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.