Thursday, August 17, 2006

Astros travel to Milwaukee

Well, it may have seemed like a good idea to the Astros to agree to let the Cubs, whose pitching staff was exhausted, pick some random guy off the street to start the game. Just the Astros luck, the Cubs picked someone named Ryan O'Malley, and he shut out the Astros. Okay, they might have just called him up from triple-A.
Craig Biggio had a pinch hit single in the 8th inning, but he didn't have an opportunity to hit by any pitches.

Tonight the Astros will be guests at Miller Park in Milwaukee, where they will face one time offender Ben Sheets. Sheets commited his plunking of Craig Biggio on June 29, 2001. The Brewers haven't plunked Biggio since April 21st last season when Matt Wise hit him with the bases loaded.

Craig Biggio has been hit by a pitch three times on August 17th, but only by the Phillies. Wayne Gomes and Scott Ruffcorn both plunked Biggio on August 17, 1997 for the Phillies, and Randy Wolf did it on August 17, 2004.

In vaguely related news, Scott Feldman of the Rangers, who plunked Biggio on July 2nd , bounced a pitch off Adam Kennedy's butt in Arlington last night. Kennedy took offense to this (possibly because of the assorted plunks traded in the prior inning and prior game) and decided that instead of taking his base and giving his team a chance to put together a 2-out rally, he'd rather run toward the mound, exchange awkward arm swinging motions with Scott Feldman, and be tackled by a large number of men. This is a questionable choice for a number of reasons. It was Kennedy's 55th career HBP, and he was probably frustrated with his lack of progress toward the all time record, but that's still no reason to take it out on Scott Feldman.
Of course, when you get the Rangers and Angels together, you can spell "anger" twice.

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At 8/17/2006 08:49:00 AM, Anonymous DM said...

Taking my first tentative foray into the realm of pbr, I note that, if all 280 of those HPB plate appearances had instead been outs, Biggio's career batting average would be only .277 instead of the more robust .284 we see today. A not insignificant change.

At 8/17/2006 09:40:00 AM, Blogger Tom said...

Excellent observation. Also, point of order: You refer to Ben Sheets as a "one time offender," but, in light of the record chase, wouldn't any pitcher to hit Biggio with a pitch be a supporter? Unless the concensus is Sheets should have plunked him more than once, in which case, we can be offended...


At 8/17/2006 10:03:00 AM, Blogger pbr said...

Nice work dm. And you're right tom, I frequently flip-flop regarding whether pitchers who hit Biggio with a pitch are heros, villains, or just helpless witnesses to brilliance. I think probably helpless witnesses to brilliance is the most accurate.

But, there's only so many ways to say the guy pitching today is on the list of 211 guys who have hit Biggio with a pitch, and I think I've already used them all, so I have to change things up once in a while to keep it interesting for those of you who actually read this every day.

At 8/17/2006 09:23:00 PM, Blogger Laurence said...

281 in the fifth with Willie on first and 1 out.


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