Monday, July 31, 2006

back to back

Of the 280 times Craig Biggio has been hit by a pitch, only 7 of them have occured as part of a back to back plunking as yesterday's did. Miguel Batista hit Willy Taveras just prior to Biggio's plunking, and that was the 2nd time this season Biggio had been hit immediately following a Taveras HPB (Jason Marquis hit Taveras and Biggio on consecutive May 29th). Prior to this year, Biggio had never been plunked as part of back to back plunkings more than once in a season, had never been the 2nd plunk in a back to back occurance, and had never been plunked back to back with the same player.
Last June, Byung-Hyun Kim helped celebrate Biggio's 268th plunk by hitting the following batter - Lance Berkman. In July of 2001, Chad Durbin of the Royals plunked Biggio and Julio Lugo to lead off the game, and plunked Biggio again in the 4th inning. In July of 1998, Kirk Rueter plunked Biggio and Ricky Gutierrez back to back; Armando Reynoso threw back to back plunks to Biggio and Derek Bell on May 13, 1997, and Biggio and Jeff Bagwell had their only back to back HBPs on September 5, 1995 against Xavier Hernandez.

Aside from the back to back instances above, Biggio has been plunked in the same inning as another Astro 13 times. On 4 of those occasions, Jeff Bagwell was the other batter plunked. Sean Berry, Richard Hidalgo, and Orlando Miller were each plunked in the same inning as Biggio on 2 different occasions, and Derek Bell, Luis Gonzalez and Orlando Palmeiro were each hit once in the same inning as Biggio in a non-back-to-back instance.


post-plunk rest day

The Astros are off today, following a Sunday on which 3 Astros got plunked by Miguel Batista, including Craig Biggio on Batista's 50th career plunk thrown. I'm sure everyone on the team would have taken another plunk if it could have kept them from losing a 4 run lead in the 8th and 9th inning and losing 7-6. Also yesterday marked the 2nd consecutive year that Biggio was hit by a pitch on the day of the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Perhaps he's sending a secret message to the Hall of Fame or its voters by doing so?

It was Kaz Ishii who plunked Biggio on July 31 last year. He joined Greg Maddux, who plunked Biggio on July 31, 1993, as the only pitchers to do so on this date.


Sunday, July 30, 2006


Miguel Batista plunked Biggio for the second time in his career and both plunks occured in the 3rd inning. Plunk #280 came on 3-2 with no outs in the 3rd. Pitchers seemed to have been confused by the emergence of Burke as the the Astros plunk leader, and the reshuffled line up which move Willy Taveras to the leadoff spot - this confusion got Taveras plunked Friday night, but Batista solved this dilema by plunking all three of them - Taveras and Biggio in the 3rd inning, and Burke in the 6th.

Just 8 more.

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

two weekend games, two one time plunkers

The Astros traded runs with the Diamondbacks through 11 innings last night but fell short 8-7. Craig Biggio moved down to the 2nd spot in the batting order, where Chris Burke had been getting hit so effectively recently, but it was Willy Tavares batting in Biggio's vacated lead-off spot who got hit by a pitch last night.

Tonight Juan Cruz will be pitching for the Diamondbacks - he hit Biggio with a pitch the last time he faced the Astros, on April 16, 2006. Craig Biggio has never been hit by a pitch on July 29th.

Tomorrow, Arizona is expected to start Miguel Batista. He plunked Biggio on June 25, 2001. Biggio has been hit twice on July 30th, by Mike Lacoss in 1989 for Biggio's 5th career plunk, and by Hector Carrasco in 1996.


Friday, July 28, 2006

Diamondback notes

There are currently 12 active players in the major leagues with over 100 career HBPs, and 2 of them play for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Unless you still consider Jeff Bagwell active, there is only one other team in the league with multiple 100 plunk players, and that's the Yankees, who have 4. But still, Craig Biggio has more career HBPs than the combined total of everyone on the Diamondbacks roster not named Damion Easley. Easley has an impressive 117 career plunks, and Luis Gonzalez is at 106 for his career. Including Easley, the D-backs 25 man roster has a total of 391 career plunks.
Luis Gonzalez holds the D-backs franchise record with 60 plunks while playing for Arizona. That's more than twice as many as the next most plunked Diamondback, Andy Fox, who accumulated 27 HBPs while with the club. Behind him are Junior Spivey with 25, and Steve Finley with 22, but Craig Counsell will pass Finley with his next HBP. Counsell leads the team in 2006 with 7 plunks, tieing him at 22 for his Diamondbacks career. Craig Biggio has been hit by more pitches than the top 12 players on the Arizona franchise list.


Craig Biggio had 3 hits last night in the Astros 8-4 loss to the Reds, but he continued his season long trend of letting Chris Burke take most of the plunks for the team. Burke has 10 HBPs on the season, so it may be that Craig Biggio is finally using his veteran leadership to delegate the unpleasant task of getting hit by pitches to younger players who have now proven they can handle the responsibility.

Tonight the Arizona Diamondbacks visit Houston. They are expected to send rookie Enrique Gonzalez out to pitch tonight, looking for his 4th career win, and his 3rd career hit batter. Gonzalez's 2 career plunks do not include a plunking of Craig Biggio.

Calvin Schiraldi plunked Biggio on July 28, 1990, and Jimmy Anderson plunked Biggio on July 28, 2001.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

things you wanted to know about leadoff homers

When Craig Biggio hit his 50th career leadoff home run last night, you may have said to yourself, or someone watching the game with you, "Didn't he hit a leadoff home run last Wednesday too? Is this the first time Craig Biggio has ever led off consecutive Wednesday games with a home run?". My guess is that whoever you asked didn't answer. Yes, that was the first time Craig Biggio hit leadoff home runs on consecutive Wednesdays, or any other day of the week. Also, if he has one more leadoff homer this month, he'll tie his best month ever for leadoff homers. He has 3 this month, but he had 4 in June of 2001, on his way to setting his career high with 8 that year. He has 6 so far this year.

But more importantly, how do these leadoff home runs effect his plunk production? Biggio has only been hit by a pitch 4 times in games in which he also hit a leadoff homer, but he got those 4 plunks in only 2 games. On June 30, 2001 on the road against Milwaukee, Biggio homered off Alan Levrault in the 1st, got plunked by Levrault on his next trip to the plate in the 2nd inning, and got hit again by Mike Buddie in the 5th, after hitting a single of Levrault leading off the 4th. On June 21, 2003 at Texas, Biggio lead off with a homer against Ismael Valdez before Valdez plunked him in the 4th inning. Erasmo Ramirez hit Biggio again in the 8th inning.

In the games immediately following games when Biggio hits a leadoff homer, he has only been plunked 4 times, at an average rate of 0.018 plunks per plate appearance - significantly below his career rate of 0.024 plunks per plate appearance. But, Biggio's slugging percentage in games following ones in which he hit a leadoff homer is .474 - well above his career slugging pct. of .436. So, the first game after a leadoff homer appears to have a decreased rate of getting hit by pitches, and an increased rate of slugging. But in the 2nd game following a leadoff homer, Biggio has been hit 8 times, at a rate of 0.035 plunks per plate appearance - well above his career average. In the 10 game stretches following games in which Biggio hits a leadoff homer, he gets hit at a rate of 0.028 plunks per plate appearnance (or once every 35.7 trips to the plate), bats at a .297 clip compared to his .284 lifetime average, and slugs at .474, compared to his .436 career slugging percentage.

So, it appears that when Biggio hits a leadoff homer, it ushers in periods of increased success at the plate. Or, it could all be a big coincidence.

The Astros have now won their last 8 games in which Biggio hit a leadoff homer, stretching back to September 17th of last season. 6 of his 10 homers this season have been to lead off the game - the highest percentage of leadoff homers to total homers he has previously had was in 1992 when 50% of his 6 homers were leadoffs.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Arroyo breaks his streak

Bronson Arroyo seemed to agree that he was overdue to hit someone with a pitch, but he chose to plunk Adam Everett, instead of Craig Biggio, during the Astros 6 run rally in the 5th inning. As noted yesterday, Arroyo had thrown 145 innings this season, and not hit anybody prior to last night, which is quite rare since he hit 14 batters last season. Biggio was too busy hitting to get hit, beginning with his 50th leadoff home run in the 1st inning. He had two more singles in the game as well. The Astros pulled out the win 8-5.

Elizardo Ramirez pitches the series finale for the Reds tonight. He had never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, but he has thrown 7 of his 10 career plunks this season, including 1 in each of his last two games.

Biggio has been plunked 4 times on July 27th - John Smoltz hit him on July 27, 1992, Tom Browning plunked Biggio on July 27, 1993, and Tom Browning hit Biggio with a pitch on July 27, 1994 rounding out the earliest three year streak of plunks on the same date of Biggio's career. Brian Meadows plunked Biggio on July 27, 1998. Biggio has had only two other streaks of 3 straight years being hit by a pitch on the same date, and never had a 4 year streak. The other two were on June 20th from 1998 to 2000 and on May 15th from 1999 to 2001.


plunkless streaks ended by Biggio

Bronson Arroyo comes into tonight's game having pitched 145 innings this season without hitting a single batter. If he breaks that streak tonight, that will be the longest such streak to be broken by a Biggio plunk. To date, the most innings any pitcher has thrown in a season before throwing his first HBP of the year at Biggio was 106.2 by Mark Clark in 1996. Clark had made 15 starts that season and didn't hit anyone before entering the June 28 matchup with the Astros. He is the only pitcher to throw over plunk free 100 innings in a season before making Biggio his first plunk victim. The next most was 93 innings by Tom Browning, broken up on July 27, 1993. In 2001, the Reds' Lance Davis had gotten through 74 innings without hitting a batter before plunking Biggio on August 28th but he didn't start pitching until June that year. Barry Jones threw 73 innings in 62 different games in 1991 before recording his first hit batter of the season on August 30th.
The latest in a season Craig Biggio has been hit by a pitcher who hadn't hit anyone else that season was September 29, 1996, when Andy Larkin hit him. But, that was Larkin's first and only appearance in the '96 season.

If Arroyo makes it through the rest of the season without hitting anyone, he will be the first pitcher since 1918 to go a season without hitting a batter after hitting 14 or more in the prior year. The guy who did it in 1918 only pitched 1 game that year after hitting 16 batters in 1917. No one with 145 or more innings pitched has had a 0 plunk year after a 14+ plunk year since 1891, and the pitching stats from those years are sketchy enough that it may never have happened. The last two pitchers to hit 14 or more batters in one season and hit less than 5 the next year, with as many innings pitched as Arroyo has this year, are Pedro Martinez - who hit 16 in 2004 with the Red Sox and 4 in '05 for the Mets, and Roger Clemens - who hit 14 in 1995 for the Red Sox and 4 in '96, which was his final year in Boston. Arroyo hit 14 for the Red Sox last year.


no dice

Aubrey Huff got hit a pitch for the first time this season last night, but Aaron Harang and the Reds bullpen did not find a way to contribute to Craig Biggio's quest for the all time hit-by-pitch record. The Astros were held scoreless by the combined work of Aaron Harang, Todd Coffey, and Bill Bray and lost 2-0.

Tonight the Astros face Bronson Arroyo, who is long overdue to hit someone. Arroyo has pitched 145 innings and faced 592 batters this season and not hit anyone. Last year he hit 14 batters. The year before that he hit 20 batters. Seeing Bronson Arroyo go this long without hitting a batter is a little like watching a Charles Bronson movie for an hour and not seeing him shoot something. Arroyo plunked Biggio on April 7, 2001 when he pitched for the Pirates.

If today is the day Craig Biggio gets plunked for the 280th time he'll end a trend for plunks on July 26th. He's been hit 3 times on this date, and all 3 were for a career plunk total that ended in 3. Jim Bullinger threw plunk #13 on July 26, 1992, Armando Reynoso threw plunk #53 on July 26, 1995, and Brandon Webb threw plunk #253 on July 26, 2004.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

How Killer?

From the 1988 season through 2005, players whose last names began with the letter B have had more hits, homeruns, doubles, triples, RBI, runs scored than any other last initial, and most importantly, had been hit by 665 more pitches than the next closest letter. B has been the 2nd most popular last initial for batters in those seasons, trailing M by only one player (among those with at least 1 plate appearance). Players filed under B have accounted for 9.7% of major league batting orders in the span, but they've accounted for 10.7% of hits, 11.7% of home runs, 11.4% of HBPs, and over 11% of the runs, RBI, and doubles in those years.

Among those players whose last names begin with B, Houston's Bs are at the top of the list in hits, homers, doubles, triples, rbi, runs, and obviously, plunks over the last 18 seasons. Players with B last names were hit by 2,802 pitches from 1988 to 2005, and Houston's Bs were hit by 540 of them - 19.3% of all plunkings of players with B names belonged to Houston. Astros Bs have accounted for 10.7% of all major league hits by players with the last initial B in that span, as well as 12.5% of runs, 11.2% of RBIs, 11.7% of doubles, and 12.0% of home runs. But, there were 17 other teams that had more players with B for their last initial than the Astros. The Astros had 32 Bs in that span, well behind the Royals leading B total of 48 players, but the Astros Bs still had 4,769 more hits. The Astros had 24 different players with B last initials get hits while Biggio has been playing, from Biggio' 2,795 (through '05) down to Willie Blair's 1 hit contribution. Taylor Buchholz became the newest B to get a hit in 2006, but the above numbers don't include this year's contributions.

Houston's B players have also had more hits, runs, HBPs, homers, doubles, triples, and RBI than any other last initial for any other franchise in the 1988-2005 span. Pittsburgh had 192 plunks by players with the last initial K, but no other team is closer to Houston's 540 plunks by Bs. The Cubs have had 5,177 hits by players with S last names, but that's still well short of Houston's 8,362 hits by Bs even if you removed Biggio's hits. Atlanta's collection of Js had 2,955 RBIs in that span, but the Houston Bs had 4,444. The only major hitting category where any other group is close to the Houston Bs is triples, where Pittsburgh's B players had 147 to Houston's 152.

In MLB history, there are a lot of franchises with a big head start on Houston, so the Bs don't rank very highly in most categories on the all time lists. The Cardinals lead the all time hits list grouped by last initial, with their players in the M group having 26,670 career hits, just ahead of the Giants franchise M players, with 26,403 (through '05). The Giants' M players lead the all time homer chart though, with 2,473, with the Yankees collection of M players trailing them with 2,171. Those Giants with the last initial M also lead the all time hit-by-pitch chart, with 710 through 2005. Houston's Bs are still number 2 on that plunk list, with 622 through '05, but including this season, the Astros' Bs are up to 641 to the Giants 712, and the Giants only have Mike Matheny helping out their cause. The Giants, by the way, have had over 100 more M players than the Astros have had Bs.

1988-2005 offensive top 5 lists by last initial:

Last InitialHitsPlayers
Last InitialPlunksPlayers

Last InitialHomersPlayers
Last InitialRBIPlayers

Last InitialRunsPlayers
Last InitialDoublesPlayers

1988-2005 top 5 lists by last initial and team:

Last InitialTeamHitsPlayers
Last InitialTeamPlunksPlayers
VRed Sox15711

Home runs
Last InitialTeamHRsPlayers
Last InitialTeamRBIPlayers

Last InitialTeamRunsPlayers
Last InitialTeamDoublesPlayers

1988-2005 top 5 lists by team - only players with the last initial B:

Last InitialHBPsPlayers

Last InitialRBIPlayers

Last InitialDoublesPlayers
Red Sox

All time lists by team and last initial (through '05):

Last InitialTeamHitsPlayers
Last InitialTeamPlunksPlayers
MWhite Sox

Home runs
Last InitialTeamHRsPlayers
Last InitialTeamRBIPlayers

Last InitialTeamRunsPlayers
Last InitialTeamDoublesPlayers

Reds to Houston

The Cincinnati Reds visit Houston tonight, after a day off for both teams yesterday, and Aaron Harang is expected to make the start for the visitors. Harang has 20 career plunks, but has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. Harang's 3 plunks this season have all been thrown at Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark. In his last outing he hit 1 batter, and only pitched only 2 innings due to a rain delay.

Today is the 9th anniversary of Biggio's 100th career plunk, thrown by Jeff Juden on July 25, 1997. Biggio was also hit by Andy Ashby on July 25, 1999.

The Astros are 2-1 on odd numbered Tuesday's in July when Craig Biggio gets hit by a pitch, and 2-1 when Biggio is hit by a pitch in the first inning on a Tuesday in July (regardless of day of the month).


Monday, July 24, 2006

victory... sort of. appears to have fixed Craig Biggio's HBP stats, so they now have the correct total for last season (17) and the correct career total (279). Their all time list is correct once again.

In case you missed it, there was an error on the site that appeared to have given Chris Burke's stats for a Pirates game last season to Biggio. Check here for where I first noticed it. Confusion reigned for much of the season, and enough people asked why the total listed here didn't match the total on that I had to add an explaination on the right hand side bar. They have since corrected the box score for that game as well as the plunk total and the other stats involved.
I'm sure the Chris Burke HBP website is just as excited about gaining that extra plunk, which was rightfully his all along, and now I can return the bruise board to it's original look, without the longwinded explaination of another site's error. Thanks for fixing that!

variations in league plunk rates.

Through May of the 2006 season major league batters had been getting hit at a rate of 1 per 95.5 plate appearances, but last month, June, saw the league plunk rate drop to once per 114.9 plate appearances. That is the largest May to June drop-off in plunk rate during Craig Biggio's career, and June of 2006 had the fewest hit batters per plate appearance since June of 2003. But, so far this month, batters have been plunked once per 97.3 plate appearance - very close to the pre-June rate. The change from June to July has been an 18% increase, which is the largest month to month increase since September of 1999 (not including partial months). Perhaps it's no coincidence then that Craig Biggio survived June unplunked, and has been hit twice so far in July.

Overall, the league is on pace to have the 2nd highest rate of plunkings since the 1900 season, trailing the 2001 record by only 1.5 plunks per 10,000 plate appearances. The league is on pace to hit around 1,851 batters, which would be the 2nd most ever (thanks mostly to expansion), behind the 2001 season when 1,890 batters were plunked.

Here are the month by month plunk rates for 1988 through 2006 to date:

escape from new york

Craig Biggio had a pinch-hit single yesterday as the Astros finally took a road game from the league leading Mets, 8-4, but Biggio didn't get any help on his way to the all time record in getting hit by pitches and he's still stuck at 279.
The Astros have today off, traveling back home to face the wild card leading Cincinatti reads, who are 5 games ahead of the Astros for the final NL playoff spot.

Frank Castillo and Willie Blair both plunked Biggio on July 24th. Castillo threw plunk #24 thirteen years ago, on July 24, 1993, and Willie Blair threw plunk #75, on July 24, 1996.

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

New York in July

John Maine shut out the Astros last night on just 98 pitches, none of which hit anyone, and the Mets piled on 7 runs to take the first game from the Astros (7-0). Houston has plenty of room for improvement today and tomorrow in all categories, from scoring runs, to hitting, to getting on base via the plunk.
Orlando Hernandez is the Mets scheduled starter today (really this time... I think). He'll be looking to hit his 8th batter of the season and the 58th of his career. Hernandez has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. Biggio's only prior plunk on this date came on July 22, 1990 when Mark Gardner through plunk number 7.
Tomorrow the Astros will face rookie John Pelfrey who will be making just his 3rd career start. Pelfrey has faced only 49 major league batters, but he did hit one of them. On July 23, 1994 Steve Cooke plunked Biggio for the Pirates, and on July 23, 2002 Jamey Wright plunked Biggio for the Brewers. The Astros won both of those games.

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Mets notes

The New York Mets have been hit by pitches 1,637 times in franchise history, but their franchise leader in plunks, Ron Hunt, was only hit 41 times for the Mets. Hunt played his first 4 seasons for the Mets, but moved on to the Dodgers, Giants and Expos before he reached dizzying heights in the field of getting plunked, acheiving a 50 plunk season in 1971 for the Expos. There are only two other Mets who have more career plunks for the Mets than Craig Biggio had in his 1997 - Cleon Jones with 39 and Felix Milan with 36. Craig Biggio has been hit by a pitch more times than the top 9 players in Mets history, and the most plunks by a player who spent his entire career with the Mets is just 14 by Ed Kranepool.
Kranepool also has the Mets franchise mark for hits and doubles, with 1,418 hits (less than half of Biggio's total), and 225 doubles - 405 less than Craig Biggio. Biggio even has more home runs than the Mets franchise leader. But, it's not as though the Mets never had any good players. The Mets have had 4 players with over 100 HBPs, 3 players with over 3000 hits, 5 players with 500 doubles (soon to be 6), and 5 members of the 400 home run club play for them for parts of their careers.
The Mets also have, according to this site, 332 walk-off wins in franchise history. That's any home game won in the 9th inning or later - thus walking off and not finishing the final half-inning. Craig Biggio has hit 14 game ending, walk-off RBI's in his career, most recently on April 2, 2003 when he finished off a 5 run 9th inning comeback with a 2 RBI single against the Colorado Rockies. He was also plunked by Aaron Cook in that game, but that is his only game where he hit a walk-off RBI and also got hit by a pitch. He has never won a game on a walk-off bases-loaded plunk. Biggio hit his 3rd career walk-off homer run (and his most recent) on July 31, 2001 against the Mets, winning the game on a 10th inning solo shot off Jerrod Riggan.

Mets pitchers have hit 39 batters this season, bringing their all time franchise total to 1,609. Al Leiter holds the franchise record with 63 plunks thrown, but the Mets have employed 9 different pitchers with 100 or more career plunks for portions of their careers.
12 different pitchers have plunked Biggio 18 times for the Mets (the most of any NL east team), but 43 pitchers who pitched for the Mets sometimes during their career have plunked Biggio a total of 63 times. No other team has had as many members of the pitchers who have hit Biggio with a pitch pass through their clubhouse.

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out of Chicago, into New York

Craig Biggio didn't play yesterday, and not even a guy with 279 career HBPs can get hit by a pitch in a game he doesn't play. But even if he had played, he might not have gotten plunked, because Carlos Zambrano was throwing strikes. 10 Astros struck out against Zambrano, who held his opponents to just 2 hits and 1 run in 8 innings. The Cubs took the game 4-1.

Tonight the Astros will be traveling to New York to face the Mets, who hold the best record in the National League at 57-38. Orlando Hernandez is the Mets scheduled starter - he'll be looking to hit his 8th batter of the season and the 58th of his career. Hernandez has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch.
The Mets don't have any pitchers on their roster named Mark, so if Biggio does get plunked today it will be his first on July 21st by a pitcher not named Mark. Mark Leiter plunked Biggio twice on July 21, 1995, and Mark Brownson plunked Biggio on July 21, 1998.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

win some, lose some

Greg Maddux moved into the 200 career loss club last night, but he is still second in career losses among pitchers who hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, 36 losses behind Frank Tanana's 236. Here's the top ten in losses among those who have plunked Biggio:
Frank Tanana - 236
Greg Maddux - 200
Danny Darwin - 182
Tom Candiotti - 164
Orel Hershiser - 150
Kevin Brown - 144
David Wells - 144
Andy Benes - 139
John Smoltz - 133
Al Leiter - 132
The difficult question is who might be the next pitcher to break into the 200 loss club/1 Biggio plunk club. Tom Glavine has 187 losses, the 2nd highest among active pitchers, but he has never plunked Biggio. Of the 10 players above, only 2 other than Maddux are active, and both are far to old to hang on long enough to get to 200. The youngest pitcher who has hit Biggio and lost 100 games is currently Livan Hernandez, who claims to be 31, and the most losses by a pitcher under 30 who has plunked Biggio is 73 by Kip Wells who is 29, but it's hard to say right now whether either of them is good enough to lose 200 games. Prior to this season, the 42 players in the 200 loss club had won an average of 285 games each, had an average carer win pct of .544 and a total combine win pct of .549, and an average of 2,300 strikeouts.

Frank Tanana was charged with his 223rd loss in the game he plunked Biggio. He is the only pitcher to plunk Biggio after already having 200 losses, and only Danny Darwin has done it after 150 career losses. Darwin had 154 losses when he plunked Biggio, but didn't get the loss that day. Other than Tanana, only 2 pitchers have been charged with a career loss greater than 100 in the game in which they plunked Biggio. Kevin Brown lost his 130th game on September 3, 2003 while hitting Biggio in the 2nd inning. Danny Jackson also plunked Biggio in the 2nd inning in his 117th career loss. In total, 12 pitchers have plunked Biggio 17 times after losing 100 career games, led by Orel Hershiser who did it 3 times, and is the only one in this group to plunk Biggio twice in a game.

Paul Wilson, Chan Ho Park, and Wayne Gomes all received their first career loss the day they plunked Craig Biggio.

Wrigley finale

Craig Biggio took Greg Maddux's 2nd pitch of the game deep last night, for his 49th career leadoff homer, and the Astros never trailed in the game, winning 4-2. But, none of the 11 pitches Maddux threw Biggio that Biggio didn't hit out of the park became plunk #280. Neither team hit a batter in the game. Elias Sports Bureau has an interesting note on Biggio's success against Maddux in the espn writeup:
Craig Biggio's home run in the first inning was his 38th career hit off Greg Maddux. That's the most career hits by any active batter against any active major-league pitcher. The rest of the top five: Barry Bonds against Maddux (34), Bernie Williams against Jamie Moyer (34), Luis Gonzalez against Maddux (32), Garret Anderson against Moyer (31).

This afternoon the Astros play they're final game of the 2006 season at Wrigley field, facing starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano. Zambrano has hit Biggio with a pitch twice, on May 31, 2003 and August 12, 2003.
Zambrano has hit 7 batters this season, and sits at 50 hit batters for his career. Coincidentally, Biggio's only plunk on July 20th was the 50th of his career, thrown by Jose Bautista on July 20, 1995.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

days like these

Craig Biggio has never been hit by a pitch on July 19th, but he has been hit 6 times on the 19th day of a month. There are only 4 days of months Biggio has been hit less.. He's been hit 5 times on the 3rd and 31st day of months, and 4 times on the 14th and 16th.
The Cubs have never plunked Biggio on the 19th day of any month. They tend to plunk Biggio later in months with 10 of their 19 plunkings of Biggio occurring after the 19th, and only 9 before the 19th. Three times, the Cubs have plunked Biggio on the 24th (once in July, once in August and once in September), leading all teams in plunking Biggio on that day of the month. Only the Marlins and Mets have plunked Biggio more times on a particular day of the month - the Marlins hit him 5 times on 4 different 12ths (9/12/05, 5/12/98, 8/12/97, and 4/12/94), and the Mets hit him 4 times on 4 different 4ths of months (5/4/02, 5/4/99, 6/4/93, and 7/4/89).

As usual, I'm sure there's some unknown significance to this.

In even less related news, you may have seen it mentioned that Craig Biggio is currently tied for 34th on the all time hits list with Zach Wheat, at 2,884. This may have led you to wonder if Zack Wheat might have had a brother named Buck. Well, if he did, Buck didn't play baseball. Zack Wheat did have a brother who played in the major leagues, but his name was Mack, not Buck. Next up on the hits list are Al Simmons at 2,927, and Rogers Hornsby and Jake Beckley at 2,930. Left unexplained is why MLB considers Biggio to be tied for 34th on the all time hits list, but they never mention him being 2nd on the all time HBP list - Hughie Jennings' HBPs seem to get ignored while several of his contemporaries - including Jake Beckley - ARE included on the all time hits list. Maybe it's because a "modern era" player holds the #1 spot on the all time hits list, and when Biggio reaches 288 they will scrap the "modern" HBP list and just go with an all time list for HBPs that will give credit to the like of Jennings, Tommy Tucker, and Dan McGann. Jake Beckley, by the way, is 10th on the all time plunk list with 183, and Zack Wheat is the all time leader in both hits and HBPs among players whose first name starts with Z.


Cubs take first

Carlos Marmol threw a wild pitch, 6 walks, and was called for a balk night, but he didn't hit anybody with a pitch. The Astros bats didn't hit much either, scoring just 2 runs on 4 hits in the 4-2 loss.
Tonight, you may have heard, the pitching matchup will be Roger Clemens vs Greg Maddux. The pair have a combined record of 667 wins, 374 losses and 275 hit batters. Maddux could become the first 200 game loser in the majors since Charlie Hough lost his 200th on July 6, 1993, which was just 25 days before the first time Greg Maddux hit Craig Biggio with a pitch - July 31, 1993. Maddux also plunked Biggio June 12, 1994. Losses, by the way, are won of the few pitching categories which Maddux does not lead all pitchers who have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. Frank Tanana holds that record among Biggio plunkers, with 236 losses. Maddux leads that group in wins, starts, shutouts, innings pitched, hits allowed, cy young awards in years he plunked Biggio, and strikeouts. Among active pitchers who have hit Biggio with a pitch, Maddux leads about everything, although Pedro Martinez has pulled into a tie in career HBPs at 125.
Craig Biggio has never been hit on July 19th, but tonight could be exactly the sort of game in which two veteran pitchers pull out all their tricks from the past, and maybe Maddux will remember those Cy Young winning years in '93 and '94 when he did things like hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. Maybe.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

few plunks, few runs

The 2006 Chicago Cubs, tonight's opponent for the Astros, have been plunked a major league low 23 times. Perhaps not coincidentally, they have scored a major league low 376 runs. In the past 50 seasons, only 1 team has come in last in the majors in both plunks and runs scored (the '04 Diamondbacks) but the last place team in plunks has been in the bottom 10 in runs scored in 24 of those 50 seasons. The last place HBP team has been in the top 10 in only 11 of the past 50 seasons, with only the '94 Cleveland Indians managing to be last in plunks but first in runs. The Indians that year scored 679 runs, and this year's Cubs should finish close to that number, but Cleveland only played 113 games because of the work stoppage, and the Cubs will need the full 162 to score that many.

The Cubs and Astros have plunked each other 7 times this season, but only 1 of those plunks hit a Cub. During the span of Biggio's career, the Cubs have hit Houston batters 86 times now, while the Cubs have only been plunked by Houston 67 times. Houston's 5 plunk lead this year ties the biggest difference between the two teams in the Biggio years. In 2003 the Astros plunked 10 Cubs while only getting hit 5 times. In 2002 Houston took 11 plunkings from the Cubs, while striking bake only 6 times, and in 1997 the teams matched this years plunks to date with 6 for Astros batters and 1 for the Cubs. The Cubs have never before hit more than 4 Houston batters in a season with hitting Biggio, but this year they're up to 6. The Astros and Cubs have 6 games left to correct that issue, beginning tonight.


back to the North Coast

The Astros are back in action in Chicago tonight where the North Coast/South Coast baseball rivarlry will no doubt be rekindled, and where it's entirely possible that Craig Biggio will get hit by a pitch. Rookie Carlos Marmol will be on the mound for the Cubs tonight looking for his third career hit batter, and his first plunk of a team other than the Milwaukee Brewers. Marmol has hit a batter in 2 of his last 3 games, but one of them was Rickie Weeks, who not many pitchers have missed this year.

On July 18, 1989, Sid Fernandez threw what would become Craig Biggio's 4th career HBP. On July 18, 2001, Biggio was plunked in the first inning by Mike Mathews and in the 7th inning by Andy Benes. Biggio scored a run after both of those plunks, being driven in by a Jeff Bagwell single in the first inning and a Jeff Bagwell triple in the 7th. That triple completed the Cycle for Bagwell, having hit both a double and a homer in the 5th inning. That was the only game in Bagwell's career in which he hit for the cycle.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Biggio makes the world go plunk.

In the seasons from 1988 to 2005, Craig Biggio was hit by a pitch 273 times on 253 days. On those days when he got hit, 2,496 total plunks were recorded in the majors, with Biggio accounting for 10.9% of them. On days when Biggio didn't get hit during those seasons, there were an average 7.57 plunks per day, while on days when Biggio recorded a plunk there were 9.87 plunks per day. That may look as though Biggio drags up the average on days when he gets plunked, but that's not the whole story (since he doesn't average 2.3 plunks on days when he is plunked). Excluding Biggio's HBPs, there have been an average of 8.78 other HBPs recorded on days when Biggio was hit. On days when Biggio was hit once the rest of the league averaged 8.70 plunks, and on days when he was hit twice, the rest of the league was hit 9.75 times per day. Excluding other batters that the pitcher who plunked Biggio hit that day, the averages move down to 8.56 on 1 plunk days for Biggio, and 9.60 on 2 plunk days, so it doesn't appear that the league-wide increase in plunks on days when Biggio is hit is just caused by 1 pitcher hitting a lot of people, including Biggio. Either there are certain days when lots of batters get hit, and Biggio is the beneficiary (sort of) of that, OR, on days when Craig Biggio gets hit, the rest of the league somehow follow his example. Excluding the Astros games entirely, the averages are 7.04 plunks on days Biggio doesn't get hit, 8.06 plunks when he gets hit once, and 9.1 HBPs on days he gets hit twice. So, if he's inspiring more batters to be hit, it goes much further than the rest of his team, and their opponents.

The highest total of HBPs recorded league wide on a day when Biggio was hit by a pitch is 22, on June 1, 2004. There have been only 2 other days in the 1988 through 2005 seasons with as many plunks recorded - August 22, 2004 (on which Biggio played but was not plunked) and July 20, 2002 (on which Biggio did not play). July 20, 2002 had a 16 game schedule, but the other two 22 plunk days where 15 games. On June 1, 2004, Biggio was hit by Glendon Rusch, and in the same game Brad Lidge hit Todd Hollandsworth. Also on the day, Bronson Arroyo hit Raul Mondesi and Adam Kennedy twice, Casey Kotchman was hit by Allen Embree, Jason Varitek was hit by Bartolo Colon, Jody Gerut was hit by Ryan Drese, Jaque Jones was hit by John Halama, Sidney Ponson hit Tony Clark, Eric Chavez was hit by Damaso Marte, Dustin Hermanson hit Shea Hillenbrand, Steve Sparks hit AJ Pierzynski, Mike Koplove hit Barry Bonds, Brad Penny hit Jason Larue, Jeff Weaver plunked Scott Podsednik and Geoff Jenkins, Shawn Green was hit by Doug Davis, Kevin Millwood hit Jason Phillips, Scott Rolen was hit by Ryan Vogelsong, Jeff Suppan hit Daryle Ward, and Aaron Cook plunked Mark Loretta.

June 8, 2000 is the only day on which Craig Biggio was the only batter in the Majors to record a plunk. There were only 3 games played that day. In terms of plate appearances per plunk, the day on which Biggio was plunked that featured the fewest HBPs was July 25, 1997. Only one other batters was hit that day in 15 games, for a rate of 1 HBP per 560.5 plate appearances. On the 22 plunk day of June 1, 2004, a batter was hit, on average, every 57 plate appearances.

In other vaguely related news, on Saturday, Red Sox center fielder Coco Crisp became the 10th player in recorded history to reach 2000 major league plate appearances without getting hit by a pitch. Of the 9 others to reach that mark, only 4 of them eventually recorded a plunk. The other 9 are Mark Lemke, John Kruk, Herm Winningham, UL Washington, Bill Bergen, Mickey Witek, Chipper Jones, and Mickey Mantle. (This list excludes people who had plate appearances before plunks were recorded)

Marlins split

The Marlins last chance to plunk Biggio in the 2006 season turned out to be Saturday, as Biggio got the day off on Sunday. The Florida pitching staff obviously shouldn't have put off their Biggio plunking chores to the last minute like that, because as it turned out, they didn't get it done. Biggio went plunkless again on Saturday, while the Astros won 12-0, and he stayed on the bench for Sunday's 9-3 loss.
The Astros are off today, traveling to Chicago for 3 games this week at Wrigley. In past seasons, Biggio has been hit 3 times on July 17th. Bob Tewksbury threw plunk #23 on July 17, 1993, Willie Banks threw plunk #49 on July 17, 1995, and Kirk Rueter thre plunk #136 on July 17, 1998. Bob Tewksbury, by the way, is the only pitcher who has hit Craig Biggio with a pitch who was also born in the same city as some guy who writes a website about Craig Biggio getting hit by pitches.


Saturday, July 15, 2006

Last 2 in Florida

Roger Clemens worked his magic on the mound once again last night, rendering the bats of his own team useless. Somehow. Perhaps he's just a little too inspirational to these young rookie pitchers he always seems matched up against? The Astros broke the shutout in the 9th inning, but still lost 3-1. Chris Burke got hit by a pitch for the third consecutive game, but no pitches struck Craig Biggio.
Today the Marlins will be sending Josh Johnson to the mound to throw at the Astros. Johnson has hit 3 batters in his short career with 1,655 career pitches thrown. Biggio has been hit 3 different times on July 15th in his career. On July 15, 1995 Kenny Greer hit him for the Giants, Jake Westbrook plunked Biggio on July 15, 2001, and Ron Villone threw plunk 211 on July 15, 2002.
Tomorrow, Sunday July 16th, the Astros will finish off the season series against the Marlins facing Scott Olsen. Olsen has hit 5 batters this season, but he has never faced Craig Biggio.
Biggio has never been plunked on July 16th.


Friday, July 14, 2006

Biggio vs plunk pennant winners

The Astros current opponent, the Florida Marlins, is leading the Majors with 49 hit batters on the season. They are in a tight race for the most plunks thrown in the Majors as well as most in the National League (the plunk pennant) with the Nationals (48) and the Cardinals and Pirates (43 each). 2 of those teams have hit Biggio this year, but Craig Biggio has only been plunked by the overall Major League leading team in hit batters in 4 seasons, but those 4 seasons were the only ones in the last 18 years that have had a National League team throw the most plunks in the league. 2006 looks likely to join the list.
Biggio has been hit by at least one of the teams tied for the National League lead in plunks in 13 of the last 18 seasons, including 1988 when he didn't get hit, and 1996 when Houston lead the NL. In '96 the 2nd place Rockies plunked Biggio 3 times.
Last year the NL leading plunk throwers, the Rockies, hit Biggio 5 times. That was the 2nd time Biggio had been hit 5 times by the NL leader, the other being the 2000 season by the Dodgers. He's been hit a total of 31 times by teams the finished the season at least tied for the most plunks in the National League.

League Leaders by year:

LeagueYearTeamTotal Batters hitPlunked Biggio (HBP:BGOs)
AL2005Red Sox890
AL2004Devil Rays930
AL2003Devil Rays950
AL2002Devil Rays940
AL2001Red Sox930
AL2000Devil Rays660
AL1999Devil Rays790
AL1998Devil Rays810
AL1997Red Sox700
AL1988Blue Jays590


thanks, new guy

Craig Biggio didn't get hit by a pitch by Dontrelle Willis or the rest of the Marlins last night, but newly acquired Aubrey Huff contributed a 3 insurance run homer and the pitchers held the Marlins to just 1 run, for a 5-1 victory. Chris Burke got hit by his 8th pitch of the season, continuing to show his ability to learn from the veteran Biggio. Burke is 2 plunks ahead of Biggio, and if this continues he could be the first Astro since Richard Hidalgo to have more plunks in a season than Biggio - but that was in 2000 when Biggio's injury held him to 16 plunks while Hidalgo had 21. The last season a healthy Biggio wasn't at least tied for the team lead at the end of the year was 1992 when Bagwell was hit 12 times and Biggio had 7 plunks.
Also in 1992, tonight's starting pitcher for the Marlins,Anibal Sanchez, turned 8 years old. Sanchez was 3 years old when Craig Biggio was taken as the 22nd pick in the 1987 draft by the Astros. Sanchez will be making his 4th career major league appearance tonight, and he has hit a batter in his last 2 outings. He has never thrown a pitch to Craig Biggio that didn't hit him, but that's only because of the minor technicality that he has never faced Biggio. If Sanchez plunks Biggio tonight he will take Dontrelle Willis's title as the youngest pitcher who has plunked Biggio, and be the first pitcher born in 1984 to do so. Sanchez is 2 years younger than Willis, but Willis plunked Biggio when he was 22.34 years old, while Sanchez is currently 22.38. Sanchez would only be the 11th youngest pitcher to plunk Biggio (by age at the time of the plunk), well behind Kerry Wood who was 20.89 years old when he first plunked Biggio. Carlos Zambrano had hit Biggio in two different games by the time he was Sanchez's age.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

post-break numbers

The last time Craig Biggio had more HBPs after the All Star break than he had before the break was 1997 when he racked up 20 2nd half plunks on his way to a career high of 34. Since that season, he has averaged a 54.9% decline in plunks after each season's All Star break, not including the 2000 season when he missed the end of the year with an injury. However, in seasons when he has had less than 8 plunks before the break, he has always matched or exceeded that total in the second half. That data might be somewhat dated though, since it he hasn't had this few plunks before the break since 1994.

While Saturdays are the most plunked day of the week overall for Craig Biggio, his plunks that have come after the All Star break have been tied with 19 each on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday. Monday and Friday have had 15 post-break plunks, 14 have been on Wednesday and 8 on Thursday. 45% of Biggio plunks thrown by left handed pitchers have come after the All Star Break, while only 38% of his right handed plunks have come in the 2nd half. Pitchers who plunked Biggio before the All Star break are an average of 0.25 inches taller than post-break plunkers, and the average altitude at which the plunks occurred is 186.9 feet lower after the break.

Willie Blair, Jaime Navarro, Kevin Ritz, Andy Benes and Carlos Zambrano have all plunked Biggio both before and after the All Star break in the same season. Blair, Navarro and Ritz all did so in 1996.

Break's over, back to work.

Summer vacation is over for the Astros and they'll head back to school beginning today in Florida against Dontrelle Willis and the Marlins. Willis is leading the league in hit batters with 13 on the season and the Marlins are tied for the league lead with 48. Willis has plunked Biggio in each of the last two seasons, on September 12, 2005 and May 18, 2004. The Astros are 8-5 when the Marlins have hit Biggio with a pitch, but only 1-2 when Biggio has been hit twice. Florida and Arizona are the only two teams that the Astros have a losing record against in game when Biggio has been plunked twice.
The Astros will be hoping for an offensive boost from the newly acquired Aubrey Huff. Huff hasn't been hit by a pitch this year, but he does have 21 career plunks, with a respectable career high of 8 in 2003. Okay, they probably didn't get him to increase the team plunk totals, but hopefully he'll help the offense out somehow, but perhaps not today since he's only batting .232 against lefties this year.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

midseason plunk report

No one in last night's All Star game managed to take one for his league, but that is in no way a reflection of how the league-wide plunk trend has been going so far this season. Batters have been getting hit at a rate of once per 99.8 plate appearances so far this season - that is very close to the 2001 mark of 1 plunk per 98.9 plate appearances and that 2001 number was the highest rate of plunking since 1901. Is it possible that this era in baseball may go down in history as the "plunktastic era"? Okay, probably not.
But, while the overall trend has been high, there don't look to be many record threateners on the team level. Baltimore is leading the league with 49 HBPs, but that projects to only 88 for the season - well short of the 100 plunk 1997 Astros, which had the highest plunk total since 1900 (the 1898 Orioles had 160). On the bottom end, the Cubs have been hit a league low 23 times. Last year's league low for the season was the Angels 29. If everyone in the league keeps their current pace, the Cubs should have the fewest HBPs in the league with 42 - which would be the highest league low since 1900. The Giants were last in the league with 40 HBPs in 2003 and the Padres had a league low of 41 in 2001.
On the pitching side, Florida and Washington lead the way with 48 hit batters, but Florida has played 4 fewer games so they project to 90 plunks on the year. That is one more than the 2005 team high, but the Red Sox and Devil Rays have both been over the 90 plunks thrown mark several times in the past 5 years. The 1899 Cleveland Spiders hit 109 opposing batters.
Last season the Atlanta Braves threw the fewest plunks in the league with 32, but this season's last place plunkers, the Twins have already hit 26 batters. They project to 49 hit batters on the season, which would be the highest total for the last place team in plunks thrown since 1899 Brooklyn Superbas. In 2003 the Marlins and Dodgers each threw a league low 40 plunks, and that was the highest league low since 1900 Cardinals hit 43.

On the individual level, Rickie Weeks of the Brewers is having an outstanding year in the getting hit by pitches department with 17 on the season. He's on pace to become the 11th player ever to be hit 30 or more times in a season, joining Don Baylor, Craig Biggio, Steve Evans, Ron Hunt, Hughie Jennings, Jason Kendall, Dan McGann, Tommy Tucker, Curt Welch and Craig Wilson. But, he has very little chance of breaking Ron Hunt's 50 plunk mark or Hughie Jennings' 51.

Dontrelle Willis has hit 13 batters so far this year, and projects to around 24 for the season. 24 would be the most plunks thrown in a season since 1906. The highest recent total was by Kerry Wood, who threw 21 plunks in 2003.

Among players who have not been hit by pitches this year, Michael Young has had the most plate appearances, with 407. He has played in every Rangers game this year, and if he continues to play every day and not get plunked he has a chance to break Sandy Alomar's record of 739 plate appearances in an unplunked season. Rafeal Furcal of the Dodgers is right behind him with 403 plate appearances and 0 HBPs.

In Cincinnati, Bronson Arroyo has compiled an 9-6 record, with 130 innings and 0 hit batters. He has a chance to become the first pitcher to win 20 games without hitting a batter since 1986 when Jack Morris won 21 with 0 plunks. It's even more remarkable coming from Arroyo who has plunked 34 batters in his last 2 seasons, including a 20 plunk year in 2003.

On the Rookie watch, Florida's Josh Willingham has accumulated 8 plunks this season in 71 games. While impressive, he would be a long shot to break the rookie record. (Tommy Tucker got 29 in the American Association - Frank Robinson has the NL rookie record with 20, while David Eckstein has the AL record with 21.)
Among Rookie Pitchers, Paul Maholm and Rickie Nolasco have hit 7 batters each. They both have an excellent shot at beating last years rookie high (10 by Scott Kazmir), but they're unlikely to get to the top recent rookie total. Rolando Arrojo had 19 in his rookie season in 1998.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

a brief history of all-star plunks

In 1998, Craig Biggio became the 28th batter ever to be plunked in the All Star Game. He was the 18th National League batter hit, and the 2nd Houston Astro plunked in an All Star Game. The pitcher who hit him, Roger Clemens, was the 28th pitcher to hit a batter in the All Star Game, the 18th American League pitcher and the only Toronto Blue Jay ever to hit a batter in the midsummer classic. There have been 76 All Star Games in all since 1933, and in those games there have been 31 different batters hit by 31 different pitcher. No player has ever been plunked twice in All Star play, and no pitcher has hit more than one batter. The only All Star Game in which two batters on the same team were hit was on July 10, 1962 when Don Drysdale hit Rich Rollins to lead off the game, and Bob Shaw hit Brooks Robinson in the 8th inning. In 1975 and 1977 a batter from each team was plunked.
19 National League batters have been hit so far to only 11 American Leaguers.
Here's the complete list:
07/06/1938Ival GoodmanReds
Johnny AllenIndians
07/09/1940Pinky MayPhilliesBob FellerIndians
07/06/1942Jimmy BrownCardinalsSpud ChandlerYankees
07/13/1943George CaseSenators (1)
Mort CooperCardinals
07/12/1949Andy SeminickPhilliesMel ParnellRed Sox
07/08/1952Stan MusialCardinalsBob LemonIndians
07/14/1953Eddie MathewsBraves (Mil)
Allie ReynoldsYankees
07/12/1955Al KalineTigers
Harvey HaddixCardinals
07/08/1958Ernie BanksCubs
Bob TurleyYankees
07/11/1960Bill MazeroskiPiratesJim CoatesYankees
07/11/1961Frank RobinsonRedsHoyt WilhelmOrioles
07/31/1961Orlando CepedaGiants
Don SchwallRed Sox
07/10/1962Rich RollinsTwins
Don DrysdaleDodgers
07/10/1962Brooks RobinsonOriolesBob ShawBraves (Mil)
07/30/1962Dick GroatPiratesDave StenhouseSenators (2)
07/09/1963Zoilo VersallesTwins
Jim O'TooleReds
07/07/1964Elston HowardYankeesTurk FarrellAstros
07/14/1964Denis MenkeAstros
Jim PerryTwins
07/13/1971Willie StargellPiratesVida BlueA's
07/15/1975Thurmon MunsonYankeesJerry ReussPirates
07/15/1975Larry BowaPhilliesRich GossageWhite Sox
07/19/1977Jerry MoralesCubs
Sparky LyleYankees
07/19/1977Ken SingletonOrioles
Rick ReuschelCubs
07/17/1979Chet LemonWhite Sox
Joaquin AndujarAstros
07/16/1985Darryl StrawberryMets
Bert BlylevenIndians
07/13/1993Cecil FielderTigers
John BurkettGiants
07/12/1994Gregg JefferiesCardinalsDavid ConeRoyals
07/07/1998Craig BiggioAstrosRoger ClemensBlue Jays
07/13/1999Cal RipkenOrioles
Kent BottenfieldCardinals
07/15/2003Edgar MartinezMariners
Jason SchmidtGiants
07/13/2004Scott RolenCardinalsMark MulderA's
Note: From 1959 to 1962, 2 All Star Games were played each year.
(1) The 1943 George Case Senators became the Twins franchise while the
(2) 1962 Dave Stenhouse Senators became the Rangers franchise.

As you can see, Craig Biggio is in a 31 way tie for first place on the all time All Star HBP list.

The Cardinals hold the all time franchise record for batters who were hit during the All Star Game with 4, followed closely by the Twins, Phillies, Orioles, and Pirates with 3 each, and the Cubs, Reds, Yankees, Tigers and Astros with 2. The Yankees hold the record for hitting the most batters in All Star play with 5, followed by the Indians with 4, and the Cardinals with 3.

If you compare the lists above with your encyclopedic knowledge of the Baseball Hall of Fame (or, look it up), you'll note that 9 batters who have been plunked in the All Star Game have been inducted to the Hall of Fame, and a 10th is a mortal lock for next season. The 9 current Hall of Famers are Stan Musial, Ernie Banks, Eddie Mathews, Al Kaline, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Willie Stargell, Orlando Cepeda and Bill Mazeroski. Cal Ripken should get in next year (and if he doesn't, I'm demanding mandatory testing of the BBWAA for performance inhibiting drugs).

While 9 batters with All Star HBPs are in the Hall, only 4 of the pitchers who have hit a batter are in - Hoyt Wilhelm, Don Drysdale, Bob Lemon and Bob Feller. But Gossage and Blyleven are still on the ballot receiving solid support, and Clemens will obviously get in if he ever actually retires. Blyleven, by the way, is the only pitcher to hit a batter in the All Star game and be traded in the same season.

22 of the 31 batters plunked in All Star play have been right handed batters, 5 were left handed and 4 were switch hitters. All 4 switch hitters were most likely batting left handed since they were all hit by right handed pitchers. 24 of the plunks thrown came out of the right hands of pitchers, and only once did a left handed pitcher hit a left handed batter. Including the switch hitters 8 right handers plunked left handed batters, and 6 left handed pitcher plunks right handed batters.

Only 10 of the 31 plunked All Stars scored a run after being plunked (Biggio did not score), and no one has been hit with the bases loaded in an All Star game. 7 plunks have come in the 1st inning, with 4 of those being leadoff plunks. The innings with the next most HBPs have been the 8th with 5 plunks, and the 2nd and 5th with 4 each. Frank Robinson had the only extra innings plunk in an All Star game in 1961 when Hoyt Wilhelm hit him in the 10th inning. Wilhelm subsequently gave up a single to Roberto Clemente which drove in Willie Mays to win the game. There has been at least 1 All Star plunk in every inning from 1 to 10.

The team that has been plunked the most has 13 wins and 12 losses (with a tie in 1961). The pitchers who have hit a batter have been awarded 3 wins, 5 losses and 1 save, with the rest not being involved in the decision. The home team has absorbed 22 of the 31 All Star plunks.

Scott Rolen is the only participant this year who has been plunked in an All Star game, and Jason Schmidt is the only player on this year's team who has thrown an All Star plunk in the past.


Monday, July 10, 2006

all star break

Craig Biggio delayed the All-Star break for a few innings with a 9th inning pinch hit sacrifice fly which tied the game, but St. Louis struck again and eventually won 7-5 in 12 innings. Biggio's sacrifice fly was the 75th of his career, but he's still 54 short of that record (but they've only been separately tracking sacrifice flies for around 50 years).
But, the All-Star break is now upon us so we'll have to wait until Thursday for Craig Biggio to resume his historic chase for the all time hit by pitch record when the Astros will be travelling to Florida to face the Marlins.
Biggio has never been plunked on July 10th, but Lance Painter hit him on July 11, 1998 and Kip Wells hit him on July 12, 2003.

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Saturday, July 08, 2006


Craig Biggio was hit by a pitch in the 7th inning by Josh Kinney today, on a 1-0 pitch with no outs. Biggio scored a run after the plunk for the first time this year, upping his career total to 96 and raising his July total to 23.

Biggio was the first hit batter of Kinney's career. Kinney is the 17th pitcher to record his first major league HBP by hitting Craig Biggio with a pitch. The others are Jim Bullinger, Salomon Torres, Juan Acevado, Jeff McCurry, Kenny Greer, Marc Valdes, Paul Fletcher, Andy Larkin, Rich Batchelor, Rob Stanifer, Wayne Gomes, Trey Moore, Mark Brownson, Allen Levrault, Lance Davis and Oscar Villareal

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weekend update

Wandy Rodriguez plunked Cardinals starter Jason Marquis with the bases loaded last night, but Marquis didn't return the favor by giving the painful free pass to any of the Astros batters. Chris Burke got hit by Jason Isringhausen, but not until the 9th inning when the game was out of hand (8-2).

Today the Astros will be facing starting pitcher Anthony Reyes and his 2 career plunks. He threw both of those 2 career plunks in his last outing July 3rd against the Braves. Chad Durbin plunked Biggio twice on July 8, 2001.

Tomorrow it will be 2005 NL Cy Young award winner Chris Carpenter pitching at the Astros. Carpenter has hit 52 batters in his career, including Craig Biggio twice. Carpenter has plunked Biggio in each of the last 2 years - on April 14, 2004 and September 3, 2005.
Jay Witasick hit Craig Biggio on July 9, 1999.


Friday, July 07, 2006

things you might not have known about July.

  • Craig Biggio has been hit by a pitch more times by left handed pitchers in July than in any other month. 13 of his 56 plunks by lefties have been in July and 29% of his 45 July HBPs have been thrown by left handers. July ranks 3rd in total plunks by month.
  • Biggio has scored more runs after reaching base on a plunk in July than any other month. 22 of his 95 runs scored off plunks have been in July, and he's scored 48% of the times he was plunked in July.
  • 79 of Biggio's 409 stolen bases have been stolen in July, more than in any other month. Also, he has 13 steals in games in July games in which he also got plunked, the most of any month in that category.
  • Biggio has been hit 7 times on Saturdays in July with an odd numbered day of the month, more than in any other month. He's only been hit 6 times on even numbered Saturdays in July.
  • Craig Biggio has had 21 hits in July on the date of a full moon. That is 6 more full moon hits than in any other month, with April and June tied for 2nd at 15 hits each.