Wednesday, September 21, 2005

magic 10

Of Craig Biggio's 273 career HBPs, only 9 have come while the Astros had a playoff magic number* of 10 or less. His most plunk-prolific playoff race was 1997 when he got hit 4 times on the way to winning the division. The Astros went 3-1 in those games. In 2001, he was plunked 3 times in 2 games after the team's magic number moved under 10. The Astros lost both of those games, but they still won the division. On September 19, 2003, Matt Morris hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. The Astros won that game to take a 1.5 game lead over the Cubs. But, while they moved their magic number to 8 that night, the Astros only managed 3 more wins while the Cubs lost just 3.
Last season, Biggio remained unplunked throughout September and October.
Pitchers who have plunked Biggio while the Astros magic number was 10 or less:
Andy Larkin, Jason Schmidt, Gabe White, Mark Clark, Jeremi Gonzalez, Kerry Wood, Dustin Hermanson and Matt Morris.

St. Louis and the Cubs lead the way in this category with 3 each. St. Louis accounted for the last three and the Cubs had the three before that. They each have


*Lame attempt to explain what the magic number is: The playoff magic number is defined as a number of Astros wins and losses by some other team that would clinche a playoff spot for the Astros. Sometimes that "other team" might change over the course of the playoff run, and sometimes the magic number can be unachieveable if, for example, the Astros were behind. If, for example, the Astros finished a season 4 games out of the wild card, their magic number would have been 8 as of the end of the season, but with no games left to play.

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