beginnings and endings
A commenter asked this morning whether anyone has ever plunked biggio in his first game in the majors. I covered this topic last year, but this fits in nicely with what I was going to write about today, so here's an update.
Juan Acevado, Andy Larkin, and Mark Brownson are still the only 3 pitchers who hit Craig Biggio with a pitch in their first game in the majors. Now that Retrosheet has the inning summaries published, we can add that Brownson managed to plunk Biggio to lead off the game in his first pitching appearance, and is the only pitcher to do so. Acevado waited until the 4th inning to plunk Biggio, and Larkin threw his first HBP in the 5th.
But Brownson, after plunking the first batter he ever faced, in the person of Biggio, went on to appear in only 10 more games in his career - 11 in all. The only pitcher who hit Biggio with a pitch to appear in fewer career games was Kenny Greer. Greer pitched in only 1 game following his July 15, 1995 plunking of Biggio. Only 1 pitcher hit Biggio with a pitch closer to his exit from the league, and that was Scott Ruffcorn, who did it in his final game in the majors, on August 17, 1997.
Ruffcorn still managed to hit another batter for in his career finale. He entered his final game in the 4th and plunked Biggio to lead off the inning. Derek Bell drove in Biggio with a double, but Ruffcorn otherwise survived the inning. In the 5th inning, he plunked Astros pitcher Ramon Garcia, threw a wild pitch, and walked Biggio as his final act as a major league pitcher. If you check out the inning summary on retrosheet for the 5th inning, it indicates that Chuck Carr "tripled to second". It's probably a bad sign for a pitcher when his team finds a way to give up a triple to second base.
Aside from Ruffcorn and Greer, 12 pitchers have exited the majors less than 10 appearances after plunking Biggio (not including Josh Kinney who is active, and has pitched 6 times since hitting Biggio with a pitch last month). Stan Spencer pitched 2 games after hitting Biggio on June 9, 2000, and Anthony Telford pitched 3 more games after his June 29, 2002 drilling of Biggio. Orel Hershiser only pitched 4 games after plunking Biggio twice in 2000, and that's tied with Paul Fletcher's total post plunk appearances in 1995. Todd Ritchie(5), Rocky Biddle(6), Lance Davis(6), John Hope(7), Steve Bourgeois(8), Rick Ankiel(8) and Leo Estralla(9) round out the list, though it's always possible some of those players may return to pitch again.