecutive years. Mark Gardner started the tradition in 1999, Danny Graves continued it in 2000, Manny Aybar followed the trend in 2001, but in 2002 the streak was broken when none of the four Phillies pitchers who faced the Astros on May 15th hit Biggio with a pitch.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

plunk free again

Another plunk free night for Craig Biggio, and another loss for the Astros.
Brett Tomko, another non-Biggio-plunker will pitch tonight for the Giants. He's been known to drill a batter or two, so we'll see how he does trying not to hit Biggio.
Jaime Navarro is the only pitcher ever to plunk Biggio on May 14th, doing so in 1996 for the Cubs at Wrigley.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Paraskevidekatriaphobia Report

For all you Friday the 13th lovers - or haters. (Not that baseball players are superstitious or anything).
Before today, Craig Biggio has played 13 games on Friday the 13th. His batting average in those games is only .245, and he has been hit by a pitch just once. The one pitcher to plunk Biggio on a Friday the 13th? JASON! That's right, Jason Simontacchi on Friday, September 13th 2002. Guys named Jason have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch 4 times. Simontacchi had another on 5/28/2003, Jason Bere hit him on 8/30/1997, and Jason Schmidt got him on 9/17/1997.

I'm not trying to predict anything, but I'd watch out for Giants reliever Jason Christiansen today. He could become the first Nebraskan ever to plunk Biggio.

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Getting the hang of Thursdays

Yesterday my post centered on the idea that Craig Biggio, like Arthur Dent, couldn't quite get the hang of Thursdays. As if to answer, he went 2-5 with 2 homeruns, raising his Thursday batting average to .281, and he didn't even have to get hit by a pitch to do it. In response to Puma's argument that Biggio has had fewer hits on Thursday because he has played less games on Thursday, I'd like to point out that Biggio has played less games on Monday than on Thursday, but on Mondays he bats .305. But, I'm all in favor of interpreting statistics in whatever way best illustrates your point, so feel free to disagree. I'll look at the question of whether pitchers who hit batters will logically give up more hits and higher opponents batting averages another time, but in general I don't think I buy it. I think many of the pitches that hit Biggio are right where the pitcher intended them to be, not a sign of lack of control. But, I'll talk about that more another time once I've found a way to twist the statistics to prove my point.

To answer Palatine Pete's question, I don't yet have plunks by inning. I haven't found a website that has the inning by inning game logs from 1993-2001, so if anyone knows where I can find those, I'd appreciate hearing about it (plunkbiggioATgmailDOTcom except without the obvious spammer deception tricks) and be able to answer more questions about situational plunkings.

Today's opposition is Kirk Rueter, a two time offender. He drilled Pigpen on 5/4/1996 and 7/17/1998. Rueter has only drilled 0.3% of the batters he's faced during his career.

Biggio has been hit only once on May 13th, in 1997 by Armando Reynoso.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

things to do on a Thursday

Thursdays aren't great for Craig Biggio. He bats .280, below his career .286 average, and has fewer hits (289) on Thursdays than any other day of the week. It's also the day of the week when he gets plunked least often, which might be good, depending on how you look at it. However, when he does get hit by a pitch on a Thursday, he bats .366 with a 1.197 OPS, while on unplunked thursdays, he bats only .274 with a .793 OPS.
Overall, Biggio's numbers improve in games when he gets hit by a pitch, and they get even better in games when he is hit twice.

that crazy leg kick

Biggio survived 14 crazy Dontrelle Willis leg kicks without getting hit by a pitch, and took 3 strikes from Todd Jones to end the game. I would have been really impressed if he could have leaned into one of those intentional walk pitches in the 2nd inning.
Brad Hennessey pitches for the Giants tonight and will try to avoid hitting Craig Biggio. In his 8 career games to date, none of his 733 pitches have hit anyone.
Biggio has been hit twice on May 13th, by Chris Hammond of the Marlins in 1998 and by Salomon Torres of Pittsburgh in 2003. The Astros won both games.

Also, I'd like to thank The Hardball Times for the kind words today.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

That's no way to get ahead

Teams that ended the season in 4th place or lower have hit Craig Biggio more times than top 3 finishers 134-122. Biggio has been plunked most often by teams finishing 4th.
Teams that plunk Craig Biggio in a given year average only 77.9 wins. It appears that teams the hit him twice are most likely to win more, but it's generally down hill after that, aside from one anomaly.
Average wins by team plunk total:
#team plunksavg. winsoccurances

Total plunks by final rank in division:

Total occurrences by division rank and plunk total:





follow up?

Don Baylor recorded his 260th HBP on July 3, 1988 just 7 days after Craig Biggio debutted in the majors.

Biggio will step back into the batters box today against Dontrelle Willis. Willis hit Biggio on May 18th last year. Biggio has nearly as many HBPs as Willis has months alive.

May 11th, in Biggio plunking history, is some sort of Pennsylvania vengeance day. Biggio has been hit 4 times on May 11th, 3 by the Pirates and once by the Phillies. He has been hit in 3 of the 4 Pennsylvania ball parks he's played at, in 1995 by Jeff McCurry at Three Rivers, in 2002 by Josh Fogg at PNC Park, and in 2003 by Vicente Padilla at the Vet. The Pirates also came to the Astrodome in 1999 where Todd Ritchie plunked Biggio.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


On a 1-2 pitch in the first inning tonight, Brian Moehler plunked Craig Biggio just 7 pitches into the game. Moehler becomes the 198th pitcher to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. Biggio needs 7 more to tie Don Baylor's modern record, and 27 to tie the all time mark.
Interestingly, just as Biggio was getting hit, sportscenter was showing a bit where Rich Eisen asked Harold Reynolds how Biggio has managed to get hit 259 times.

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Marlins report

The Marlins have plunked Biggio 14 times in franchise history, using 12 pitchers. They are one of only two teams, the Cardinals being the other, who have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch twice in a game on three separate occasions. Through 2004, they had hit 610 batters in franchise history, ranking them 27th during the Craig Biggio Era. Obviously that ranking is low due to the Marlins only coming into the league in 1993. They rank 7th in plunks per batter faced, hitting 0.83% of batters.
Through 2004, the Marlins had only had 131 different players pitch for them. 12 of those pitchers have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, meaning that 9.2% of the pitchers who have pitched for the Marlins have plunked Biggio. Only Colorado has employed a greater proportion of Biggio plunkers, at 11.1%.
Dontrelle Willis is the most recent Marlin to hit Biggio with a pitch, on May 18, 2004.


239 to go

Brad Ausmus got hit by a pitch again, bringing his total to 49. He just needs 239 more to break Hughie Jennings all time record. It's just a matter of time...
Oh right, Craig Biggio. He didn't get hit.
Brian Moehler is on the mound tonight for Florida. He has only hit 17 batters in his 151 career pitching appearances, but none of those 17 were Craig Biggio. Biggio has been plunked 14 times by pitchers whose last name starts with the letter M, but only twice by pitchers with the same first and last initial as Brian Moehler.
Rick Helling and Steve Woodard plunked Biggio in back to back years on May 10th (1997 and 1998). Helling delivered his plunk on behalf of the Florida Marlins, also today's opponent.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Justice (not Dave)

And not justice.
The 197 pitchers who have combined to plunk Craig Biggio 259 times have been hit by a pitch, in total, only 107 times (through 2004). 153 of those pitchers have hit Craig Biggio more times than they've been hit themselves, and 141 have never experienced being drilled by a major league pitcher.

moving on again

It's probably best that we not mention what happened yesterday, just that Biggio didn't get hit by a pitch, and move on to Florida. AJ Burnett will start for the Marlins tonight. His rap sheet shows two counts of Biggio plunking on April 25, 2002. In the seasons 2002-2005, Burnett has hit 7 right handed batters and 8 lefties, so he doesn't discriminate much.
On May 9, 1994 Tom Candiotti plunked Biggio at Dodger Stadium, and on May 9, 1995 Jon Lieber drilled him at Three Rivers Stadium.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

more Mike Hampton info

No pitcher has hit more home runs during Craig Biggio's career than Mike Hampton (14), but among pitchers that have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, Andy Benes leads with 8 homers. Kerry Wood is the leader among active pitchers (who have plunked Craig Biggio) with 7 homers.

Post-game update: Mike Hampton's career home run total is now 15. Sorry I mentioned it.

still nothing...

0-4, and no HBP for Biggio last night. It's looking like the Astros need a spark, and maybe if Biggio takes one for the team that will fire them all up. Maybe.

Today's pitcher is Mike Hampton, who has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. Hampton has only hit 46 batters in 2048.1 innings of work, and he hasn't drilled anyone since July 19th, 2004.

Biggio has been hit three times in two games on May 8th. In 1997 Rick Reed drilled him, and in 2000 Pedro Astacio hit him twice after Orel Hershiser had hit him twice the day before.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Another night

... another Braves game, another total lack of hit batters. Biggio's quest continues tonight against Braves starter Horacio Ramirez. Ramirez has never plunked Biggio, but he did hit a batter on April 20th this year. He has only hit 7 of the 1,143 batters he's faced in his short career.

May 7th has seen Craig Biggio hit by a pitch 4 times. As mentioned Thursday, on May 7th of last year John Thomson of the Braves hit Biggio with a pitch at Turner Field, then picked Biggio off at first base three pitches later.
In 2000, Orel Hershiser served up two plunkings for Biggio and became the oldest pitcher ever to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. Hershiser would only pitch in 4 more games after that one, but he managed to drill 3 more batters.
In 1995 Danny Jackson hit Biggio in a loss at St. Louis.
The Astros are 2-1 on May 7th when Biggio gets hit by a pitch, but 1-0 when he gets hit twice.

Friday, May 06, 2005

More Braves HBP data.

In 1996 and 1997 Craig Biggio absorbed more plunks than the Braves pitching staff handed out (27 to 19 in 1996 and 34 to 31 in '97). Seven other players have accomplished this feat relative to the Braves since the franchise moved to Atlanta, most recently last year when Craig Wilson was hit 30 times while Atlanta only hit 27 batters. In 1996 Biggio, Brady Anderson, and Eric Young all were awarded first base via HBP more often than the Braves pitchers allowed a baserunner by the same means.

Here's the scoreboard:
2004 Craig Wilson 30, Braves Pitchers 27
1997 Craig Biggio 34, Braves Pitchers 31
1996 Eric Young 21, Braves Pitchers 19
1996 Brady Anderson 22, Braves Pitchers 19
1996 Craig Biggio 27, Braves Pitchers 19
1986 Don Baylor 35, Braves Pitchers 26
1984 Don Baylor 23, Braves Pitchers 18
1981 Carlton Fisk 12, Braves Pitchers 11
1981 Chet Lemon 13, Braves Pitchers 11
1971 Ron Hunt 50, Braves Pitchers 28

In other news, the Braves announcers on TBS last night mentioned that Biggio was 8 Hit-By-Pitches away from Don Baylor for the "all time" record. I don't have a problem with isolating modern records from the 19th century stats when the game was much different and recorded stats may be incomplete, but at least call it the modern record - especially when MLB.com lists Hughie Jennings and Tommy Tucker first and second on their list of all time HBP career totals.


Not surprising.

Atlanta, following with past tradition, failed to plunk Craig Biggio again last night. John Smoltz will go tonight. He has hit Biggio once but not since July 27th, 1992. The Braves plunk Biggio about once every 2.28 years.

Biggio has been hit twice on May 6th, by Kerry Wood in 1998 and by Kris Benson last year. The Astros are 1-1 on May 6th when Craig Biggio gets hit by a pitch.


Thursday, May 05, 2005

Friendly Braves

No National League team has hit Craig Biggio fewer times than the Atlanta Braves - Houston's opponent for the next three games. Atlanta has recorded only 7 Biggio Plunks, tied for last place in the National League with Arizona, who have had 10 fewer seasons to throw at him. During the span of Biggio's career, through 2004, Atlanta pitchers have hit only 507 batters. Again only Arizona hit fewer batters (392), but they've only been playing since 1998. The World Series Champion Boston Red Sox have hit the most batters during Craig Biggio's years in the majors, with 944 through the 2004 season, and the former Montreal Expos lead the National League with 884.



Mr. Biggio might have preferred taking a high hard one to what the Astros got in the ninth inning last night. But, baseball moves on quickly. Tonight the Astros travel to Atlanta to face John Thomson and the Braves. Nearly a year ago, on May 7th, 2004, Thomson drilled Craig Biggio. Thomson has hit 24 batters in his career, despite giving up 138 homers.

Biggio has been hit only once on Cinco de Mayo, in 1997 by Mark Leiter in a home win against the Phillies.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

How not to make the all star team.

Only 6 pitchers have hit Craig Biggio before the all star break and still made the all star team in the same year. Greg Maddux ('94), Shawn Estes ('97), Pedro Martinez ('97), Kevin Brown ('00), Danny Graves ('00), and Ben Sheets ('01).

119 other pitchers have failed to make the all star team after plunking Biggio. If the league's pitchers were aware of this, maybe they wouldn't have drilled Biggio 153 times before the all star break. Then again, maybe they'd just rather hit him.


3 hits, not hit

Craig Biggio was too busy hitting last night to get hit, going 3-4 with a walk and 2 RBI.

Craig Biggio has been hit 5 times on May 4th, by Donovan Osborne, Kirk Rueter, Al Leiter, Mark Guthrie, and Jeff D'Amico. The Astros are 4-1 on May 4th when Craig Biggio gets hit by a pitch.

Mark Redman will be throwing at Biggio tonight, but he's never hit Biggio and has kept 67% of his pitches in the strikezone over his career, with only 22 hit batters. Redman hasn't hit a batter since 9/14/2004, when he hit Mark Teixeira.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Bigger target=more HBPs?

By request from Reader Bob in Massachusetts, who asked if batters with more body mass get hit more often:
The following table shows average HBPs per plate appearance broken up by height and weight. It appears that larger targets do not get hit by pitches more frequently. If that were the case, the numbers would trend upward across each row, as we move along the same height to higher weight decrements. It's less clear to me whether shorter or taller batters in a given weight group would present a larger profile to the pitcher, but I'm not seeing any definite trend in one direction or the other.
If anything, I think the pitchers are picking on the little guys. If the location of pitches was completely random, like when Tim Wakefield pitches, it would seem logical that the larger players would get hit more often, so this could be interpreted to show there is some level of control by the pitcher of who gets hit and when. Of course, this also doesn't take into account the location in the batters box each batter takes, since there are no stats which record that (with the possible exception of Carl Everett ejections).













Back to back

Biggio didn't get hit last night, but Brandon Duckworth drilled two consecutive Pirates batters in the 9th inning. That's the sort of thing that invites retaliation in some baseball circles.
Kip Wells is back to try again after missing Craig Biggio several times last week. Wells hit Biggio on 7/12/2003, becoming the only guy named Kip to ever hit Craig Biggio with a pitch.

May 3rd is one of only 4 days in May that hasn't seen Biggio take one for the team. May is the most plunked month at 56.
HBPs split by month:

Monday, May 02, 2005

money (bean)ball

With apologies to Billy Beane for use of the title.

Since 1989, the first season Craig Biggio recorded a hit-by-pitch, the average annual salary for pitchers has increased by 443% from $489,427 to $2,167,459 in 2004. The average annual salary for pitchers who hit Craig Biggio has only increased by 265% from $631,667 to $1,672,423 in 2004. Average salaries for Biggio plunkers have actually declined in recent years, from a peak of $3,470,634 in 2000. It appears that opposing teams have been finding cheaper arms to throw at Biggio. In total, through 2004, it has cost $306,203,564 for teams to pay 167 pitchers to hit Biggio 256 times, adding up the annual salary for each pitcher in the year he hit Biggio. (Salary data is not entirely complete, particularly for players who didn't play a full season with a major league team.)

Not hit again.

The Cubs kept 65.7% of their pitches in the strikezone yesterday, and Craig Biggio escaped un-plunked.
Today the Astros will face Josh Fogg and the Pirates. Josh Fogg hit Biggio on May 11, 2002, but he's also hit 25 other batters, so it probably wasn't personal. Fogg, on average, hits a batter once per 21 innings, but he only hits Biggio once per 546.1 innings. That average could change dramatically today.
Biggio has been hit twice on May 2nd, in 2004 by Cory Lidle and 1995 by Jim Bullinger.

Through 2004, Biggio had been hit about 15.05 times per season. During that same time frame, the average everyday player (the ones considered "qualified" for the league leader stats, which means they need about 500 plate appearances) has been hit 4.94 times per season. The American Leaguers have been hit slightly less often at 4.936, while National Leaguers were at 4.945. So, Biggio gets hit about as often as 3 average full time players combined.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

They come in bunches

The Cubs missed Biggio 20 times last night. It's been over a week since his last HBP, and it may look like he's falling off the record pace but the projection in the side bar of this page is slightly deceptive. It assumes he'll keep getting hit at regular intervals throughout the year, but historically Biggio tends to get hit in bunches. 146 of his plunks have come within 3 days of another plunk, and he's gotten drilled twice in the same game on 19 occasions.

Craig Biggio has only been hit twice on May 1st, by Pedro Martinez in 1997 at Montreal, and by Britt Reames in a home game in 2002. Both games were losses to the Expos.

Mark Prior has never hit Biggio, has no hit batsmen this year, and only 19 in his 73 career starts.