Thursday, August 31, 2006

batting orders

The Astros have gone through dozens of batting orders this season trying to find a combination that will generate some offense, and Craig Biggio has been moved around from the 1st and 2nd spot in the order, to the 6th last week, and now the 3rd spot. He's been hit 8 times this season, in 8 different games with 8 different starting batting orders, not including the pitchers. Biggio's 281 career plunks have been recorded in 261 games with 226 different starting batting orders - 253 including the different pitchers.

The batting order that's gotten Biggio plunked the most times was as follows:
1. Craig Biggio
2. Julio Lugo
3. Jeff Bagwell
4. Lance Berkman
5. Moises Alou
6. Richard Hidalgo
7. Vinny Castilla
8. Brad Ausmus

Biggio was hit 10 times with that order batting behind him between June 6, 2001 and October 6, 2001. Roy Oswalt was the 9th batter for 5 of those games, making the Biggio, Lugo, Bagwell, Berkman, Alou, Hidalgo, Castilla, Ausmus, Oswalt lineup the most productive in terms of Biggio's HBPs, when pitchers are included. Biggio was hit 2 other times in 2001 with those same top 8 batters in slightly different orders, so that group holds the record for Biggio plunks for a starting lineup, regardless of batting order, with 12.

No other particular batting order has produced more than 4 plunks, but 3 different orders had that many. In 2003 the Biggio, Ensberg, Bagwell, Kent, Berkman, Hidalgo, Ausmus, Everett lineup stayed together for 4 plunks; in 1998 the Biggio, Gutierrez, Bell, Bagwell, Alou, Carl Everett, Berry and Ausmus lineup saw 4 of Biggio's HBPs, and last season the batting order of Willy tapers, Biggio, Berkman, Ensberg, Lane, Everett, Burke, Adam Everett and Ausmus got the benefit of Biggio's HBPs 4 times.
But, Biggio was hit 4 other times with those same players from the 2003 lineup in slightly different batting orders, so that crew holds second place for most Biggio plunks by a lineup, regardless of batting order, with 8.

The Astros used 29 different batting orders (excluding pitchers) in games when Biggio was plunked in 1997, when he set his career high with 34 plunk. The fewest batting orders used in plunk games occurred in 1991 when Biggio was hit just twice, as part of 2 different batting orders. This season's 8 plunk with 8 different batting orders would be the most plunk without having 2 recorded with the same batting order for Biggio, breaking his previous mark of 6 plunk with 6 batting orders in 1989.

(edit - this post had been attacked by a rogue spell checker)

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