The Astros interleague tour picks up again tonight in Kansas City, where Craig Biggio has 3 career HBPs. Rookie J.P. Howell will be hurling the cowhide covered ball of yarn in Biggio's direction, trying his best to miss both Biggio and the sweet spot of his bat. Howell has only pitched one major league game before today, but in his 5 inning s of work starting that game, he did hit one batter. The Royals have won 11 of 15 since Buddy Bell took over as manager.
Oscar Villareal and Jeff Brantley have hit Biggio with a pitch on June 17th; Brantley in 1998 and Villareal in 2003.
MLB.com picked up the record chase story yesterday, and got an answer to one of the questions I haven't been able to collect. Alyson Footer reports, courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau, that 92 of Biggio's plunks have resulted in a run scored. Biggio also discusses the elbow pad, and gives fans a tip on how you can tell if the plunk actually hurt him or not. The Chicago Daily Herald also has a short piece on the quest today.
By the way, with the news recently alleging that Angel's pitcher Brandon Donnelly was loading up the ball with pine tar, is it possible that some pitcher over the past few years has seen the mess on top of Biggio's helmet and decided he could brush a pitch across the top of that and get an extra 2 inches on his curveball for the next batter? Okay, probably not. Forget I mentioned it. And if any pitchers are reading this, don't get any bright ideas.