Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thanks for a fantastic season

It wasn't a record anybody wanted, but the Astros season ended with yet another hit by pitch record. No other team in World Series history has had as many as 5 hit batters with none of them scoring a run. And while Craig Biggio and the Astros became the first team to lose a World Series to a Chicago team in 88 years, it's worth noting who led the last team to lose to the other Chicago team. The Cubs last World Series win was in 1908 over the Detroit Tigers - managed by Hughie Jennings.
In 2005 Craig Biggio broke Don Baylor's 267 HBPs mark and was crowned by the media as the modern plunk king. The Astros came from 15 games under .500 to make it to the World Series. Biggio led the postseason in total hits and runs scored. He hit his 600th double, played in his 2500th game, stole his 400th base, recorded his 5000th assist and his 1000th double play, and drove in the 1000th run of his career. He also removed himself from all records related to most games without a World Series appearance. And, Biggio became the first player since 1901 to record his 273rd career plunk.
The 2006 season is right around the corner, and it will no doubt be another memorable one. Whether or not the Astros can make another run at the postseason is anyone's guess, but we can be sure Craig Biggio will be making a run at 287 plunks. There's always something to look forward too in baseball.

On a personal note, I'd like to thank everyone for reading this crazy little site. Special thanks to everyone who commented and emailed and asked question or made rambling predictions mixed with updates on life in "Chesterfield County", and the various other people who wrote about this site in their own blogs. Also, thanks to all the media types who encouraged my statistical shenanigans by taking the time to talk to me or exchange emails - Chance McClain and the guys at AM 610 in Houston, Rich Connelly at Houston Press, Jack Curry at NYT, Alyson Footer at, Mark Simon at espn research, Bill Littlefield at NPR's "Only a Game", Jamie Mottra at Sportsbloggers Live for giving me a chance to actual ask Biggio a question during an interview a couple of weeks ago, and every other sports writer who advanced the cause of Craig Biggio this season.
Thanks also to Retrosheet for making such a fantastic wealth of baseball data available on the internet. That site is a living memorial to all the pioneers of the early days of baseball who started the tradition of tracking every imaginable stat for every player in the game. Baseball wouldn't be what it is today without those people who first had the vision to distill the game into the simplicity of the box score. Without that, in the age before tv and radio, the game would have been limited to the fans in the park. Stats are a huge part of the broad appeal of baseball - they let us talk about and compare players throughout history. Records bind the modern day game to its roots, and the games we're watching to the future. Once in a while a player comes along and challenges a record set 100 years ago, and you never know when the game you're watching is going to turn into a performance that will be in the record books for 100 years to come.
Most importantly, thanks to Craig Biggio for being a great player as well as a likeable guy in an age when so many of the great on-the-field performers leave us disappointed off the field. Thanks Craig, for having a sense of humor about the record and not taking this site the wrong way. And sorry if you got sick of answering questions about hit-by-pitch records all season, but I'm pretty sure most of those still would have been asked even without the existence of this site.

I'll be back in the spring, hopefully full of new and entertaining hit-by-pitch related stats. But no more poetry. Unless someone makes me.

Have a good winter everybody.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

another World Series record fell last night

At 6'3" and 270lbs, Bobby Jenks has a Body Mass Index of 33.7, making him the largest pitcher ever to hit a batter in the World Series. His BMI is nearly 11% greater than the previous record holder, David Wells, although Wells' listing of 6'4" and 250lbs may be questionable.

Below are the averege BMIs of pitchers who hit batters in the World Series by decade (excluding this year). I'm sure the rise in the current decade is due to healthy eating and nutritional supplements. Right?

yearsavg BMI

(BMI = 703 * (weight in pounds)/(height in inches)^2)

Game 4

The rally pie chart will not be coming back.
For all the talk of a series filled with pitchers duels, we have 3 games with only 1 starter getting a decision. Getting tonights game decided before next week would be nice though.

Game 4 plunks:
2001 - Orlando Hernandez hit Luis Gonzalez and Damian Miller
1993 - David West hit Paul Molitor, Tony Castillo hit Darren Daulton
1990 - Dave Stewart hit Billy Hatcher
1987 - Bob Forsch hit Kirby Puckett, Greg Mathews hit Gary Gaetti, Joe Niekro hit Jim Lindeman
1978 - Terry Forster hit Reggie Jackson
1974 - Andy Messersmith hit Bert Campaneris
1973 - Darold Knowles hit Wayne Garrett, Jon Matlack hit Bert Campaneris
1971 - Bruce Kison hit Andy Etchebarren, Davey Johnson, and Frank Robinson
1965 - Al Worthington hit Jim Gilliam
1961 - Whitey Ford and Jim Coates hit Frank Robinson
1957 - Tommy Byrne hit Nippy Jones
1950 - Whitey Ford hit Del Ennis, Jim Konstanty hit Joe DiMaggio
1941 - Johnny Allen hit Tommy Henrich
1932 - Guy Bush hit Babe Ruth, Jakie May hit Lou Gehrig
1929 - Pat Malone hit Bing Miller
1924 - Firpo Marberry hit Frankie Frisch
1923 - Bob Shawkey hit Jimmy O'Connell
1919 - Jimmy Ring hit Eddie Collins and Ray Schalk
1917 - Red Faber hit Walter Holke
1913 - Chief Bender hit Red Murray
1910 - King Cole hit Jack Barry
1909 - Lefty Leifield hit Ty Cobb and Jim Delahanty
1908 - Mordecai Brown hit Bill Coughlin
1907 - Bill Donovan hit Frank Chance

10/26 world series plunks
2004 WS - Jeff Suppan hit Mark Bellhorn
1991 WS - Scott Erickson hit Lonnie Smith

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

world series game 3 notes

Including switch hitters facing right handed pitchers, more lefthanded batters (20) have been hit in game 3 than any other World Series game.

The oldest player ever hit in game 3 of the Worlds Series was Harry Davis, who was 37 years and 3 months old when he was hit by a pitch on October 20, 1910. Craig Biggio could break that record if he gets hit tonight. The only two players older than Biggio to get hit in any World Series game are Hal McRae and Doc Cramer.

The average age of batters hit in the World Series is 29.6, while the average age of batters hit in game 3 is 30.4. The average age of plunk throwing pitchers in the World Series is also 29.6, but the game 3 average age for plunk throwing pitchers is 29.2.

World Series Game 3 plunks:
2004 - Jeff Suppan hit Mark Bellhorn
2003 - Josh Beckett hit Hideki Matsui, Braden Looper hit Derek Jeter
2002 - Aaron Fultz hit Adam Kennedy
2001 - Roger Clemens hit Reggie Sanders
2000 - Rick Reed hit Scott Brosius, Dennis Cook hit David Justice
1993 - Bobby Thigpen hit Rickey Henderson
1989 - Atlee Hammaker hit Dave Henderson
1984 - Greg Harris hit Kirk Gibson
1981 - Dave Righetti hit Pedro Guerrero
1979 - Enrique Romo hit Al Bumbry
1977 - Tommy John hit Lou Piniella
1967 - Nelson Briles hit Carl Yastrzemski
1963 - Don Drysdale hit Joe Pepitone
1962 - Don Larsen hit Bill Skowron
1959 - Larry Sherry hit Billy Goodman
1957 - Don Larsen hit Andy Pafko
1955 - Bob Turley hit Sandy Amoros
1953 - Carl Erskine hit Yogi Berra twice
1952 - Preacher Roe hit Billy Martin
1951 - Jim Hearn hit Phil Rizzuto, Vic Raschi hit Eddie Stanky
1949 - Tommy Byrne hit Pee Wee Reese
1947 - Karl Drews hit Gene Hermanski
1939 - Bump Hadley hit Ernie Lombardi
1935 - Chief Hogsett hit Billy Jurges
1934 - Paul Dean hit Marv Owen, Tommy Bridges hit Ernie Orsatti
1932 - Jakie May hit Joe Sewell
1928 - Tom Zachary hit Taylor Douthit
1925 - Alex Ferguson hit Max Carey, Firpo Marberry hit Kiki Cuyler
1922 - Jack Scott hit Babe Ruth
1921 - Jesse Barnes hit Mike McNally
1918 - Hippo Vaughn hit George Whiteman
1916 - Carl Mays hit Hy Myers
1913 - Joe Bush hit Art Fletcher
1912 - Hugh Bedient hit Buck Herzog
1910 - Harry McIntire hit Harry Davis
1909 - Ed Willett hit Tommy Leach and Fred Clarke
1906 - Jack Pfiester hit Ed Hahn
1905 - Christy Mathewson hit Andy Coakley who hit Roger Bresnahan
1903 - Cy Young hit Honus Wagner

October 25 World Series plunks:
1987 WS - Joe Magrane hit Don Baylor
1986 WS - Rick Aguilera hit Bill Buckner
1981 WS - Rich Gossage hit Ron Cey
1911 WS - Jack Coombs hit Fred Merkle

rally pie chart.

It looks like it's about time to break out the rally pie chart. Here's a chart showing which innings have had the most plunks in World Series game 3.

Monday, October 24, 2005

really important world series stats

Long time readers of this site will no doubt remember that Craig Biggio has been hit most often by pitchers with the astrological sign Sagittarius, and the chinese zodiac sign of the snake. Readers who are skilled with astrology may have known that already. But, among pitchers who hit batters in the World Series, its Libras and Rams who are in the lead. 21 pitchers born in the year of the Ram have hit a total of 27 batters in the World Series, and 20 pitchers born under Libra have hit a total of 29 batters in World Series games.

World Series plunks by Pitcher's Chinese Zodiac sign:


World Series plunks by Pitcher's astrological sign:

As for the batters who take one for the team, Virgos and those born in the year of the Dog have been hit the most. 25 batters with the sign Virgo have been hit 31 times, and 21 players born in the year of the Dog have been hit a total of 27 times. And, just for the sake of taking a joke too far, its batters born in the year of the Horse who have had the greatest success scoring runs after reaching base on a World Series plunk, doing so on 36% of HBPs. Libras have scored on about 31% of plunk induced base running opportunities.
World Series plunks by Batter's Chinese Zodiac sign:
SignBattersHBPS%scored runs

World Series plunks by Batter's astrological sign:
SignBattersHBPS%scored runs

um... Bagwell hit twice in game 1?

If anyone ever wondered what it would look like if 86 years of bad luck were suddenly balanced out by an equal amount good luck crammed into a couple of weeks, this might be it. (I know it's been 88 years since they won, but in 1919 they took the luck out of it.)
Jermaine Dye was not hit by a pitch, although he was awarded a plunk and first base, loading the bases for Konerko.
On the other hand, Bagwell got hit twice by Contreras on Saturday, and both other batters who got hit twice by the same pitcher in a World Series game ended up winning the Series.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

World Series game 2 - Pettitte vs Buehrle

Mark Buehrle pitches game 2 for the White Sox tonight. He has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, but he was the only Chicago pitcher to plunk anyone before Contreras faced Bagwell last night. Buehrle hit Bengie Molina in Game 2 of the ALCS.
The only pitcher on the White Sox roster who has hit Biggio is Dustin Hermanson, who hit Biggio twice in one game on October 6, 2001.

Historically, the home team is 58-40-2 in Game 2 of the World Series, and 33-23-1 after winning game 1. On the other hand, data on World Series matchups between Texas and Chicago teams is sparse, so its hard to make any kind of conclusion based on history.

World Series Game 2 plunks:
2004 - Matt Morris hit Kevin Millar, Cal Eldred hit Jason Varitek
2003 - Mark Redman hit Jason Giambi
2001 - Andy Pettitte hit Luis Gonzalez
2000 - Roger Clemens hit Edgardo Alfonzo, Mike Hampton hit David Justice
1997 - Chad Ogea hit Gary Sheffield
1996 - Jimmy Key hit Andruw Jones, Greg Maddux hit Derek Jeter
1995 - Dennis Martinez hit Marquis Grissom, Julian Tavarez hit Javy Lopez
1992 - Tom Henke hit Lonnie Smith
1983 - Willie Hernandez hit Dan Ford
1978 - Burt Hooton hit Reggie Jackson
1975 - Jack Billingham hit Dwight Evans
1974 - Don Sutton hit Sal Bando
1973 - Tug McGraw hit Bert Campaneris, Horacio Pina hit Jerry Grote, and Rollie Fingers hit Cleon Jones
1971 - Bob Johnson hit Ellie Hendricks
1965 - Jim Kaat hit Wes Parker
1964 - Bob Gibson hit Joe Pepitone
1962 - Ralph Terry hit Jose Pagan
1960 - Bob Turley hit Joe Christopher
1957 - Art Ditmar hit Johnny Logan
1955 - Billy Loes hit Yogi Berra and Eddie Robinson
1953 - Preacher Roe hit Gil McDougald
1935 - Fabian Kowalik hit Hank Greenberg, Roy Henshaw hit Marv Owen
1928 - Clarence Mitchell hit George Pipgras
1927 - Mike Cvengros hit Earle Combs
1925 - Vic Aldridge hit Ossie Bluege
1923 - Jack Bentley hit Herb Pennock
1914 - Eddie Plank hit Rabbit Maranville
1913 - Eddie Plank hit Larry Doyle
1912 - Hugh Bedient hit Fred Snodgrass
1911 - Eddie Plank hit Fred Snodgrass
1907 - Jack Pfiester hit Ty Cobb, George Mullin hit Harry Steinfeldt
1906 - Ed Reulbach hit George Rohe
1903 - Bucky Veil hit Patsy Dougherty

October 23 postseason HBPs:

2004 WS - Tim Wakefield hit Albert Pujols, Woody Williams hit Orlando Cabrera
1993 WS - Larry Andersen hit Tony Fernandez
1986 WS - Dwight Gooden hit Don Baylor
1981 WS - Dave Righetti hit Pedro Guerrero

Game 1 notes

Game 1 didn't turn out quite the way the Astros hoped, and Craig Biggio didn't get hit by a pitch but their were several plunk related records tied.

Jeff Bagwell became the fifth player two be hit twice in a world series game, the others are Yogi Berra (1953 game 3), Max Carey (1925 game 1), Frank Robinson (1961 game 4) and Todd Pratt (2000 game 1). Three of the previous four are in the Hall of Fame and the other is Todd Pratt. All 4 also lost the game in which they were hit twice, and none scored a run after reaching base the hard way.

Along with tying Bruce Kison for the most hit batters in a World Series game (3), Jose Contreras became the 3rd pitcher to hit 2 batters in the same inning in a World Series game, and the first since game 6 of the 1968 world series. Tippy Martinez and Dennis Martinez of the 1979 Orioles combined for the only other 2 plunk inning in the World Series when they hit back to back batters in the 9th inning of game 7 that year.
Both pitchers who hit three batters in a game won the game.

The Astros are just the third team to be hit 3 times in one World Series game. Teams who get hit 3 times in a world series game are now 1-2. The team that was hit three times and won the game (Detroit in game 6 of the '68 series) was the only one of the three who scored one of there plunked base runners. The Orioles failed to capitalize on any of their plunks in game 4 of the '71 series (which was Bruce Kison's 3 plunk game) and lost just as the Astros did last night.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

World Series Game 1

Roger Clemens will be taking the mound for the Astros in Game 1 of the World Series tonight against Jose Contreras. Roger Clemens has hit 150 batters in the regular season, and 6 in the postseason. Contreras has hit 22 in the regular season, never hit a batter in the postseason, and has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch.
The home team in game 1 of the World Series has 57 wins, 42 losses and 1 tie, and teams that get hit by a pitch in game 1 of the World Series are 19-22. But, when the home team gets hit by a pitch in game 1, they are 13-12.

Here's every World Series game 1 plunk ever:
2004 - Tim Wakefield hit Albert Pujols, Woody Williams hit Orlando Cabrera
2003 - David Wells hit Juan Pierre
2001 - Mike Mussina hit Tony Womack, Curt Schilling hit Derek Jeter
2000 - Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera hit Todd Pratt
1998 - Brian Boehringer hit Chuck Knoblauch
1988 - Dave Stewart hit Steve Sax, Tim Belcher hit Jose Canseco
1985 - John Tudor hit Hal McRae
1982 - Bob Forsch hit Roy Howell
1980 - Dennis Leonard hit Pete Rose, Renie Martin hit Greg Luzinski
1977 - Don Gullett hit Dusty Baker, Don Sutton hit Reggie Jackson
1976 - Don Gullett hit Chris Chambliss
1974 - Rollie Fingers hit Joe Ferguson
1962 - Billy O'Dell hit Elston Howard
1960 - Jim Coates hit Vern Law, Ryne Duren hit Bob Skinner
1954 - Sal Maglie hit Al Smith
1953 - Allie Reynolds hit Roy Campanella
1947 - Ralph Branca hit Billy Johnson
1946 - Howie Pollet hit Rudy York, Tex Hughson hit Whitey Kurowski
1945 - Hank Borowy hit Hank Greenberg
1941 - Johnny Allen hit Johnny Sturm
1938 - Bill Lee hit Frankie Crosetti
1936 - Carl Hubbell hit Lou Gehrig
1932 - Burleigh Grimes hit Bill Dickey
1927 - Waite Hoyt hit Lloyd Waner,
1925 - Walter Johnson hit Max Carey twice, Lee Meadows hit Bucky Harris
1921 - Carl Mays hit Johnny Rawlings
1919 - Eddie Cicotte hit Morrie Rath, Grover Lowdermilk hit Jake Daubert
1918 - Babe Ruth hit Max Flack
1916 - Ernie Shore hit George Cutshaw
1912 - Joe Wood hit Chief Meyers
1911 - Chief Bender hit Fred Snodgrass
1909 - George Mullin hit Honus Wagner and Bobby Byrne
1908 - Orval Overall hit Matty McIntyre
1907 - Bill Donovan hit Harry Steinfeldt and Jimmy Sheckard
1905 - Eddie Plank hit Roger Bresnahan
1903 - Deacon Phillippe hit Hobe Ferris

October 22nd post season HBPs:
2002 WS - Aaron Fultz hit Adam Kennedy
2001 ALCS - Aaron Sele hit Alfonso Soriano
2000 WS - Roger Clemens hit Edgardo Alfonzo, Mike Hampton hit David Justice
1995 WS - Dennis Martinez hit Marquis Grissom, Julian Tavarez hit Javy Lopez,
1972 WS - Rollie Fingers hit Darrel Chaney
1910 WS - King Cole hit Jack Barry

Friday, October 21, 2005

worthy opponents

The Chicago White Sox finished 3rd in the majors in getting hit by pitches this season with 79 - 7 more than the Astros. They're led in the plunk category by center fielder Aaron Rowand who was hit 21 times in the regular season, second only to Toronto's Shea Hillenbrand.
In the post season so far, the White Sox have been hit 9 times in only 8 games. They've already tied the 2000 Mets for the most hit batters by a team in a single post season, and they still have at least 4 games to play. Only the '98 Astros had a higher plunks per game average (1.25) in the postseason than the White Sox have to date (1.125).
But really, most of that was due to Matt Clement and Tim Wakefield, in the ALDS, who had no idea where any of their pitches were going.

3 of the 9 batters put on base via the plunk for the White Sox scored a run.

In other news, the World Series umpiring crew has been announced, and will not include Doug Eddings. It will be Joe West behind the plate for game 1, and Jeff Nelson, Jerry Layne, Derryl Cousins, Gary Cederstrom, and Angel Hernandez will be working the field. Combined, this crew has called 20 of Craig Biggio's 273 plunks. The last time Joe West called an Astros post season game, the pitching matchup was Nolan Ryan vs Dwight Gooden. It's nice to see Joe focusing on baseball, and spelling his name properly, after his failed music career.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

T.C.B. Baby

There are a number of reasons why Roy Oswalt and the Astros were huge last night.
Every team in LCS play who went on the road for the final two games of the series and lost game 6 has also lost game 7. The last team in any round to do that was the '75 Reds who won game 7 of the World Series at Fenway after losing game 6 on the Carlton Fisk homer.
Roger Clemens, by many accounts keeps getting better every year, but his past performances in deciding games haven't exactly been lights out. A game 7 at St. Louis would have been a tough tough way to make the World Series.
So, lets thank Roy Oswalt and that defense behind him for takin' care of business, and he now has a chance to break Pedro Martinez's record for most hit batters in a single postseason. (Pedro had 4 last year, Oswalt has 3 so far.)

The last 5 NL Pennant winners have been the team that hit the most batters in the first two playoff rounds:
(NL Champ in bold)
2005 - Astros 7, Cards 4, Braves 1, Padres 1
2004 - Cards 6, Astros 4, Dodgers 3, Braves 1
2003 - Marlins 4, Cubs 3, Giants 2, Braves 0
2002 - Giants 3, Cards, 3, D-Backs 2, Braves 1
2001 - D-backs 1, Braves 1, Cards 1, Astros 1
2000 - Cards 4, Giants 3, Braves 2, Mets 1

And congratulations to Ernie Banks for winning back third place on the all time list for games played by someone who never made the World Series. With Biggio in the series and Rafeal Palmeiro likely retiring with the all time record, Julio Franco looks like he'll be the active leader in this category starting next season. Let us never speak of it again.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Breaking another hit by pitch record would have been a little showy. Tying for the lead in runs scored in the 2005 playoffs thus far (8)? That's Biggio. Fox should give him that graphic about being 3rd all time in games played without a World Series appearance so he can burn it.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

NLCS Game 6 Oswalt vs Mulder

The Game 2 rematch goes down tonight, and if the results work out the same, the Astros will be on their way to the World Series.
Of the 9 batters who have been hit by a pitch in game 6 of the NLCS, 4 were hit in the 1st inning. Also, 4 out of 9 batted lead off in the inning in which they were hit (not the same 4).
4 out of the 9 have been on the road team, and 5 out of 9 have scored after reaching base via a plunk.
7 have been at Atlanta, and the team that has gotten hit by at least 1 pitch in game 6 of the NLCS has won 4 out of 6 games.
Every team who has ever been hit 3 times in game 6 of the NLCS has won the series with that game (the '99 Braves), so that may be the magic number for the night.
NLCS game 6 plunks:
Jason Isringhausen hit Morgan Ensberg in 2004;
Al Leiter hit Gerald Williams and Chipper Jones in 1999;
Turk Wendell hit Brian Jordan in 1999;
Tom Glavine hit Charles Johnson in 1997;
Alan Benes hit Jeff Blauser in 1996;
Todd Stottlemyre hit Javy Lopez in 1996;
Tom Glavine hit Jay Bell in 1992;
and Tim Leary hit Lenny Dykstra in 1988

October 18th postseason plunks:
Jon Lieber hit Bill Mueller in game 6 of the 2004 ALCS
Mark Redman hit Jason Giambi in game 2 of the 2003 World Series
Al Leiter hit Gerald Williams and Chipper Jones in game 5 of the 1999 NLCS
Turk Wendell hit Brian Jordan in game 5 of the 1999 NLCS
Chad Ogea hit Gary Sheffield in game 2 of the 1997 World Series
Bobby Thigpen hit Rickey Henderson in game 3 of the 1993 World Series
John Tudor hit Hal McRae in game 1 of the 1985 World Series

game 5 flies out the window (almost)

Can we agree that there's no such thing as a "closer" when Albert Pujols comes up to bat?
Key stat of game five: David Eckstein is 3-0 in the playoffs when he gets hit by a pitch.
After the heartbreaking game 5 loss on the windowbreaking 9th inning homer by Albert Pujols, the Astros head back to Busch Stadium to give it a proper sendoff. Busch is being torn down after the season, so an Astros win would both speed up the construction schedule and motivate St. Louis construction workers to knock the place down quicker. From the look of the Red Sox World Series DVD, that visitors club house isn't a bad place for a party.

On October 18th in post season history 7 batters have been hit, and 5 of those plunks involved the Yankees on one end or the other.
Woody Williams hit Morgan Ensberg in the 2004 NLCS,
Pedro Martinez hit Miguel Cairo and Alex Rodriguez in the 2004 ALCS,
David Wells hit Juan Pierre in the 2003 World Series,
Mike Mussina hit Mike Cameron in the 2001 ALCS,
Kent Mercker hit Tino Martinez in the 1999 ALCS,
and Tom Henke hit Lonnie Smith in the 1992 World Series

Monday, October 17, 2005

1 more win...

It took a heart attack save from Brad Lidge, and defense like the '85 Bears in game 4 yesterday, but the Astros are 1 win away from the World Series with Andy Pettitte on the mound at home tonight.
Chris Carpenter returns to the mound for game 5, trying to repeat his Game 1 winning strategy of not hitting Craig Biggio with a pitch, but this time he'll have the Juice Box crowd to contend with. If the Astros close out the series tonight and nobody gets hit by a pitch, it will be the first NLCS since 1985 to see nobody on either team get plunked. The '85 Cardinals won that series against the Dodgers, 4 games to 2.
9 batters have been hit on October 17th in postseason history, 3 of those have been in the NLCS, and Orel Hershiser hit Bret Boone for the only October 17th plunk in an NLCS game 5.

Plunks in game 5 of the NLCS:
Woody Williams hit Morgan Ensberg in 2004;
Carlos Zambrano hit Miguel Cabrera in 2003;
Matt Morris hit Kenny Lofton, Rich Aurilia, and Jeff Kent in 2002;
Dave Veres hit Jay Payton in 2000;
Orel Hershiser hit Bret Boone in 1999;
Greg Maddux hit Devon White in 1997;
Tom Browning hit Jay Bell in 1990;
Rick Reuschel hit Andre Dawson in 1989;
Ken Dayley hit Robby Thompson in 1987;
Rich Gossage hit Richie Hebner in 1984

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Game 4, Astros lead 2-1

Game 3 went to the Astros yesterday, behind key contributions by Jason Lane, Mike Lamb, and Brad Lidge (the killer Ls? no... the electric Ls?), but there was no need for Craig Biggio to take one for the team. Biggio went 2 for 4 with 2 singles and 2 hard ground ball outs, one of which would have been a game breaking extra base hit if not for a diving stop by substiture third baseman Hector Luna.

Game 4 this afternoon will match up the Astros Brandon Backe with the Cardinals Jeff Suppan. Suppan has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, but hit Jeff Kent in last year's NLCS game 7, and Mark Bellhorn in World Series game 3 - so he does appear to have a tendancy to hit second basemen in big games.
While Suppan came up with the win in the NLCS game 7 last year, he was the Cardinals World Series goat due to his running failure in game 3. Instead of scoring the tying run on a Larry Walker ground out, he stood around and got thrown out going home. He hit Mark Bellhorn in the following inning.

Here is the complete history of plunks in game 4 of the NLCS:
Julian Tavarez hit Jeff Kent in 2004,
Matt Clement hit Derrek Lee in 2003,
Livan Hernandez hit Albert Pujols in 2002,
Greg Maddux hit Luis Gonzalez in 2001,
Mike Timlin hit Edgardo Alfonzo in 2000,
Danny Jackson hit Greg Olson in 1993,
Craig Lefferts hit Henry Cotto in 1984,
Steve Carlton hit Steve Yeager in 1983,
and Tommy John hit Garry Maddox in 1977

Saturday, October 15, 2005

NLCS Game 3

Game 3 of the NLCS goes down today at Minute Maid Park, where Matt Morris will be taking the mound for the visiting Cardinals. Morris hit Craig Biggio with a pitch on September 19, 2003, and is tied for 2nd in post season plunks among pitchers who have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. Morris has hit 6 in the postseason, most recently hitting Kevin Millar in game 2 of last year's World Series. He hit an NLCS record 3 batters in game 5 of the NLCS.
Overall, Morris is 2-5 in the postseason, and 0-4 in postseason games when he hits a batter.

Here's everyone who has ever been hit by a pitch in NLCS game 3:
Marlon Anderson (2004), Barry Bonds (1992), Will Clark (2000), Glenn Davis (1986), Ron Gant (1995), Richie Hebner (1972), Gregg Jefferies (1988), Jeffrey Leonard (1987), Jim Leyritz (1998), Greg Luzinski (1977), John Mabry (1996), Garry Maddox (1980), Lonnie Smith (1991)

Friday, October 14, 2005

busy off day

Not only did Craig Biggio make an appearance on PTI today, but he also took the time to tape an interview for Sports Bloggers Live (now with working link), where he even took a question from some weirdo who built a whole web log about his quest for the all time record for getting hit by pitches.
Big thanks to Jamie Mottram for the chance to actually speak with The Man, and for plugging Plunk Biggio on ESPN2's Cold Pizza earlier this week.

Travel day, NLCS tied 1-1

Chris Burke moved his hot streak into the starting lineup last night, and Roy Oswalt masterfully scattered 6 hits while only allowing Albert Pujols to bat with a runner on base 1 time. The result was 4 Astros runs to the Cardinals 1, on a Pujols solo homer. But, despite seeing 20 pitches, Craig Biggio did not get plunked. 2 singles and an RBI groundout are a reasonable contribution to the offense though, so we'll look forward to Saturday's game 3 in Houston for the next step toward postseason plunk immortality.

Rich Aurilia, Don Baylor, Donie Bush, Bert Campaneris, Rick Cerone, Frank Chance, Will Clark, Willie Davis, Bobby Grich, Jerry Grote, Johnny Grubb, Jackie Hernandez, Reggie Jackson, Charles Johnson, Cleon Jones, Jeff Kent, Kenny Lofton, Greg Luzinski, Graig Nettles, Lou Piniella, Pete Rose, F.P. Santangelo, Fred Snodgrass, and Mike Stanley have all been hit by a pitch in a postseason game on October 14th.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Game 1 slips away, Game 2 coming right up, unless umpires change their mind.

Craig Biggio was thrown 12 pitches last night, but none hit him, and it became clear early on that the Cardinals strategy was to not throw him anything he could get hit by. Most were balls low and away, so Chris Carpenter wasn't interested in getting near his bat either.
Mark Mulder pitches game 2 tonight. Mulder hit 2 Padres in his last start, but he has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. The Astros might be wise to get to Mulder early, because if last night is any indication, the strikezone is a function of time - it gets considerably larger in the 9th inning when the umpires want to go home (possibly because they're afraid of the Astros' ability to make a game last 18 innings).
Speaking of controversial umpiring, over in the American League, the 9th inning walkoff win by the White Sox was an interesting time. It seems that AJ Pierzynski reached first base on a dropped third strike that the Angels catcher thought had been ruled as caught. Catcher Josh Paul walked to the dugout thinking umpire Doug Eddings had just called the third out while Pierzynski ran to first and was called safe. Pablo Ozuna pinch ran for Pierzynski and came around to score the game winning run. Replays clearly show that the ball never hit the ground, and Doug Eddings also called Pierzynski out - before he called him safe.'s play-by-play was so clear on what happened they have this written:
"A Pierzynski struck out swinging, A Pierzynski safe at on error by player player, A Pierzynski to first on error by catcher J Paul."

If the name Doug Eddings looks familiar, it should. Mr. Eddings is no stranger to controversy, and no stranger to this website. He called the Lost Plunk in August against the Padres when he determined Craig Biggio hadn't made enough of an effort to avoid being hit by a pitch and should therefor continue batting.
And this guy gets to umpire in the postseason?

Craig Biggio has never been hit in the NLCS, and has never been hit on October 13th, and there hasn't been a hit batter in NLCS game 2 since October 10, 1991 when Zane Smith hit Ron Gant.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

NLCS Game 1

Game 1 pitcher for the Cardinals, Chris Carpenter, is well known to the Houston Astros and Craig Biggio in particular. Carpenter has plunked Biggio twice (4/14/2004 and 9/3/2005), and appears to be the favorite to become the third pitcher to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch and win the Cy Young award in the same season (the others are Pedro Martinez and Greg Maddux). Carpenter is also one of two pitcher from the state of New Hampshire to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch.
Carpenter is 4-0 against the the Astros this season, but the Astros did pick up a win in a Carpenter start on September 28th. They got Carpenter for 6 runs in that last meeting, and hung the loss on Jason Isringhausen in the 9th inning on memorable run scored by Willy Taveras.

On October 4, 1969, Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda got hit by a pitch in the first game of the first National League Championship Series. In the history of the National League Championship Series, 78 batters have been hit by a pitch. 19 of those have been hit in game 1, more than any other NLCS game. Of the 19 batters hit in the NLCS game 1, only 8 have been on the visiting team. Only Edgar Renteria has been hit twice in NLCS game 1, but he did it in separate years on two different teams (2002 with the Cardinals, and 1997 with the Marlins). That '97 NLCS game 1 was also the only NLCS game 1 in which more than one batter was hit.

NLCS plunks by game

(Prior to 1985, the League Championship round was a best of 5 series)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Cards Pitching Preview

Here's a quick overview of the Cardinals pitching staff

career plunkscareer postseason plunkshit Craig Biggio
29 Chris Carpenter 4602
23 Cal Eldred 5010
34 Randy Flores 300
44 Jason Isringhausen 110
56 Ray King 300
21 Jason Marquis 500
35 Matt Morris 4961
30 Mark Mulder 4340
37 Jeff Suppan 5820
50 Julian Tavarez 7840
48 Brad Thompson 400

Al Reyes and Chris Carpenter are the two Cardinals pitchers who plunked Biggio this season, but Reyes was not on the postseason roster for the Division Series. Whether or not that changes for the NLCS roster may provide a clue to how the Cards are planning to pitch to Craig Biggio.

Monday, October 10, 2005

moving right along

It took a whole extra game at the end of Game 4 to do it, but the Astros are in the NLCS for a rematch with the Cardinals. That's some nice postseason action. What more needs to be said about that game? Roger Clemens finally figured out which end of a game he needs to pitch to get a win in the postseason. Craig Biggio went unplunked in 8 plate appearances (he has never been hit in a game where he went to the plate more than 7 times). And what will likely be some of the most memorable homers in Astros history.
The Cardinals should be loading up with their alliterative top 3, Chris Carpenter, Mark Mulder and Matt Morris. Craig Biggio has been hit 18 times by pitchers with the same first and last initial, and 4 of those have been Cardinals pitchers (Carpenter, Morris and Mike Matthews). Matt Morris has been their leading postseason plunk thrower in the past, but against the Padres it was Mulder who hit two. This could be the series when Biggio makes his run at the postseason record.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

doubles festival

The Astros hosted the Houston Doubles festival at Minute Maid Park last night, featuring Craig Biggio's 3 doubles and 7 for the team. Both tied a Division Series record. Jim Edmonds is the only other player to hit 3 doubles in a Division Series game, and the 1999 Boston Red Sox are the only other team to hit 7 doubles in a Division Series game.
The Braves are sending Tim Hudson out today on 3 days rest. This will be the 3rd Division Series start for Hudson on 3 days rest, and the past results shouldn't fill the Braves with confidence. In 2002, Hudson started games 1 and 4 for Oakland against Minnesota, giving up 7 runs (2 earned) in 3.1 innings of game 4 - and hit a batter. In 2003, Hudson started game 1 and 4 against Boston and left game 4 with a strained oblique muscle after only 1 inning of work. In 2001, Hudson pitched a solid 1.2 innings of relief in game 5 after pitching a dominant game 2 against the Yankees.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

NLDS game 3

The Astros are back in Houston for Game 3 of the Division Series today, looking to break the 1-1 tie with Roy Oswalt on the mound. The Braves will look to Jorge Sosa who has somehow emerged as a solid pitcher this season after 3 season of being a Tampa Bay Devil Rays pitcher. Sosa has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, never pitched in the postseason, and hasn't hit anyone in the entire 2005 season. Sosa has faced 586 batters since the last batter he hit.

Of plunkworthy note in last nights playoff action, Tim Wakefield tied Greg Maddux with 8 career postseason hit batters when he, according to umpire Mark Wegner, brushed Carl Everett's aura. I was under the impression that the aura was considered part of the bat. Wakefield also gained sole possession of the all time Division Series record, with 6.


Friday, October 07, 2005

plunks and the postseason winners

Since the beginning of the world series era, teams that have gotten hit by more pitches in a postseason series have won 96 times, while the teams that get hit less than their opponent have only won 62 times. In division series play, the more plunked team has won 18 times to the less plunked team's 13 series wins. In the NLDS, the break down is 7 wins each for the more plunked and less plunked team in each series, but in series that were tied 1-1, it's the less plunked teams that have won 5 times to 1 win by the more plunked team. This can also be interpreted as saying teams that hit more batters in an NLDS that was tied 1-1 are more likely to win. While I would usually encourage the Astros to use getting hit as part of their offense, that strategy has not been historically succesful for teams in their current situation, having been hit twice so far, to the Braves once, and with their series tied 1-1.

Current series plunk totals
Astros 2, Braves 1
Padres 3, Cardinals 0
White Sox 3, Red Sox 0
Yankees 1, Angels 1


Thursday, October 06, 2005

NLDS game 2 - Godzilla vs King Kong

Tonight's NLDS game 2 features the number 1 and 2 pitchers on the all time postseason strikeout list. Smoltz has struck out 189 in the postseason. Clemens has struck out 164. Smoltz has pitched 599 post season innings (1st all time), Clemens has pitched 542 (5th all time). Smoltz has 14 post season wins (1st all time), Clemens has 13 postseason no-decisions (1st all time).
Smoltz hasn't hit Craig Biggio with a pitch since since July 27, 1992, and hasn't hit anyone in an Astros uniform since the 1999 NLDS when he hit Carl Everett (who probably had his toes on the plate). Smoltz has only hit 2 other batters in the post season (Larry Walker and Kent Hrbek), and only 2 other Astros in the regular season in his career (Scott Servais and John Cangelosi). But, since Smoltz has hit 1 of the 98 Astros batters he has faced in the postseason, and only hit 3 of the 1,043 Astros batters he's faced in the regular season, his plunk frequency against the Astros is 3.5 times higher in the postseason (0.0102 plunks per batters faced to 0.00287).


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

NLDS Game 1 preview

Tim Hudson will be kicking off the series for the Braves today against the Astros. Hudson has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, and has hit only 1 batter in the post season (Jacque Jones in the 2002 ALDS). Hudson has only hit one Astro in his career, Richard Hidalgo in 2002.
The Astros starting pitcher, Andy Pettitte, has fewer postseason hit batters (2) than any of the 5 pitchers who have faced over 700 batters in the postseason (Pettitte, Glavine, Maddux, Smoltz, Clemens). Among the 10 pitchers who have faced over 500 postseason batters, only Catfish Hunter (1), and Jim Palmer (2). Pettitte has faced 66 Braves batters in the postseason, and hit none of them.
Batters FacedBatters hit
Tom Glavine8427
John Smoltz8183
Greg Maddux7978
Andy Pettitte7922
Roger Clemens7536
Whitey Ford5943
Dave Stewart5394
Catfish Hunter5361
Orel Hershiser5336
Jim Palmer5182


Post Season Pitching Records

Career post season plunks:
8 - Greg Maddux
7 -Tom Glavine
6 - Roger Clemens
6 - Matt Morris
6 - David Wells
6 - Tim Wakefield
6 - Orel Hershiser
6 - Pedro Martinez

Career World Series plunks:
4 - Bill Donovan
4 - Ed Plank

Career LCS plunks:
5 - Greg Maddux
5 - Tom Glavine

Career Division Series Plunks:
3 - Kevin Brown
3 - Steve Reed
3 - Barry Zito

Most plunks in a single post season:
Pedro Martinez, 4 in 2004

Most plunks in a single World Series:

Bill Donovan, 3 in 1907
Bruce Kison, 3 in 1971

Most plunks in a single League Championship Series:
Jimmy Key, 3 in 1997 ALCS
Pedro Martinez, 3 in 2004 ALCS
Matt Morris, 3 2002 in NLCS
Frank Tanana, 3 1987 in ALCS

Most plunks in a single Division Series:
Kevin Brown, 3 1998 NLDS (including 1 to Craig Biggio)

Most plunks in a single World Series Game:
Bruce Kison, 3 in 1971 game 4

Most plunks in a single League Championship Game:
Frank Tanana, 3 in 1987 ALCS game 4
Jimmy Key, 3 in 1997 ALCS game 2
Matt Morris, 3 in 2002 NLCS game 5

Most plunks in a single Division Series Game:
Many players with 2

All time post season plunks by franchise:
Overpaid new york jerks, 66
Red Sox, 51
Cardinals, 43
Dodgers, 34
A's, 30

All time World Series plunks by franchise:

Overpaid new york jerks, 39
Cardinals, 23
Dodgers, 21
Cubs, 19
Pirates, 17

All time LCS plunks by franchise:

Red Sox, 20
Cardinals, 16
Overpaid new york jerks, 13
Orioles, 12
Braves, 11

All time Division Series plunks by franchise:

Indians, 13
Red Sox, 11
Overpaid new york jerks, 9
Braves, 8
A's, 8

Most team plunks in a single series:
Red Sox, 7 in 2004 ALCS

Most total plunks in a single series:
10 in the 1909 World Series

post-season hit-by-pitch (batting) records

As far as I've been able to tell, there is a lack of post-season stat lists on the internet featuring HBPs. Maybe this is because wins and losses are the only post-season numbers that really matter, but isn't it worth honoring people who took one for the team on the biggest stage of all? Well - unless that team was the yankees. (It's very clear that being hit by pitches has been a major part of their past championship success - that and ruining the financial balance of baseball)

Career World Series plunks:
Yogi Berra3
Bert Campaneris3
Max Carey3
Frank Chance3
Elston Howard3
Reggie Jackson3
Derek Jeter3
Frank Robinson3
Fred Snodgrass3
Honus Wagner3

Career LCS plunks:
Miguel Cairo4
Richie Hebner4

Career Division Series Plunks:
Manny Ramirez4

Most plunks in a single post season:
Miguel Cairo42004

Most plunks in a single World Series:

Max Carey31925

Most plunks in a single League Championship Series:
Miguel Cairo42004ALCS vs Boston

Most plunks in a single Division Series:
Tino Martinez22001ALDS
Corey Koskie22004ALDS
Craig Biggio21998NLDS
Lew Ford22004ALDS
Raul Mondesi22002ALDS
Manny Ramirez21998ALDS
Derrek Lee22003NLDS
Mike Bordick22000NLDS

Most plunks in a single World Series Game:
2 - Max Carey, PIT, 1925 World Series game 1
2 - Todd Pratt, NYM, 2000 World Series game 1
2 - Frank Robinson, CIN, 1961 World Series game 4
2 - Yogi Berra, NYY, 1953 World Series game 3

Most plunks in a single League Championship Game:
2 - Pat Sheridan, DET, 1987 ALCS game 5
2 - Dan Gladden, MIN, 1987 ALCS game 4

Most plunks in a single Division Series Game:
2 - Manny Ramirez, CLE, 1998 ALDS game 2
2 - Derrek Lee, FLA, 2003 NLDS game 4

All time post season plunks by franchise:
91 - overpaid new york jerks

All time World Series plunks by franchise:
48 - overpaid new york jerks

All time LCS plunks by franchise:
23 - overpaid new york jerks

All time Division Series plunks by franchise:
20 - overpaid new york jerks

Most team plunks in a single series:
7 - overpaid new york jerks, 2004 ALCS (at least they lost)

Most total plunks in a single series:
10 - 1909 World Series