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.