Weekend preview and Braves notes
The Astros used two Berkman homers last night to defeat the Braves 7-4 and win their third straight game, but Craig Biggio was hit by no pitches.
The Astros have three more against the Braves this weekend, but will not be facing John Smoltz. Smoltz is having an interesting year - he has hit 5 batters for the first time since 1993 when he set his career high of 6. It would seem like setting a new career high would be a lock this season, but if he reverts to his old ways he could miss the next 900 batters he faces. On May 7th of this year, against the Mets, Smoltz hit 2 batters in a game for just the 3rd time in his career, and the first time since May 14, 1994... against the Mets. His only other 2 plunk game was the first of his major league career, July 23, 1988, when he hit two batters while facing, once again, the Mets.
Among the big names the Astros will face in action this weekend are Andruw and Chipper Jones. They are the all time leader in home runs by teammates with the same last name having hit 630 homers during their time together in Atlanta. But, they are only 4th in HBPs by teammates with the same name with 80. Brooks and Frank Robinson combined for 81 HBPs during the time they spent as teammates in Baltimore, Joe and Luke Sewell were hit 85 times for Cleveland, and the active pair of Jack and Craig Wilson in Pittsburgh have combined for 104 and still counting.
Friday, June 9, 2006:
Jorge Sosa starts tonight for the Braves. He's only hit 8 batters in 516.1 innings of work in his career, and his never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. Ken Ryan and Stan Spencer plunked Biggio on June 9th in 1996 and 2000.
Saturday, June 10, 2006:
Saturday, Tim Hudson will be on the mound facing the Astros. Hudson has hit 60 batters in his career, including 4 this season, but he has not yet plunked Biggio. Craig Biggio has never been hit by a pitch on June 10th.
Sunday, June 11, 2006:
Wrapping up the series with the Braves, Houston faces Horacio Ramirez on Sunday. Ramirez has never hit Biggio with a pitch, and has thrown 2 of his 10 career HBPs this season.