Saturday, April 29, 2006

276, 2 more days of Reds, and the most plunked day of the year

Last night Craig Biggio recorded his 276th career HBP on the first pitch of his third inning at-bat against Brandon Claussen. Claussen became the 21st Reds pitcher to hit Biggio with a pitch, and the first pitcher born in the state of South Dakota ever to do so. Also, home plate umpire Brian Gorman was behind the plate for his 10th plunking of Craig Biggio, moving him with 1 of Charlie Reliford for the honor of being the umpire who has sent Craig Biggio to first base the most times on HBPs.

Today and tomorrow, the Astros will face two more Reds pitchers who have never plunked Biggio, hoping for a better outcome than last night's 5-4 loss. Aaron Harang brings his 17 career plunks to the mound today, while Sunday's starter will be Elizardo Ramirez.

If past history has any real bearing on whether Craig Biggio gets hit by a pitch then today, Saturday, April 29th, should be the perfect day for a plunk. April 29th is Biggio's most plunked day of the year, and Saturday is the most plunked day of the week. Joey Hamilton (1996), Roger Bailey (1997), Everett Stull (2000), Curt Leskanic (2000), and Matt Clement (2001) have all plunked Biggio on April 29th. Clement did it twice. There is no other calendar date on which Biggio has recorded 6 HBPs.

Juan Acevado (1995)
and Dave Veres (1997) have hit Biggio with a pitch on April 30th.

Saturdays are the day of the week on which Craig Biggio has been hit most often overall, and most often on the road. In home games he has been hit most often on Sundays and Tuesdays.
DayHome HBPsRoad HBPsTotal

Friday, April 28, 2006


Brandon Claussen keeps the Reds streak alive. 15 straight seasons plunking Biggio. 1st pitch og the at-bat, 1 out in the 3rd.

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Reds notes

The Cincinatti Reds are 4th on the list of teams who have hit Craig Biggio the most times, but they are the first team ever to plunk him, and have hit him in more seasons than any other team. They also hold the distinction of being the team Craig Biggio has hit more doubles against than any other team. Biggio has hit 60 of his 613 career doubles against the Reds.

Here's the complete team by team breakdown of Biggio's doubles:
CIN - 60

SFN - 30

CLE - 4
PIT - 58

NYN - 29

SEA - 2
CHN - 57

ATL - 23

NYA - 2
SLN - 54

FLO - 24

CHA - 2
MON/WAS - 49

ARI - 19

DET - 2
LAN - 44

MIL - 18

BAL - 2
PHI - 42

TEX - 7

ANA - 2
SDN - 41

MIN - 4

BOS - 1
COL - 32

KCA - 4

TOR - 1

Also, before this season Craig Biggio had hit more leadoff homers against the Reds than any other team - 6. The only other team he's hit as many off is Milwaukee - he hit his 6th off them earlier this year.
But, Biggio has never homered in a Reds game in which he was plunked, and has only 1 double. In his 240 career games against the Reds, Craig Biggio has batted .281 and slugged .410 in games when he wasn't plunked, and batted .172 and slugged .190 in games when he did get plunked. Biggio's career batting average is .284 when he isn't plunked and .296 when he is, and his slugging stays about the same (.003 higher when plunked). His slugging percentage in games when he's plunked is worse against the Reds than against any other National League team, and his batting average in those games is third worst, ahead of only the Dodgers (.152) and the Mets (.170).

Though hitting him may be effective for the Reds in keeping down Biggio's offensive production, the Astros are still 12-8 in those games. The Astros overall record against the Reds when Biggio plays is 130-103.

whbp in cincinnati?

Tonight the Reds will get there first shot at hitting Craig Biggio with a pitch at least once in 15 consecutive seasons. Biggio hasn't gone unplunked by the Reds in any season since 1991. Brandon Claussen will start the series tonight, looking to hit the 13th batter of his career. Claussen has hit 3 batters this season, all in one game against the Pirates, but he has never plunked Biggio.

Al Leiter hit Craig Biggio with a pitch on April 28, 1998.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

getting hit leadoff

Craig Biggio holds the National League record with 46 leadoff home runs, but a reader asked last week how many times Biggio has led off a game by being plunked? While I can't prove it is any kind of record, Craig Biggio has led off 39 games with a plunk. The Astros are 27-12 when Biggio gets a 1st inning leadoff plunk, but only 25-21 when he hits a leadoff homer. Obviously this shows that being hit by a pitch is much better for the team than hitting a home run. Right? Biggio has scored a run after 18 of his leadoff plunks, and the Astros are 15-3 in those games.

Biggio has been hit 48 times as the first batter in innings other than the first. The Astros are 51-33 in games when he gets hit as the first batter of at least one inning, and 2-1 when he leads off 2 innings by getting hit.

Total plunks as the first batter of each inning, and the Astros record in those games:
InningLeadoff HBPsWinsLosses
Grand Total87

Biggio has scored a run 51.7% of the times he's reached base via the HBP as the first batter of an inning. The Astros are 34-9 when he has done this at least once in a game and 2-0 when he's done it twice

Total runs scored following plunks as the first batter of each inning, and the Astros record in those games:
InningRuns from Leadoff HBPsWinsLosses
Grand Total45

More 9th inning runs for LA, no plunks for Biggio

The Dodgers once again failed to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch last night, and they leave town after losing to the Astros 8-5, and only scoring 9 runs in the 9th innings of the three game series. Brad Ausmus got hit by a pitch for the 4th time this season - he is one plunk behind the league leaders and one plunk behind his total for the 2005 season. The Astros are off today, and heading to Cincinnati for a weekend series against the Reds.

Kevin Gryboski will spend another year as the only pitcher who has ever plunked Biggio on April 27th. He threw plunk number 203 on April 27, 2002.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

festival of inning data

Recent discoveries on the internet of inning-by-inning data for the 1999 season have now made it possible to complete the inning data for all of Craig Biggio's 275 career plunks (thanks to and's copy of the 1999 version of In celebration of this, here's a ridiculous amount of data on plunks by inning:

The Los Angelos Dodgers have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch 12 times. The Astros are 7-5 in those games. But, when Biggio has gotten hit by a Dodgers' pitch in the 2nd, 5th, 6th or 7th inning the Astros are 6-0. When they have hit him in the 4th and 8th, the Astros are 0-4. The Astros are 1-1 when the Dodgers hit Biggio with a pitch in the 3rd inning, but the win was at home and the loss was on the road.

Here's a handy reference table illustrating how many times the Dodgers have plunked Biggio in each inning, and the outcome of those games.


The Dodgers and the Braves are the only National League teams who have never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch in the first inning.

Overall, Craig Biggio has been hit 56 times in the first inning, accounting for better than 20% of his total plunkings. But, other than the few examples of extra inning plunks, the Astros appear most likely to win the game when he gets hit in the 2nd inning. Logically, since Biggio has almost always led off or been near the top of the order, the Astros would have to score some runs for Biggio to bat again and get hit in the 2nd inning.
Here are the complete inning by inning plunk totals, with wins and losses of the games in which each plunk occurred.
InningHBPsWinsLossesWin pct

The above table double counts the 20 games in which Biggio has been hit by 2 pitches. Craig Biggio has been hit in the first and third inning of a game 3 different times, but the Astros are 1-2 in those games. Overall, the Astros are 14-6 when Biggio gets hit twice.

Wins and losses in 2 plunk games by inning of each plunk:
InningsW/L Record
1st HBP2nd HBPWinsLosses

When Craig Biggio gets hit in the first inning, he scores a run 42.8% of the time and the Astros are 19-5 in games in which a first inning plunk leads to Biggio scoring a run. He has only scored on 3 of the 15 times he's reached base in the 2nd inning after being plunked, but the Astros won the game all three times.

InningRuns off HBPsscoring rate HBPs %WinsLosses

The totals of 74 wins and 21 losses again double count games in which Biggio scored a run on two different plunks in a game. He's done that 4 times, and the Astros are 3-1 in those games. Overall the Astros are 71-20 when Craig Biggio scores at least one run after reaching base on a plunk.

Also, readers may notice that last season we had come to the conclusion that Biggio had scored 96 times after reaching base on a plunk, but this table shows 95. Now that I've actually seen the inning summaries of all 255 games, I believe 95 is the correct total.

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5 hours of not plunking Biggio.

The Dodgers threw 227 pitches in last nights 14 inning 4-3 Astros win, but none of them found any part of Craig Biggio. Adam Everett, however, was not so lucky, getting hit in the hand by Brad Penny. X-Rays showed the hand is not broken, but Everett is expected to miss a couple of games while he attends the Biggio school of getting plunked without getting damaged.

Tonights game, which hopefully won't last 5 hours, will match the Astros up against Dodgers' starter Odalis Perez. Perez has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch but he has plunked 2 batters already this season. Perez has never hit more than 4 batters in a single season and has only hit 14 in his 933 career innings pitched, but perhaps he's stepping up the pace this season.

Shawn Estes is the only pitcher ever to strike Craig Biggio with a pitch on April 26th. He threw plunk number 87 in 1997 while shutting out the Astros.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

run support

Andy Pettitte could have used a little more run support last night, and while Craig Biggio failed to score in that game, perhaps it's reasonable for him to expect others to score a few runs. There have been 43 games in Astros history in which Craig Biggio scored the only Astros runs. Remarkably, this season they are 2-0 when Biggio scores all their runs. Before this year they had 1 win and 40 losses in such games. Saturday's 3-0 win over the Pirates was the only time Biggio ever scored 3 runs in a game in which he was the only Astro to score.

In these 43 games, Craig Biggio has only been hit by a pitch 3 times, and in only 1 of them, May 25, 2002 against Kerry Wood and the Cubs, did his plunk lead to the only Astros run of the game.

dodgey closing

Last night's game featured 18 pitches thrown near Craig Biggio but none were close enough to become plunk #276. Tonight he'll try again against Brad Penny who has hit just 23 of the 4,168 batters he has faced in his career. None of those 23 batters was named Craig Biggio.

Craig Biggio has been hit by 4 pitches on April 25th. In 1999 Pete Harnisch threw plunk number 143 for the Reds. On April 25, 2002, the Marlins' AJ Burnett plunked Biggio twice for plunks number 201 and 2002. And, in 2004 Joe Kennedy of the Rockies delivered HBP #244 on this date.

In other news,, the greatest website in the history of the internet, was updated over the weekend. It now has complete inning-by-inning game logs for all games back to 1957 - except for the 1999 season. So, there are now only 11 plunks for which inning by inning data is incomplete. Take a look at Biggio's almost complete career splits here.

Monday, April 24, 2006

plunks per plate appearance update

On Saturday, frequent commenter and more frequent question asker DM asked for up to the minute plunks per plate appearance data. I'm not quite ready for up to the minute, but here is the updated top-15 through last season, with a minimum of 500 plate appearances.

Top 15 in plunks per plate appearance through 2005 (500 plate appearance minimum):
Craig Wilson8118470.043854
Sal Fasano379360.039529
Jason LaRue8523140.036732
Jason Kendall19759580.033064
Reed Johnson4814780.032476
Olmedo Saenz4715550.030225
Bobby Hill185960.030201
Vance Wilson268860.029345
David Eckstein8932330.027528
Ramon Santiago228140.027027
Aaron Guiel259480.026371
Mike Redmond4116630.024654
Aaron Rowand4418230.024136
Craig Biggio273113410.024071
A.J. Pierzynski6125470.023949

At the other end of the spectrum, Chone Figgins finally took one for the team on Saturday after starting his career with 1719 unplunked plate appearances. Before then, he had the third most plate appearance of any major leaguer who had never been plunked. The active list for most career plate appearances without an HBP is as follows:
NamePlate appearances
Juan Castro2087
Coco Crisp1810
Nick Punto677
Jon Lieber616
Josh Bard559
Hideo Nomo543
Adam Melhuse540

Kirk Rueter and Al Leiter retired in the offseason, finishing unplunked careers with 740 and 613 plate appearance respectively.

can't the Pirates stay for a few more games?

If the Astros could just keep playing the Pirates at home, Craig Biggio will have 3000 hits wrapped up by mid-June and be able to concentrated on the far more important all time career record for being hit by pitches. Biggio batted 0.769 with and slugged 1.462 in the just completed 3 game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates, but today the Los Angeles Dodgers will begin their visit with Derek Lowe on the mound. Lowe has hit 56 batters in 1336 career innings pitched, but has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch.

Steve Reed and Pedro Astacio are the only pitchers who have plunked Biggio on April 24th. Reed threw plunk 243 in 2004, and Astacio threw plunk 218 in 2003.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

1st plunk day

On April 22, 1989 Craig Biggio was struck by the first pitch of his major league career, delivered by Tim Birtsas in the 10th inning. While Birtsas would only hit 3 more batters in his career, Biggio's history of being hit by pitches was only beginning. Also on this date, Steve Bourgeois of the Giants plunked Biggio in 1996, and Al Reyes delivered plunk 259 on April 22nd of last year. Please join me in wishing Craig Biggio a happy 17th anniversary of his first HBP today.

Last night, Biggio led off the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th inning, going 3-4 with a double, but did not get hit by a pitch. Ian Snell will be starting for the Pirates today. If he delivers the anniversary gift of plunk #276, in will be just Snell's second career hit batter and his first of this season. Sunday's starting pitcher for the visitors is scheduled to be Paul Maholm. Maholm has hit 4 batters in just 9 career games, but has not yet hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. He could become the first pitcher to plunk Biggio on April 23rd. But, last week's Sunday plunk was in a pinch hit appearance and Biggio frequently was given Sunday's off last season. If he has another late inning pinch hit appearance he might face Pirates reliever Salomon Torres. Only 2 pitchers are still active who plunked Biggio before Torres recorded plunk 28 on September 21, 1993 - Greg Maddux and John Smoltz.

Friday, April 21, 2006

home/road splits

Craig Biggio has been hit by a pitch 22 times against the Pirates. That puts the Pirates 3rd behind the Rockies and Cardinals in total Biggio plunking. 14 of those 22 plunks came at home for Biggio, with just 8 on the road, meaning 63.6% of his HBPs against the Pirates have come at home. Only 2 other teams have a greater bias toward hitting Biggio in Houston rather than on the road, not including the two teams who have only hit Biggio in Houston. 78.9% of #7's plunks versus the Giants have come at Houston, and 73.3% of his plunkings by the Expos/Nationals have been home plunks. On the other end of the scale, the Brewers have only delivered 31.3% of there plunkings to Biggio at his home address in Houston, and only 36.8% of his HBPs against the Cubs have been in home games.
The Royals, Yankees, White Sox, Oakland and Texas have only hit Biggio with a pitch at there own parks, while the Twins and Indians have only struck Biggio in Houston, which leaves Baltimore as the only American League team to have delivered a home and a road plunk.

TeamHome HBPsRoad HBPsHome HBP%

back to work against visiting pirates

The Astros return to action tonight against the Pittsburgh Pirates and starting pitcher Zach Duke. Duke has only hit 2 batters in his career and has yet to throw a plunk in 2006.

Last year, Matt Wise became the first pitcher to plunk Biggio on April 21st.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

hit pirates

Last July this space noted that among the 30 current Major League franchises, there were only 2 whose top 2 players had as many HBPs as Craig Biggio. Since then, Biggio passed the top 2 plunked batters for the Chicago White Sox. Minnie Minoso (145) and Nellie Fox (125) combined for 270 HBPs while playing for the White Sox. Now, only the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Astros next opponents, have a top 2 who have more plunks than Biggio. Jason Kendall was hit 177 times for the Pirates, and Honus Wagner collected 107. So, even before Craig Biggio breaks Hughie Jennings' all time record, he will have been hit more times for the Astros than any 2 players for any other current franchise. Jennings recorded 205 of his 287 plunks for the defunct National League Baltimore Orioles, which was not the same franchise as the current Orioles. Jennings and John McGraw were hit a combined 293 times for that franchise - a reachable goal in the likely event that Biggio plays the 2007 season for the Astros in pursuit of 3000 hits.

Pirates' batters have been hit 4,483 times in franchise history through yesterday. That ranks their franchise 2nd all time, behind the Giants 4711, but the Cardinals are only 4 plunks behind at 4,479. Through 2005, the Pirates had 648 different batters who had been hit by at least one pitch, 3rd all time behind the Cubs (674) and Cardinals (660).

Brewers unswept, Biggio unplunked

Chris Capuano was able to put the clamps on the Astros offense last night and the Brewers avoided a sweep with a 7-2 win. Craig Biggio hit a sacrifice fly driving in 1 of the Astros 2 runs, but he did not get hit by any of the 13 pitches thrown his way.

The Astros are off today so Craig Biggio will not be able to add to the 2 HBPs he's received on April 20th. Both Rick Ankiel and Andy Benes plunked Biggio on April 20th, 2001.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

slug fests

Last night's 13-12 win was the 10th game of Craig Biggio's career in which both teams scored in double digits. Craig Biggio has been hit by 3 pitches in those ten games. On July 18, 2001, Mike Matthews and Andy Benes both plunked Biggio during a 17-11 Astros win over St. Louis. On August 20, 2002 the Astros lost to the Cubs by a 14-12 score, and Kyle Farnsworth hit Biggio with a pitch. All three of those plunks resulted in a run scored by Biggio.

Biggio has been hit 43 times in games when the Astros scored 10 or more runs (216 total games), and only 14 times when the opposing team has scored in double figures (141 total games). In the games that immediately followed 10+ run games for the Astros, Biggio has been hit 34 times, but only 14 times in the next game after the Astros gave up 10 or more runs. Biggio has never been hit in his first game following one in which both teams scored more than 10 runs.

many hits, no plunks

There weren't many pitches that didn't hit a bat in last night's 13-12 Houston win, so Craig Biggio didn't find time between his home run, two singles, 3 RBI, and 2 runs scored to be hit by a pitch. Tonight, the Brewers will send Chris Capuano to the hill, hoping to avoid a sweep and become part of history by adding once again to Craig Biggio's hit by pitch total. Capuano previously contributed plunk number 251 on June 12, 2004.

The Brewers are the only team to have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch on April 19th. Todd Ritchie threw plunk 217 on April 19, 2003.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Brewers notes

Readers of last week's posting about pitchers who had plunked Craig Biggio for two different teams may have noticed that only one of them, Jay Witasick, has done so for both an American League and a National League team. Today's opponents, the Milwaukee Brewers, hold the distinction of being the only franchise to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch as a member of each league. Biggio was hit once in 13 career plate appearances against the Brewers when they were an AL team, but since the Brewers moved to the NL Central (including yesterday), they have hit him 15 times in 494 plate appearances - about once every 33 plate appearances. Overall, Brewers pitchers have increased there rate of hitting batters since moving to the NL. From 1970 to 1997, they faced 168,866 and hit 978 of them, plunking one out of every 172.7 batters on average. Since moving to the National League, from 1998 to 2005, they hit 468 of 50,847 batters, for an average of 1 plunk every 108.6 batters. Facing Craig Biggio so much more often can't quite account for all of this increase in the Brewers plunking frequency - taking him out of the equation, the Brewers have still hit 1 batter per 111.2 faced. Other factors might include the overall increase in hit batters league wide over the last decade, and the overall decrease in the Brewers talent level since they've been in the National League (though they do appear to be turning things around), but it's still very tempting to conclude that the presence of Craig Biggio on their schedule since moving to the National League somehow causes this increase in ways that stats can't fully explain.

(and yes, I've excluded the stats from the 1969 Seattle Pilots, mostly for my own convenience)

dueling bullpens

Brad Ausmus got hit by a pitch last night, leaving him just 233 plunks short of tying the all time record set by Hughie Jennings, but Craig Biggio went plunkless in last night's battle between the Houston and Milwaukee bullpens to see who could give up the most runs. Chad Qualls gave up 3 runs in the top of the 7th, but Matt Wise came right back with 5 runs allowed in the bottom of the 7th. Qualls hit Chad Moeller with a pitch, but Wise, apparently trying to give up runs as quickly as he could, gave up a double to Craig Biggio instead of hitting him with a pitch.

5 years ago today, on April 18, 2001, Josias Manzanillo hit Craig Biggio with a pitch.

Monday, April 17, 2006

first pitching appearance plunks

Over the weekend, frequent commenter DM asked if anyone had ever hit Craig Biggio with a pitch in their first pitching appearance. There have been 3. Juan Acevedo on April 30, 1995, Andy Larkin on September 29, 1996, and Mark Brownson on July 21, 1998. All 3 were in Houston and all 3 were appearing as starting pitchers. No pitcher has ever struck Biggio with a pitch in their first career relief appearance (including pitchers who had previously been starters), and no pitcher has even plunked Biggio in his first career start when he had previously seen work out of the bullpen.

One plunk weekend; Brewers at Houston

Juan Cruz hit Craig Biggio with a pitch yesterday marking the 2nd time Biggio has been hit in a pinch-hitting appearance. Also, despite Cruz being the 14th pitcher whose last name ends in Z to plunk Biggio, this was the first time Biggio has recorded consecutive plunks against pitchers whose names end in Z.

Tonight the Brewers are in town, featuring starting pitcher Dave Bush. Bush has hit a batter in each of his last two starts bringing his career total to 21. Bush has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, but if he does he would become the first pitcher with the same last name as a sitting U.S. president to plunk Craig Biggio. However, Dave Bush is the first major league pitcher with the same last name as the sitting president since the Johnson administration.

Today is the 10th anniversary of Biggio's only April 17th plunk. Paul Wilson threw plunk 62 on April 17, 1996.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


The pinch-get-hit on the first pitch from Juan Cruz, loading the bases with one out. But Cruz gets out of the inning without giving up a run.

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

2 more days of d-backs

Brandon Webb shut down the Astros offense last night, and it was probably because he didn't hit any of them with a pitch. Webb got through 8 innings on 105 pitches (12 to Biggio), and gave up just 1 run. Today's Arizona starter will be Claudio Vargas, a third year pitcher who has never plunked Biggio. Vargas has 21 career plunks but hasn't hit anyone this season.
Sunday the Astros will be facing Orlando Hernandez, who they last saw in the World Series. Hernandez has hit 52 batters in his career, including 2 in his last start, but he has never plunked Biggio. If Hernandez is the next pitcher to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, it will be the first time Biggio has recorded consecutive plunks against different pitchers with the same last name, and the first time he's recorded consecutive plunks thrown by Cubans.

Craig Biggio has never been hit by a pitch on April 15th or 16th.

Friday, April 14, 2006

fastest plunks in the NL west

On July 4, 1998, Brian Anderson became the first Diamondback to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. It was only the second game Biggio played against the D-backs, but that merely ties Arizona for 2nd place on the list of franchises who took the fewest games to plunk Biggio. The Milwaukee Brewers and Oakland A's both hit Craig Biggio in the first game in which they faced him. The Pirates and White Sox, like the Diamondbacks waited just 1 game before hitting him.
However, in that July 4th game in 1998, Brian Anderson plunked Biggio twice. Craig Biggio was not hit twice faster by any other team. Biggio got his second plunk against the White Sox in his 3rd game against them. It took 5 games to get hit twice by Baltimore, and Milwaukee moved to the National League before hitting Biggio for the second time in their 6th meeting.
Here is the list of how many games Biggio played against each team before recording his first HBP against them. Seattle, Toronto, Boston, Tampa Bay, Detroit and the Angels have yet to plunk Biggio.
TeamGames before 1st HBP

And here is the list of games played before Biggio's 2nd plunk against each team. Oakland, Cleveland, Minnesota, and the Yankees have only hit Biggio once.
TeamGames before 2nd HBP

someplace without rain

Craig Biggio was thrown 20 pitches by 4 pitchers in 2 games yesterday, but none of them became his 275th career HBP. Tonight the Astros will move on to Arizona where they'll face starting pitcher Brandon Webb. Webb has hit 27 batters in his career including 1 this season. He also plunked Biggio on July 26, 2004.

On this day, April 14th, in Biggio plunking history, Chris Carpenter hit him with a pitch in 2004 at Busch Stadium.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Position player plunks

The 206 pitchers who have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch all list "pitcher" as their full time position, but one of the best reasons to keep watching a blow-out game is the hope that one of the position players will be called on to pitch. On August 30, 2001, Steve Finley, now with the Giants, pitched a full inning of relief for the Diamondbacks and hit Jeff Kent with a pitch. Finley is the only active position player who has plunked someone, and also the most recent position player to hit a batter.
In May of 1999 the Pirates were getting pummeled by the Astros so thoroughly that they sent backup catcher Keith Osik to the mound. Osik hit Richard Hidalgo in that appearance, and the Pirates were apparently impressed enough to let him pitch again in 2000. Osik hit 2 batters in that game, giving him an impressive 3 hit batters in 2 career pitching appearances.
Other recent position players to hit a batter while pitching include Mark Whiten in 1998, Houston hitting coach Gary Gaetti in 1997, Chili Davis in 1993, and Mickey Hatcher in 1989. Craig Reynolds was the last Astros position player to hit a batter, also in 1989.

Looking at the other side of players playing out of position, 4 pitchers who have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch have also recorded 1 game played at a fielding position. Jason Simontacchi spent an inning in left field for St. Louis in 2004, and Rick Reed spent a third of an inning in right field for the Mets in 1999. Pedro Martinez, for some reason, started a game at 3rd base for the Dodgers in 1993 but appears to have been pinch-hit for in the top of the 1st inning. I'm sure there's a story behind that, and it probably has something to do with his brother Ramon pitching, but I don't know what that story is. Finally, in 1988 the Cardinals sent pitcher Jose Deleon to left field in the 16th inning against the Braves. It appears that they tried very hard to keep Deleon from having to do anything in the outfield, because they switched him back and forth from left to right field with Tom Brunansky 11 times in the 4 innings it took to finish the game. It didn't work though - Deleon is the only pitcher to plunk Craig Biggio who has recorded a put-out at a position other than pitcher.

stop raining.

More rain in San Francisco prevented any attempts to reach plunk #275 last night, but there is some hope that double header today will actually get to be played. Matt Morris is scheduled to pitch the afternoon game. As you may have heard the last 2 days, Morris plunked Biggio on September 19, 2003.
The night game will be pitched by Matt Cain. This will be Cain's 9th career appearance, and he has never hit a batter. Cain might be interested to read this post from last year about the career longevity of pitchers who record their first hit batter against Craig Biggio.
Also, check here for information on Craig Biggio's plunk history in double headers.

Darryl Kile and Braden Looper have each hit Craig Biggio with a pitch on April 13th. Darryl Kile got him in 2002 for the Cardinals, and Looper delivered a badly swollen forearm last year for the Mets on this date.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

plunks on 2 sides

If Matt Morris hits Craig Biggio with a pitch tonight he will become the 17th pitcher to plunk Biggio for 2 different teams. Of the 16 pitchers who have done that already, 7 of them hit Biggio at least once while pitching for the Giants. No other team has had as many Biggio plunkers who also recorded one for another team. The Mets are second in that category with 4, followed by the Rockies with 3, and the Marlins, Brewers, Expos, Phillies, Pirates and Padres all had 2.
The most recent member to join this club was Chris Hammond who hit Craig Biggio with a pitch on August 23, 2005 for San Diego after doing so for Florida in 1998.

Jamey Wright could become the first pitcher ever to plunk Biggio for 3 different teams, but it looks like he'll miss the Astros in the rotation if the Giants don't change things around due to the rain out.

Here's the complete list of pitchers who have hit Biggio for 2 teams:
PitcherTeams (plunks)
Pedro AstacioMets, Rockies (6)
Jeff BrantleyGiants, Cardinals
Paul ByrdPhillies, Braves
Mark ClarkMets, Cubs
Mark GardnerGiants (3), Expos (2)
Chris HammondPadres, Marlins
Orel HershiserGiants, Dodgers (2)
Mark LeiterGiants (2), Phillies
Al LeiterMets (2), Marlins
Mark PortugalGiants, Reds
Armando ReynosoMets, Rockies
Todd RitchiePirates, Brewers
Kirk RueterGiants, Expos
Salomon TorresGiants, Pirates
Jay WitasickPadres, Royals
Jamey WrightBrewers, Rockies (3)


Rain prevented the Astros and Giants from flinging baseballs at each other last night, and more rain is expected tonight. The weather appears to be a natural phenomenon and not just a result of the dark cloud hanging over Barry Bonds' career. If they get to play, the Giants plan to send yesterday's scheduled starter Matt Morris to the mound. Morris plunked Biggio on September 19, 2003.

On April 12, 1994, Ryan Bowen became the first Florida Marlin to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch.

In other news, congratulations are in order for the Oakland A's Jason Kendall who notched his 200th career plunk last night against the twins. Kendall became just the 7th player ever to reach that milestone. After Biggio and Kendall, there are only 8 other active players who have 100 HBPs, and that includes the not very active Jeff Bagwell.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Giant unplunked streak

The San Francisco Giants haven't hit Craig Biggio with a pitch since May 15, 1999. Since then, Biggio has played 38 unplunked games against the Giants. That is his longest active unplunked streak against a single team, but it's only the 10th longest such streak of his career. The Dodgers played 85 games against Biggio, beginning on June 27, 1988 (his second Major League game), before they plunked him for the first time on May 9, 1994. Atlanta faced Biggio in 59 games before they first hit him on July 27, 1992. The Cincinnati Reds, after delivering Biggio's first HBP on April 22, 1989, faced him in 57 games before hitting him again on August 2, 1992.

The current streak is only the second longest for Biggio against the Giants. He played 48 unplunked games against them between plunks on July 30, 1989 and June 12, 1992.

If Biggio gets plunked by the Giants during the series beginning tonight, ownership of the longest active streak of not plunking Biggio will fall to the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have played 31 games against Craig Biggio without plunking him since Glendon Rusch hit him on June 1, 2004.

Here are the top 10 consecutive game streaks for teams not hitting Craig Biggio with a pitch.
TeamStreak DatesUnplunked games

Nobody leaves until...

I'm looking forward as much as anyone to seeing Craig Biggio reach the 3000 hits plateau, but some of the ideas coming out recently to get him there are going a bit far. For example, Russ Springer had some extremely controversial ideas in Alyson Footer's column on Sunday. Springer's theory is that Biggio should "Stop taking walks. Stop getting hit. Get 700 at-bats."

Then, last night the Astros unveiled their new "Nobody goes home until Craig Biggio gets a hit" rule. Biggio saved his hit until the 12th inning, when he doubled and scored the winning run, but he did not get hit by a pitch. Again, I want to see him reach 3000 hits as much as anyone, and it serves as a great incentive to keep playing and keep stepping into the batters box, but I don't thing Russ Springer's "Stop getting hit" idea is at all necessary. 26 others have 3000 hits, but nobody has ever reached 300 HBPs. 3000 hits and 300 HBPs has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Today the Astros travel to San Francisco to face Matt Morris and the Giants. Morris is well known to the Astros from his many years pitching for the Cardinals, where he hit Craig Biggio with a pitch on September 19, 2003. The Giants, however, haven't hit Biggio with a pitch since 1999 and he has never been hit in SBC Park.

Craig Biggio has never been hit by a pitch on April 11th.

Monday, April 10, 2006

274 historical perspective

Before Saturday, the last time a major league player recorded his 274th hit-by-pitch was sometime during the 1901 season. Hughie Jennings would only record 1 more plunk that season while playing for the Phillies. In the seasons between 274th plunkings, there have been somewhere around 75,000 HBPs recorded by 14,386 batters (including Biggio and Jennings), and 6,907 pitchers. 138 batters have recorded 274 home runs in that span. 60 pitchers have given up 274 home runs in that period of time. 102 players have stolen 274 in those 104 seasons.
Between 1901 and the next time someone would be hit by 274 pitches, 2,784 people were born, played in the major leagues, and died. And, perhaps most amazingly, the Red Sox, Cubs and White Sox won the World Series 10 times.

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

THIS guy again

On Saturday Livan Hernandez became the first Washington National to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch since they changed their name from the Expos. Yesterday Phil Mickelson became the first golfer not named Tiger to win The Masters on a weekend when Craig Biggio was plunked. But, the Nationals pitching staff did not throw Biggio anything to be hit by during Sunday's Astros win.

John Patterson will pitch the series finally for Washington this afternoon. Patterson has 16 career hit batters, but he has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. However, even if Patterson bounces one off some part Biggio's person, we may not get plunk #275 because Doug Eddings is scheduled to be today's home plate umpire. Eddings enraged baseball fans on a national level during last year's ALCS, but months before that he became the first umpire ever to refuse to give Biggio first base after a plunk, and subsequently ejected Biggio from the game last August.

Shawn Chacon plunked Biggio on April 10, 2002 for the Colorado Rockies, but he is the only pitcher to have done so on this date.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Getting the season started for real now. Livan Hernandez in the 6th inning on an 0-2 pitch. No run scored though.

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A farewell to Armas

The Nationals lifted Tony Armas after 5 innings and only 72 pitches, and the Astros greeted his replacement by scoring 4 runs in the 6th before he could get an out. Brad Ausmus and Jose Guillen both got hit by pitches, and Craig Biggio hit his 607th double. I'm sure the people writing the Jose Guillen hit-by-pitch website and the Craig Biggio doubles website are very excited about that. Guillen's been hit 4 times in the last 3 games, and if he could keep up that pace he could knock off Hughie Jennings all time record this season, and obliterate the single season record with 210. Biggio's 3 doubles this season put him on pace to break the single season doubles record with 121. Either of those farfetched feats would be impressive to see this season, but I think we can all agree that we'd much rather see Craig Biggio be the one to break the all time hit by pitch record, and we'd like to see him do it this season. Getting plunk #274 today would be a good start.

Livan Hernandez will be the Nationals starter today. Hernandez threw 4010 pitches in '05, leading the majors, so there should be plenty of pitches for Craig Biggio to get hit by today. Bidge has, however, never before been hit by a pitch on April 8th. Tomorrow's opposing starter will be Ryan Drese, who is filling the rotation spot left by 7-time Biggio plunker Pedro Astacio. Drese has hit 31 batters in his career but none of them wore #7 for the Astros. Allen Watson is the only pitcher who has ever hit Craig Biggio with a pitch on April 9th, doing so 10 years ago.

Friday, April 07, 2006

4-plunk games

Tonight's Nationals start Tony Armas has never hit more than 2 batters in a game, but tomorrow's starter Livan Hernandez tied the modern record for hitting batters last July when he plunked 4 Colorado Rockies in a single game. Hernandez is the 10th pitcher to hit 4 batters in a game since Craig Biggio's career began. Of those 10 games, Biggio played in 3, but surprisingly has never been plunked himself in any of them.

On June 2, 1996 Darryl Kile hit 4 Cardinals batters while pitching for the Astros. The following year, on September 13, 1997, Tom Candiotti, pitching for the Dodgers, hit the Astro's Darryl Kile, Tony Eusebio, and Derrick Bell twice but somehow missed Biggio. On April 19, 2000, Orel Hershisher, also pitching for the Dodgers against the Astros, hit Shane Reynolds, Jeff Bagwell and Richard Hidalgo twice. Hidalgo also got hit one other time in that game, tying the record for batters being hit in a game with 3. Craig Biggio has never been hit more than twice in a game.

Of the 10 pitchers who have hit 4 batters in a game, 5 have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch (on another occasion) - Pedro Astacio (7), Darryl Kile (1), Orel Hershiser (3), James Baldwin (1), and Tom Candiotti (1). Livan Hernandez joins Scott Schoeneweis, Victor Zambrano, Omar Olivares, and Steve Sparks as pitchers who hit 4 batters during the Biggio era but have never plunked Biggio.

Retrosheet lists all the 4 plunk games since 1960 on this page, but there is a whole lot of other stuff there too, so you'll need to search a bit.

Nationals visit

The Washington Nationals begin a 4 game set in Houston tonight with Tony Armas Jr. on the mound. Armas has hit 30 of the 2,883 batters he's faced in his career but he has never plunked Craig Biggio. Washington may have been left in a bad mood by their series with the Mets. It seems Jose Guillen doesn't agree with the California Supreme Court either.

Bronson Arroyo hit Craig Biggio with a pitch on April 7, 2001.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

No Plunks Barred

It seems the California Supreme Court has upheld legalized plunking. Reader David Ettinger sent me this today:
The California Supreme Court issued an opinion today that may be of interest to you. The court rejected a college baseball player's lawsuit alleging that he was injured by an intentional bean ball. The case is Avila v. Citrus Community College District:

What makes the opinion notable is its holding that intentionally throwing at batters is an accepted part of the game.

Here are parts of the court's opinion:

The second alleged breach, the failure to supervise and control the Citrus College pitcher, is barred by primary assumption of the risk. Being hit by a pitch is an inherent risk of baseball. (Balthazor v. Little League Baseball, Inc. (1998) 62 Cal.App.4th 47, 51-52; see also Mann v. Nutrilite, Inc. (1955) 136 Cal.App.2d 729, 734 [same re being hit by thrown ball].) The dangers of being hit by a pitch, often thrown at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour, are apparent and well known: being hit can result in serious injury or, on rare tragic occasions, death.9 Being intentionally hit is likewise an inherent risk of the sport, so accepted by custom that a pitch intentionally thrown at a batter has its own terminology: “brushback,” “beanball,” “chin music.” In turn, those pitchers notorious for throwing at hitters are “headhunters.” Pitchers intentionally throw at batters to disrupt a batter’s timing or back him away from home plate, to retaliate after a teammate has been hit, or to punish a batter for having hit a home run. (See, e.g.,Kahn, The Head Game (2000) pp. 205-239.) Some of the most respected baseball managers and pitchers have openly discussed the fundamental place throwing at batters has in their sport. In George Will’s study of the game, Men at Work, onetime Oakland Athletics and current St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa details the strategic importance of ordering selective intentional throwing at opposing batters, principally to retaliate for one’s own players being hit. (Will, Men at Work (1990) pp. 61-64.) As Los Angeles Dodgers Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale and New York Giants All Star pitcher Sal “The Barber” Maglie have explained, intentionally throwing at batters can also be an integral part of pitching tactics, a tool to help get batters out by upsetting their frame of mind.10 Drysdale and Maglie are not alone; past and future Hall of Famers, from Early Wynn and Bob Gibson to Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens, have relied on the actual or threatened willingness to throw at batters to aid their pitching. (See, e.g.,Kahn, The Head Game, at pp. 223-224; Yankees Aced by Red Sox, L.A. Times
(May 31, 2001) p. D7 [relating Martinez’s assertion that he would even throw at
Babe Ruth].)

Later, the court said:

It is true that intentionally throwing at a batter is forbidden by the rules of baseball. (See, e.g., Off. Rules of Major League Baseball, rule 8.02(d); National Collegiate Athletic Assn., 2006 NCAA Baseball Rules (Dec. 2005) rule 5, § 16(d), p. 62.) But “even when a participant’s conduct violates a rule of the game and may subject the violator to internal sanctions prescribed by the sport itself, imposition of legal liability for such conduct might well alter fundamentally the nature of the sport by deterring participants from vigorously engaging in activity that falls close to, but on the permissible side of, a prescribed rule.” (Knight,supra, 3 Cal.4th at pp. 318-319.) It is one thing for an umpire to punish a pitcher who hits a batter by ejecting him from the game, or for a league to suspend the pitcher; it is quite another for tort law to chill any pitcher from throwing inside, i.e., close to the batter’s body—a permissible and essential part of the sport—for fear of a suit over an errant pitch. For better or worse, being intentionally thrown at is a fundamental part and inherent risk of the sport of baseball.11 It is not the function of tort law to police such conduct.

footnote 11 says: The conclusion that being intentionally hit by a pitch is an inherent risk of baseball extends only to situations such as that alleged here, where the hit batter is at the plate. Allegations that a pitcher intentionally hit a batter who was still in the on-deck circle, or elsewhere, would present an entirely different scenario. (See Note, Dollar Signs on the Muscle . . . and the Ligament, Tendon, and Ulnar Nerve: Institutional Liability Arising from Injuries to Student-Athletes (2001) 3 Va. J. Sports & L. 80, 80, 111-112 [recounting the notorious 1999 incident in which Wichita State University pitcher Ben Christensen hit University of Evansville second baseman Anthony Molina with a pitch while Molina was still in the on-deck circle].)

footnote 12 says: The dissent takes issue with our deciding this question. (Conc. & dis. opn. post, at pp. ___ [pp. 5-7].) Notwithstanding the official condemnation we and the dissent cite, pitchers have been throwing at batters for the better part of baseball’s century-plus history. The taking of judicial notice of such matters is not reserved to trial courts, but lies within the power of every court. (Evid. Code, § 459.) To ignore this history in favor of reversal and remand would do nothing to enhance respect for the trial and appellate courts’ respective roles. Similarly, a declaration of the scope of a defendant’s duty is a statement of law. (Kahn v. East Side Union High School Dist., supra, 31 Cal.4th at p. 1004.) Where, as here, the pleadings and matters subject to judicial notice establish the defendant owed the plaintiff no duty, a case may properly be disposed of on demurrer, without further waste of judicial resources.

another part of the opinion:

Thus, the boxer who steps into the ring consents to his opponent’s jabs; the football player who steps onto the gridiron consents to his opponent’s hard tackle; the hockey goalie who takes the ice consents to face his opponent’s slapshots; and, here, the baseball player who steps to the plate consents to the possibility the opposing pitcher may throw near or at him. The complaint establishes Avila voluntarily participated in the baseball game; as such, his consent would bar any battery claim as a matter of law.

conclusion of the opinion:

In the possibly apocryphal words of New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over till it’s over,” but this means that for Avila’s complaint against Citrus College, it’s over.

From a fan (of baseball and your website, not of this opinion),
David Ettinger

So I guess the lesson is get out of the way, or take your base and quit crying about it. But, Craig Biggio taught us that already.


Today's off day for the Astros gives them a perfect chance to get work on their golf games, but some might be enjoying the opening round of the Masters Tournament. Craig Biggio has only been hit by a pitch twice during the Masters, on April 7, 2001 and on April 13, 2002. Both were Saturdays during round 3 of the tournament. Tiger Woods won both tournaments during which Biggio was plunked. Tiger Woods average score at the Masters on days when Craig Biggio is hit by a pitch is 67.
42 golfers have won the Masters, and 205 pitchers have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, but only two of those pitchers share a last name with a Masters winner. Allen Watson plunked Biggio on April 9, 1996 (2 days before the '96 Masters), while Tom Watson won the Masters in 1977 and 1981. Craig Wood won the Masters in 1941, and 57 years later Kerry Wood threw the first of 3 plunks at Craig Biggio.

the return of off-days

Baseball is back, but so are off days. Craig Biggio went 2-4 last night, but the first plunk of the season still remains elusive. Craig Biggio also scored his 1700th run last night, but plunk 274 will have to wait for another day, because the Astros have the day off. The Washington Nationals visit starts tomorrow.

Craig Biggio has never been hit by a pitch on April 6th.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Yesterday, commenter aburioe asked:
How many times has Biggio faced the pitcher who last plunked Biggio (same game plate appearances excluded, of course)? And of those, how many have ended up in a repeat plunking?

The second part is the easy one. On July 28, 2001 Jimmy Anderson of the Pirates delivered Biggio's 192nd plunk in Pittsburgh. On August 18, 2001, when the Pirates visited Houston, Anderson hit Biggio again for plunk number 193. And just last year, Jason Jennings of the Rockies hit Biggio twice on June 22nd, for plunks number 265 and 266. The following week, Jennings delivered plunk 267 to tie Don Baylor. Those two are the only instances of consecutive plunks by the same pitcher on different days.

Finding out how many times Biggio has actually faced the last pitcher who hit him is a bit beyond the data I have, and perhaps my attention span. By my count, there have been 363 games in which Biggio played against the team that last hit him. That doesn't take into account how many pitchers might have hit Biggio, changed teams and faced him again on his new team. Browsing the early part of Biggio's career, Mike LaCoss faced Biggio on 8/5/89 after hitting him on 7/30/89, Calvin Schiraldi faced him on 8/11/90 after hitting him on 7/28/90, John Smiley faced him twice in May of '91 after hitting him in September of '90, and Barry Jones hit him on 8/30/1991 and faced him 3 time in May of '92 (after moving to the Phillies), before Biggio got hit again in June. So from that small sample, the answer seems to be "a lot". I'll revisit this at some point if I can find a way to get to a more complete answer.

a scoring trend emerges

The Marlins once again failed to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch last night, but Preston Wilson proved he was willing to take one for his new team. Wilson also contributed an RBI to the 9th inning Astros rally, but they didn't have quite enough to overcome the 11 run hole dug earlier in the game. While 2 runs weren't enough though, it is encouraging to see the upward trend in runs scored for Houston. Game 1 = 1 run, Game 2 = 2 runs... tonight's game should prove whether they're planning on scoring 1 more run every game, or twice as many runs every game. Either way it should lead to some impressive numbers in September.

Tonight it will be Brian Moehler starting for the Marlins. He hit Craig Biggio with a pitch in the first inning on May 10, 2005, but settled down to pitch 6 innings and give up only 1 run.

Biggio's only April 5th plunk came 10 years ago. Willie Blair of the Padres threw plunk number 60 on April 5, 1996.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

quality assurance

In an attempt to answer the questions raised by reader Tom yesterday, below is the inning by inning breakout of starting pitchers plunks of Craig Biggio, broken out by whether or not they had a quality start (6 or more innings, 3 or fewer earned runs). This data is not complete as inning by inning data is not (freely) available for games from the '93-'99 seasons. If this data is representative, it shows that pitchers who hit Biggio in the first 4 innings are much less likely to be in the midst of a quality start than pitchers who hit him in the 5th inning or later. At the same time, among the pitchers who hit him during a quality start, they did so most often in the 1st inning.

Inning QS not QS

Among those pitchers who hit Craig Biggio during a quality start, 19 plunked batters at a rate less than or equal to 0.125 plunks per inning pitched, while 45 were greater than 0.125 and less than 0.25. Only 13 pitchers threw more than 0.25 plunks per inning pitched during a quality start in which they hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. (This part of the data IS complete.)

The chart below shows the counts of quality starts vs non-quality starts broken out by plunks per inning pitched. Starters who have hit Biggio put plunked fewer than 0.25 batters per inning have gotten a quality start about half the time, but getting any higher than that appears to be a ticket for a rough outing.
PPIQuality StartNot a Quality Start
> 103

Biggio 1, Marlins 0

Craig Biggio didn't get hit by any of the 18 pitches thrown to him in last night's game, but he did double for the 605th time in his career, and scored the only Astros run. If the Astros are planning on having Biggio score all his runs this year, they might be in for a tough season. The Astros scored 693 runs last season, but Biggio himself only averages about 1/7th as many runs per season.
Including yesterdays game, the Marlins nine starters yesterday have played a combined 969 games. Biggio has played 2,564.
The Marlins will send Sergio Mitre to the mound tonight. Mitre has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch and has only hit 7 batters in his 35 career appearances.

Rich Batchelor plunked Biggio on April 4, 1997.

In other news, Craig Biggio's plunk chase is mentioned prominently in this weeks Newsweek, in which George Will uses his back page editorial to make fun of... Bill James. At least that's what I choose to make of it. The article is also posted on MSNBC.


Monday, April 03, 2006


Finally. Even an offseason shortened by a month of playoff baseball seems entirely too long. Finally, peanut vendors have something to do. Finally umpires can get back to annoying us. Finally we can get back to second guessing baseball managers (instead of everybody else). And, finally, Craig Biggio can get back to the quest to become the most plunked batter in major league history. The modern record fell in 2005. The all-time record and the unification of the records is just 15 plunks away.

The Astros seemed to have this goal in mind in the offseason. Knowing how important it was to keep Craig Biggio healthy and on the field in 2006, Houston went out and acquired the only person ever to put him on the disabled list and signed him to play left field. 273 times being hit by pitches never put Craig Biggio on the disabled list, but Preston Wilson did, with a takeout slide in the 2000 season. Biggio played in a career low 101 games that year. With Wilson now playing left field for the Astros, the path is clear for Biggio to play a full season and break some records. If Biggio plays in over 100 games at 2nd base this year he will become just the 4th player ever to do so after his 40th birthday. The other three are Napolean Lajoie, Rabbit Marranville, and Joe Morgan. You might see a connection with that group.

Craig Biggio has never been hit by a pitch on opening day, but today's starter for the visiting Marlins will be Dontrelle Willis. Willis is the last person to hit Biggio with a pitch, on September 12, 2005 in Florida. Willis also plunked Biggio on May 18, 2004. Biggio has been hit twice on April 3rd - in 1996 by Chan Ho Park, and in 2003 by Steve Reed.