Saturday, September 30, 2006

282 in the books, but win streak ended

Chuck James became the 57th left hander to plunk Biggio last night. He also became the first pitcher to plunk Biggio as the leadoff batter of the second inning since Danny Jackson, on June 27, 1995. Plunk 282 was also the first time Biggio was plunked while he was batting 6th in the batting order, which means the only batting order slot he has never been plunked while batting in is the 4th. His first HBP as the number 9 hitter came on plunk 275 this season, in a pinch-hit-by-pitch appearance.
But, despite Biggio's HBP and a later home run, the Astros win streak was ended with a 4-1 loss - the 47th game of Biggio's career in which he scored all the Astros runs. It was only the 4th time he got hit by a pitch and also scored all the Astros runs.

Despite the loss last night, the Astros are still alive in the division race. Tonight they'll be facing Atlanta starter Lance Cormier, who has never plunked Biggio. Cormier has 9 carer hit-batters in 193 innings pitcher. Biggio has never been hit by a pitch on September 30th.

Tomorrow the Astros face Braves veteran John Smoltz. Smoltz is sitting on 49 career hit-batters, so he could be waiting for Biggio to come along to throw number 50. Smoltz plunked Biggio on July 27, 1992, so if he does it again on Sunday it will be the longest gap for any pitcher between to plunkings of Biggio. Salomon Torres currently holds the record, for plunking Biggio on September 21, 1993, and not again until May 12, 2003. Biggio has never been plunked on October 1st.

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Friday, September 29, 2006


Chuck James becomes the 212th pitcher to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch on the first pitch of the second inning. James is the first Chuck to chuck one that hit Biggio.

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letters (not mail)

As unlikely as it may sound, you might one day be on Wheel of Fortune, and it's possible that the category will be "Pitchers who hit Craig Biggio with a pitch". Then you'll be glad you read this. Otherwise... well... at least it's something to read that isn't about some "fancy football player".

The most commonly used letter in the spelling of the names of pitcher who have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch is E. 239 Es go into the spelling of the first and last names of the 211 pitchers who have plunked Biggio. Next behind them is the letter A with 223, and the letter R with 210. 151 of the 211 pitchers in the group have at least one E and 151 have at least one A, but only 102 have both an A and an E. 144 pitcher who have plunked Biggio have an R in there name, and 128 have an N.

No pitcher with the same letter repeated more than 4 times in their first and last name has ever plunked Biggio, and Biggio has never been hit by a pitcher with as many Gs in his name as there are in "Craig Biggio". He has been hit by 4 pitchers with as many uses of the letter 'I' in his name as there are in Craig Biggio, but never by a pitcher with 4 I. (Pitchers with glasses are another story).

X and Q are the most infrequently used letters in the names of pitchers who have hit Biggio with a pitch. Only Greg Maddux and Xavier Hernandez have use X, and only Joaquin Benoit and Jason Marquis have a Q.

Garrett Stephenson has the most total letters among plunkers of Biggio, but Kyle Farnsworth's name has the most different letters (13). Jamey Wright has the longest name in the group that doesn't use any letter more than once (11 letters), and Bill Pulsipher is the only pitcher to throw one of Biggio's 281 HBPs to use the letters H, B and P in his name.

As far as Wheel of Fortune strategy goes, be sure to start with R and N - but if there are no Rs, go with S - among pitchers who don't have an R in their name, S is the most commonly used consonant. 70% of pitchers who plunked Biggio who don't have an R in their name have an S but only 66% without an R have an N.

Here's a handy chart of letter usage in the names of pitchers who have plunked Biggio:

with at
least 1
Most for
1 pitcher
Avg. per

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9 in a row

The Astros have given up losing. They're just not doing it anymore. They've lost plenty of games this year, and they seem to have gotten together as a team and simply decided that losing is no longer something they do. This is great and all, but if the outcomes of the games are no longer in question, how about do something to make it all a little more interesting - less predictable. Like maybe try to see who can get hit by the most pitches? You know, just something to put some kind of challenge back into baseball, since losing no longer seems to be in question.
Craig Biggio didn't play yesterday, in the Astros 9th straight win (3-0 over Pittsburgh), but he should be back in the lineup tonight against the Braves. Chuck James is on the Braves schedule to pitch tonight. He's hit 5 batters this season, but hasn't faced Craig Biggio yet in his short career. The Braves have plunked Biggio fewer times than any National League team with just 7, but they could catch up to the Diamondbacks if they hit him twice this weekend. That seems pretty unlikely - but then, so does winning 9 in a row and coming back from 8.5 games back in September.

Andy Larkin plunked Biggio on September 29, 1996, and Kerry Wood did so on September 29, 2001, and they both did it in the 5th inning. Could there be a continuation of a 5 year cycle of fifth inning plunks tonight?

The Cardinals are at Milwaukee with Jeff Weaver (7-14) scheduled to match up against Chris Capuano (11-11).

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

things you wanted to know about extra innings

Craig Biggio didn't get hit by a pitch in last night's 15 inning contest at Pittsburgh, but if he had, it would have only been the second longest game he'd ever been plunked during. The longest game in which Craig Biggio was plunked was against the Cubs on May 31, 2003. Biggio was hit by Carlos Zambrano in the 7th inning, but the Astros were held scoreless through 16 innings before losing 1-0 in the bottom of the 16th.
Through last season, Biggio had played in 272 games that went to extra innings, and he got hit by a pitch in 27 of those games. But, he only got hit by a pitch after the 9th inning in 6 of those extra inning games. In those 272 extra inning contests the Astros won 131 and lost 141. Their record is slightly worse in the extra inning games in which Biggio was hit by a pitch, at 11-17. In the six games he got hit in extra innings, they won 3 and lost 3, but only 1 of those 6 was a home game (they won that one).
Perhaps most interestingly, 3 of the 6 pitchers who have plunked Biggio in extra innings were named Tim - Tim Birtsas, Tim Fortugno, and Tim Scott. And, only 1 Tim - Tim Worrell - ever plunked Biggio in a non-extra inning. (Maybe, to help Biggio get a few more extra-innings HBPs, instead of calling it extra-innings, it could be "overTim")

Biggio was hit in an extra inning twice at Riverfront Stadium (by Tims), but has not been hit later than the 9th inning more than once at any other park. He was hit a total of 3 times at Riverfront Stadium in games that went into extra innings. Only the Astrodome hosted more extra-inning games in which Biggio was plunked, with 8.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006


It took 15 innings, but the Astros won their 8th straight game last night 7-6, and though it wasn't exactly according to plan, Craig Biggio scored the winning run. Biggio's sacrifice bunt to move Eric Bruntlett to second base didn't quite work out, and turned into a fielders choice with Biggio no first with one out instead of Bruntlett at second with 1 out. But, a Palmeiro single and an Ausmus sacrifice fly got the job done anyway.
The St. Louis Cardinals broke their losing streak last night, keeping the Astros a game and a half back - even thought the Cardinals only won one game, and the Astros won what was obviously a game and two thirds. Even if this astonishing run by the Astros doesn't result in a trip to the playoffs, you'd have to hope the team can find some way to bottle, can, freeze dry, vacuum pack, ziploc, tupperware, or cryogenicly freeze just a little bit of what they've had for these eight games to use it again next season - maybe a little earlier and more often.

The Astros and Pirates will go back at it around noon today, with Tom Gorzelanny on the mound for the Pirates. Craig Biggio has never been plunked by Gorzelanny or anyone else with both a z and a y in his last name. Gorzelanny has faced 271 batters in his career, and plunked 3 of them. Biggio has never been plunked on September 27th.


Craig Biggio has been sent to first base after a plunk 281 times, and he has stolen 420 bases in his career. Of those 420 steals, 20 were recorded after reaching base on an HBP. Biggio has been caught stealing 6 times after reaching on plunks making his stolen base success rate after plunks 77.0% - marginally lower than his 77.4% success rate on non-plunk related stolen base attempts.
Biggio has been part of successful double steals 5 different times after reaching on plunks, and has stolen both second and third base after a plunk twice. On August 17, 1997, Biggio stole second and third base after being plunked by Scott Ruffcorn in the 4th inning, and stole third again in the 7th inning after Wayne Gomes plunked him, for 3 steals off plunks in the game. Biggio has only had 4 steals in a game one time, and he didn't get plunked in that game.
Of the 18 times Biggio has stolen at least one base after being plunked, he's scored a run after 10 of them. He scored after 1 of the 2 times he stole 2 bases after being plunked.


3 RBI, no HBP

Craig Biggio collected his 2,927th base hit last night, and drove in 3 runs during the Astros 7-4 win. However, the ellusive plunk number 282 was nowhere to be found, despite 13 pitches thrown in Biggio's direction.
Tonight the Pirates will let 3-time Biggio plunker Shawn Chacon start the game. Chacon hasn't plunked Biggio since April 10, 2002, but he pitched for Colorado back then, so it may have been the thin air that made him do it. Chacon also plunked Biggio on June 7th and 19th of 2001.
Biggio has never been plunked on September 27th.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Craig Biggio has been hit by 281 pitches, but only 17 of them were thrown by pitchers born in US State Capitals. Pitchers born in Oklahoma City lead all other state capitals with Jamey Wright and Jeff Suppan's 5 combined plunks of Biggio. Both were born in the Oklahoma capital.
Montgomery Alabama, Atlanta Georgia, and Honolulu Hawaii have each produced two plunks. Chris Hammond plunked Biggio twice and was born in Atlanta. Honolulu was where Sid Fernandez and Ron Darling were both brought into the world, and each of them threw one of Biggio's first 10 plunks. Brian Meadows and Dave Veres each plunked Biggio after having been born in Montgomery Alabama.
The six other state capitals that have produced a pitcher who plunked Biggio had one HBP each:
Scott Rufcorn from Austin, Texas
Robert Ellis from Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Kenny Greer from Boston, Massachusetts
Bob Tewksbury from Concord, New Hampshire
Chad Bradford from Jackson, Mississippi
and Scott Bankhead from Raleigh, North Carolina.

Craig Biggio also has been hit 6 times by 4 pitchers born in capitals of foreign countries, and once by a pitcher born in a city that was a foreign capital at the time, but is no longer the capital of it's current country. Jeff McCurry was born in Tokyo and plunked Biggio twice. Miguel Batista also hit Biggio with a pitch twice, and was born in Santo Domingo. Jorge Julio from Caracas, and Rolando Arrojo from Havana each plunked Biggio one time, as did Danny Graves, who was born in Saigon South Vietnam in 1973.

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comeback rolls on

Ryan Madson had 7 pitches to plunk Biggio in Biggio's pinch-hitting appearance last night, but he couldn't get the job done. Perhaps it was that disappointment that caused the rest of the Phillies to lose confidence and lose to the Astros 5-4. The Astros have won 6 straight games while the division leading Cardinals lost their 6th in a row last night, 5-4 to the Padres. The Astros are now 2.5 games out of the division lead.

Tonight the Astros will be in Pittsburgh to face Ian Snell and the Pirates. Snell has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch and only hits batters with one out of every 1,277 pitchers. He has hit just 3 batters in his career, and Craig Biggio has never been plunked on September 26th.

Monday, September 25, 2006

career highs

Of the 8 pitchers who have hit Craig Biggio with a pitch this season, 4 of them - Juan Cruz, Jason Marquis, Scott Feldman and Josh Kinney - have hit more batters this season than in any prior year, establishing new career highs for themselves in hit batters. In all, 162 of Biggio's 281 career plunks were thrown by a pitcher who set a career high in that season. Those 162 plunks were thrown by 133 different pitchers, and 14 of those 133 set personal bests in two different seasons in which they plunks Biggio. Kerry Wood, for example, hit 11 batters in 1998, including Biggio, which was a career high at the time, but in 2002 he hit 16 batters, including Biggio, establishing a new career high.
Of the 133 pitchers who have set at least one career high in a season in which they plunked Biggio, 19 of them, including Kinney and Feldman this year, had never hit a batter in a prior season.
Of the 23 pitchers who plunked Biggio more than once in a season, 15 of them did so in a season in which they broke their career high. However, the only player to plunk Biggio 3 times in a season did not have a career high that year. Jason Jennings plunked Biggio 3 times last year, but only 2 other batters, for a total of 5. His career high was 8 in 2002.

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What's that? A pennant race?

As you may recall, last Monday morning, the Astros were 8.5 games behind the Cardinals and in third place in the NL Central, and Craig Biggio had just gotten one hit in his last thirty-something at-bats. Today the Astros are 3.5 games behind the struggling Cardinals, they've won 5 straight, and Biggio is 9 for his last 32. While the past week has seen a return of signs of life in Biggio's bat and the Astro's playoff hopes, Biggio didn't get hit by any pitches. Surely that would have been the most clear indication of good things to come, but it might still be possible to put a possitive cap on the season without being hit by more pitches. Both would be better.

Today the Astros travel back to Philadelphia to make up 1 game before moving on to Pittsburgh. Randy Wolf is the Phillies scheduled starter for today, and he plunked Biggio on August 17, 2004, and is still the most recent Philly to do so.

Today is also the anniversary of the HBP which Craig Biggio mentioned most often last season when people asked him the odd question "do you have a most memorable plunk?". Jeremi Gonzalez put a fastball into Biggio's face on September 25, 1997. He talks about it part way through this article, which he wrote last year. He doesn't mention that he got hit in the face in the 5th inning, but continued to play out the game, walking twice, stealing two bases and scoring two runs. (I suspect that he didn't feel it at all after already taking 33 plunks that season.)


Saturday, September 23, 2006


Craig Biggio didn't get hit by a pitch last night, but he did go 3 for 5 with a double, and 3 RBI including a bottom of the 9th, game winning, walk-off RBI single. That was Biggio's 15th career walkoff RBI. In Biggio's post-game interview he mentioned that the Cardinals losing pitcher Braeden Looper nearly broke his forearm last year - that was plunk #257 on April 13, 2005 at Shea Stadium. Looper is the 3rd pitcher to give up a walk-off RBI to Biggio having already plunked him in his career. The other two pitchers to do so - Jeff Brantley and Pedro Astacio both plunked Biggio again sometime after giving up a walkoff hit to him - although in Astacio's case, he plunked Biggio 3 times before and 4 times after. The only other pitcher to both plunk Biggio and give up a walkoff was Jose Jimenez. He only got around to throwing Biggio an HBP after he lost a game on a Biggio walk-off, but he did them both in the same season. That walk-off against Jimenez was the most recent before last night.

Today the Cardinals are expected to throw Anthony Reyes at the Astros. Carlos Reyes and Al Reyes have plunked Biggio, but Anthony Reyes has not. Anthony Reyes has hit 7 batters in his career - all this season.

Sunday, Jeff Weaver will take the mound for the Cardinals. Weaver hit Biggio with a pitch on August 28, 2005 but Umpire Doug Eddings decided it didn't count because it didn't meet the requirements for "degree of difficulty" or something. Weaver has thrown 109 plunks that actually did count in his career, but only 9 - a career low - this season.

Biggio has never been plunked on September 23rd, but on September 24, 1997, Mark Clark threw plunk number 118.


Friday, September 22, 2006

another plunk record

Sometime last night, a National League batter recorded the 981st HBP of the season. That broke the single season record for most HBPs in the National League. Last year's 980 HBPs had been the most ever in the NL, but there is plenty of time this year for NL batters to reach 1000 total plunks.

The American League batters, on the other hand, have only been hit 744 times this season. They'll need to get hit another 73 times by the end of the season to reach last year's total of 817. It looks like the AL batters will have their lowest total HBPs since the 2000 season.

Combined, the two leagues will need to get hit another 73 times to reach last years total of 1797.


Biggio unplunked, Carpenter lanced

Chris Carpenter threw 15 pitches at Craig Biggio, and didn't hit him with any of them last night. That may have been exactly according to his plan for dealing with Biggio, but Carpenter needed a better plan against Lance Berkman who hit two 2-run homers off the Cards starter. Berkman's second homer put the Astros ahead for their 6-5 win.

Jason Marquis pitches for the Cardinals tonight, and he hit Biggio with a pitch on May 29th of this year. Marquis has hit a career high 15 batters this season - he'd never hit more than 10 batters in a season before 2006.

Gabe White plunked Biggio on September 22, 1997.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

vaguely defined records

In June of 2005, when Craig Biggio collected his 267th and 268th HBPs and passed Don Baylor for third place on the all time list, many media outlets incorrectly hailed Biggio for breaking the "all-time" record. Some got it more correct, with the claim that he broke the vaguely defined "modern" record, and a few got closer to the point by calling 268 plunks the new "post-1900" record.
A more precise definition for what Biggio broke with plunk 268 would have been the Post-1893 HBP record. From 1894 to today, Hughie Jennings recorded 265 plunks, so Baylor broke Jennings' post-1893 record in 1988 with his 266th plunk, and Biggio broke Baylor's post-1893 record with his 268th. Biggio then broke the post-1892 record with his 270th HBP (Jennings had 269 from 1893 on), and Biggio broke the post-1891 record when he got hit for the 279th time. Jennings' first 9 plunks were recorded in 1891 so the post-1890 record is the same as the all time record.

Looking at a more recent definition of what you might want to call "modern", Biggio still holds a slim lead on the Post-2000 record. From the beginning of the 2001 season through yesterday's games, Biggio had 112 HBPs, just ahead of Jason Kendall's 104 and David Eckstein's 103. Biggio still holds the lead for most plunks since [insert year here] for every year you want to insert there from 1892 to 2002. From the 2003 season on, Jason Kendall has 75 HBPs to Biggio's 67, and Kendall is on the verge of taking the post-1997 and the post-2001 plunk titles away from Biggio as well. From 1998 to right now, Biggio and Kendall were both hit by 162 pitches, and from the beginning of 2002 to today, they are tied at 84 HBPs.

Here are the top 3 in HBPs since the beginning of each of the last 11 seasons:

Post-1995 plunks (1996 through today)
Craig Biggio - 223
Jason Kendall - 208
Carlos Delgado - 146

Post-1996 plunks (1997 through today)
Craig Biggio - 196
Jason Kendall - 193
Carlos Delgado - 137

Post-1997 plunks (1998 through today)
Craig Biggio - 162
Jason Kendall - 162
Carlos Delgado - 129

Post-1998 plunks (1999 through today)
Craig Biggio - 139
Jason Kendall - 131
Carlos Delgado - 118

Post-1999 plunks (2000 through today)
Craig Biggio - 128
Jason Kendall - 119
Carlos Delgado - 103
David Eckstein - 103

Post-2000 plunks (2001 through today)
Craig Biggio - 112
Jason Kendall - 104
David Eckstein - 103

Post-2001 plunks (2002 through today)
Craig Biggio - 84
Jason Kendall - 84
Craig Wilson - 80

Post-2002 plunks (2003 through today)
Jason Kendall - 75
Reed Johnson - 69
Craig Biggio - 67

Post-2003 plunks (2004 through today)
Jason Kendall - 50
Reed Johnson - 49
Aaron Rowand - 49

Post-2004 plunks (2005 + 2006 season)
Aaron Rowand - 39
Reed Johnson - 37
Jason Giambi - 35

Post-2005 plunks (2006 season)
Reed Johnson - 21
Rickie Weeks - 19
Aaron Rowand - 18
(click here for complete 2006 plunk leaders)

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Carpenter and Cardinals

Craig Biggio didn't get hit by a pitch yesterday, but he did hit his 20th home run of the season. But, he's still 476 homers away from tying Hank Aaron, and still 6 plunks away from tying Hughie Jennings.
Tonight the St. Louis Cardinals visit, and they'll be bringing Chris Carpenter to pitch for them. Carpenter hit Biggio with a pitch on April 14, 2004, and again on September 3, 2005. Carpenter has a good chance of winning another Cy Young award this season, and if he were to hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, that might just be the final lift he needs with the voters to solidify his candidacy. Carpenter could join Greg Maddux, and become the 2nd pitcher to plunk Biggio and win the Cy Young award in 2 consecutive years. Pedro Martinez is the only other pitcher to win the Cy in the same year he plunked Biggio.

Salomon Torres recorded his first career hit batter on September 21, 1993 by plunking Craig Biggio.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

plunkless streaks

Last night's game was the 24th consecutive game in which Craig Biggio played but did not get hit by a pitch. The current streak is the 3rd this season longer than 20 games. He went 27 games without a plunk between April 28th and May 29th, and he went 24 games without being hit between May 29th and July 2nd.
The last time Biggio had 3 different 20+ game plunkless streaks in the same season (not including those that spanned 2 seasons) was 1994 when he had a 23, 21 and 35 game plunkless streak.
The average number of plunkless games between games in which Biggio was hit is 8.6, but that includes 60 occasions when there were no games in between games he was hit - 20 games in which he was hit twice, and 40 instances of plunks in back to back games (including 3 different 3 game plunk streaks). Because of those games, the median number of games between plunks is just 4. Over 50% of Biggio's plunks have come within 5 games of the previous plunk, and nearly 60% have been within 6 games. 74% have come 10 games or less after the previous plunk, but he's still had 37 gaps of 20 games or more in between games in which he's had an HBP.


last chance to see the Reds.

21 pitches flew Craig Biggio's way last night, but none of them hit him, and another close game slipped away from the Astros, 5-4.
Today, Bronson Arroyo will be throwing for the Reds. Arroyo plunked Biggio on April 7, 2001, and has hit 3 batters this season (including Adam Everett).

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

dodgers (not just Dodgers)

In the opposite dugout from Craig Biggio tonight, in a Reds uniform, is the anti-Biggio. Juan Castro of the Reds has played in 860 career games, and has stepped to the plate 2,275 times, but has never been hit by a pitch. His 2,275 plate appearances puts him 4th on the all time list (behind Mark Lemke, Bill Bergen, and Mickey Witek) and 1st among active players for most plate appearances in a career with 0 HBPs. The next closest unplunked player to Castro is Curt Schilling who has had only 899 career plate appearances. Chone Figgins, Coco Crisp, and Nick Punto would have been on that list between Schilling and Castro, but all three were plunked for the first time this year.
860 career games without being plunked makes Castro 2nd among active players in that category, and 21 all time, but it's mostly pitchers ahead of him no that list. The fewest times Craig Biggio has been plunked in any 860 consecutive games was 31 times (in the first 860 games of his career). Biggio's been hit 105 times in his last 860 games, and he's been hit 227 times since Juan Castro's first major league game.

This season, Rafael Furcal - of the Dodgers - leads the league in plate appearances among players with 0 HBPs with 684 in 148 games. With 12 games left, he needs to average 4.67 plate appearances per game (and not get plunked) to break Sandy Alomar's all time record for dodging. Alomar went unplunked for the 1971 season, with 739 plate appearances, the most in an unplunked season since people started counting.


talk like the pirates

As you may know, September 19th is International Talk Like the Pirates Day, when people around the world are encouraged to spend the day talking like the Pittsburgh Pirates. Last season, the Pirates were visiting the Astros on Talk Like the Pirates Day, which was the Astros misfortune, since the Pittsburgh squad rallied on their holiday and won 7-0. This year the Astros get the Reds on talk like the Pirates day, and the Astros hope they'll play more like the 63-87 Pirates instead of just talking like them.
Regardless of who he chooses to talk like, Aaron Harang is scheduled to pitch for the Reds tonight. He's hit 7 batters this season but never plunked Craig Biggio. Matt Morris is the only pitcher who has plunked Biggio on September 19th, in 2003 for the Cardinals.


Monday, September 18, 2006

like night and day

From 1988 to 2005, 8,093 batters were hit by pitches in day games in the Major Leagues, and 16,391 batters were hit by pitches in night games. But, there were 27,421 night games compared to only 12,952 day games, which means that while 67.9% of major league games were played at night, only 66.9% of plunks were recorded at night. The rate of plunks per plate appearance has been 4% higher during day games than night games, with an average of 8.1 plunks per 1000 plate appearances in the day games and 7.8 plunks per 1000 plate appearances in night games.

Over that same time span (through last season) Craig Biggio was hit by pitches 29% more frequently in day games than in night games. Biggio's averages were 28.8 plunks per 1000 plate appearances during the day, and 22.3 plunks per 1000 plate appearances in night games. This season, he's been hit 4 times during the day and 4 at night bringing his career totals to 94 day game plunks and 187 night game plunks. In 2006, he's been hit just once per 114.5 plate appearances in night games - about 3 times less frequently than his career average. In day games though, he's been hit 4 times in just 95 plate appearances - up 46% from his prior career average. Clearly this illustrates a major flaw in the Astros managerial strategy in 2006 - by resting Biggio during day games this season they've taken away his most plunk-productive plate appearances. Prior to this season he averaged 173 plate appearances per year in day games, but this year he's only had 95.

Another conclusion you might have drawn from Biggio's increased rate of being plunked in day games vs night games is that it might explain why Biggio's most plunk-productive days of the week are Saturday and Sunday, since there are more day games on the weekend than during the week. But, the stats don't quite show that. Saturday games have seen Biggio get hit 32 times at night and 19 during the day (through '05). Looking at night games alone, Biggio's plunks per 1000 plate appearances are still higher on Saturday than any day of the week. Day games on Sundays have been good for plunk progress, but among day games alone, Sunday's are the second least productive in terms of plunks per 1000 plate appearance - second only to Friday. Biggio has never been hit by a pitch during a day game on a Friday (88 plate appearances).

Craig Biggio's HBPs and plunks per 1000 plate appearances split by day of the week, and day vs night (through 2005):


HBPper 1000 PA
HBPper 1000 PA
HBPper 1000 PA

Monday - now with more Reds.

Craig Biggio finally snapped his hitless streak yesterday but that was hardly consolation for 3 straight losses to the Phillies. The Astros have dropped 6.5 games out of the wildcard with only 14 games left in the season.
Tonight the Cincinnati Reds take the field against the Astros and they'll hand the ball to Kyle Lohse. Lohse has hit 44 batters in his career and 6 this season, but he hasn't hit any since being traded to the National League. Lohse has only hit 6 National League batters. None the batter he's hit were Astros but 2 played for the Reds. If Lohse could find a way to hit a Reds batter today, that would be some kind of record.

Jose Jimenez plunked Biggio on September 18, 2003.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Phillies weekend notes

The Astros lost last night, and nobody hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. This afternoon the Phillies are expected to give Cole Hamels some baseballs to throw at the Astros. Hamels is a rookie and has only hit 2 batters in 112 innings of throwing this season. Biggio has been hit once on September 16th, in 2003 by Chin-hui Tsao.

Tomorrow, Randy Wolf gets another shot at the Astros. He plunked Chris Burke and got a no decision when he faced the Astros earlier this month, and he hit Biggio with a pitch on August 17, 2004. Jason Schmidt hit Biggio with a pitch on September 17, 1997.

Friday, September 15, 2006

how to win the wild card

Since MLB adopted the current Wild Card playoff format in 1995, there have been 11 post seasons, and 22 wild card winners. Of those 22, 10 of those teams finished in the top ten in the Majors in the category of getting hit by pitches. 6 finished between 11 and 20 and 6 finished in the bottom 10, but no wild card winner has ever finished last in the major leagues in getting plunked. The wild card teams have averaged 56 regular season plunks, and have an average finish of 14th in MLB plunk standings. The 2001 Oakland A's were hit the most times for a wild card winner, with 88 that year, but they finished 2nd in the plunk standings. The 2003 Angels were the only team to lead the league in getting hit AND win the wild card.
Division winners, on the other hand, have averaged only 55 plunks during the wild card era, and have finished around 15th on average. Of the 66 division winners in the past 11 seasons (since the wild card came in), 20 have finished in the top 10 in getting hit, 28 have finished between 11th and 20th, and 18 have been in the bottom 10. The NL Central is the only division to have been won in that span by a major league plunk champion - the Astros did both in 1997 and 2001 and the Cardinals did it in 2000.
There are 2 conclusions to be drawn from this. One is that being hit by a lot of pitches shows the kind of toughness and hustle a playoff team needs, but the division winners are more likely to wrap up their playoff spot earlier and slide back to the middle of the plunk standings, while the wild card winners have to scrap it out to the end, and therefor finish more often near the top of the HBP charts.
The other conclusion, though much more counterintuitive, is that there is no real connection between HBPs and making the playoffs, and these distributions are just a result of randomness. You be the judge.

Phillies at Houston

The Astros go back to work today, with the Philadelphia Phillies visiting Houston, and Brett Myers expected to be on the mound for them. Brett Myers has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, but he hits about 1 batter for every 101.6 he faces. He had a career high of 11 last year, but has only hit 3 batters in 2006. That just means he has a lot of ground to make up in these final weeks, right?
Craig Biggio should be back in the lineup tonight after his brief vacation. Hopefully the familiar sights and the friendly crowd at Minute Maid Park will allow him to snap out of both his hitless streak as well as his plunkless streak.

Mark Thompson plunked Biggio on September 15, 1996.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


As you may have heard, Craig Biggio is in the midst of an 0 for 20 batting slump stretching back to September 3rd. His last hit came in his final at-bat on September 2nd against the Mets. This is the 5th time in his career he's had 20 or more consecutive at-bats without a hit, and it will come as no surprise to readers of this sight that during the spans of those 5 hitless streaks, he was only hit by a pitch once. Biggio went 0 for 20 from the 1st inning of the game on May 2, 2002 to the 9th inning on May 9, 2002 when he singled against the Phillies. He was plunked during that streak on May 4th by Jeff D'Amico.
Clearly, getting plunked prevents hitless streaks from going longer than 20 games. Biggio's longest hitless streak was an 0-27 slump from September 19, 2002 to the 8th inning on September 28, 2002. He's had two 0-23 hitless streaks, but the first one spanned an offseason - from September 25, 1998 to April 10, 1999. Spanning two season makes streaks seem - less streaky? The other 0-23 stretch ran from the 5th inning on September 19, 2004 to the 2nd inning on September 27, 2004. You may have noticed by now that 4 of Biggio's 5 hitless streaks of 20 or more ABs have occured in September, and those are the same 4 (including the current one) in which he did not get hit by a pitch - by no coincidence, September is also the month in which Biggio has his worst career batting average (.255), and the fewest plunks of any full month of play (34).
Clearly the HBP is the key to Biggio's offense, and opposing pitchers have been keying on this and refusing to throw him anything he can get hit by. As a result, the hitless streak follows the get-hitless streak.


last off day

Craig Biggio got the day off again yesterday and the rest of the Astros had plenty of offense to take the 5-1 win in St. Louis. Today is the last off day of the Astros season and the team will no doubt be planning a suitable welcome for the Phillies on Friday. With the Astros sitting around instead of playing baseball, the closest thing you'll find in today's baseball action that's related to Craig Biggio getting hit by a pitch is former Biggio plunker Aaron Cook starting for Colorado. He is the only scheduled starter for today who has plunked Biggio.

Did you know that Danny Haren is the only pitcher to plunk Biggio on September 14th, having done so at Minute Maid Park in 2003?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Barring a miraculous 7 plunks in the last weeks of this season, Craig Biggio will finish the 2006 season without passing anyone on the all time HBP list. This will be the first season he hasn't passed anyone on the plunk list since 1988. Obviously, there is only 1 person left to pass since Biggio is #2 on the all time list, and as Biggio has moved higher up the ladder, the passings have became less frequent. But, the number of days between Biggio passing Tommy Tucker, and whenever he passes Hughie Jennings will be the longest time he's spent on any rung of the HBP ladder since his first plunk. Biggio spent 480 days at #6 on the all time list after passing Frank Robinson on April 13, 2002 on plunk #199, until he passed Dan McGann on plunk #231 on August 6, 2003. It was a year ago yesterday that Biggio passed Tucker for #2 on the list, and by April 1st of next season, it will have been 566 days and counting.

Biggio hasn't passed an active player on the HBP list since August 30, 1997 when he recorded plunk 109 tying him with Sherry MaGee and Andres Galarraga and August 31st when he moved into sole possession of 33rd place on the all time list with plunk 110. Galarraga got his 110th plunk on September 10th that year, but by that time Biggio had 113. Biggio has been #1 on the active list ever since. Galarraga would eventually climb to 10th on the list with 178 career HBPs when he retired after the 2004 season, but Jason Kendall has since knocked him down to 11th. Kendall passed Galarraga on May 6, 2005.

Here is Biggio's rank on the all time plunk list as of the end of each season since 1988:
1988 - 5,635th (tied)
1989 - 2,276th (tied)
1990 - 1,850th (tied)
1991 - 1,624th (tied)
1992 - 1,092nd (tied)
1993 - 675th (tied)
1994 - 447th (tied)
1995 - 170th (tied)
1996 - 68th (tied)
1997 - 26th
1998 - 14th (tied)
1999 - 11th (tied)
2000 - 10th
2001 - 7th
2002 - 6th
2003 - 5th
2004 - 4th
2005 - 2nd
2006 - 2nd?

Here are the last 40 players Biggio has passed on his way up the plunk list, with the rank they held before Biggio came along, and the dates Biggio tied and passed them - with links to the boxscores:
Tommy Tucker272209/03/200509/12/2005
Don Baylor267306/28/200506/29/2005
Ron Hunt243404/24/200404/25/2004
Dan McGann230507/12/200308/06/2003
Frank Robinson198604/10/200204/13/2002
Minnie Minoso192707/28/200108/18/2001
Jake Beckley183806/29/200106/30/2001
Curt Welch173904/20/200104/29/2001
Kid Elberfeld1651006/09/200006/13/2000
Fred Clarke1531109/13/199904/29/2000
Chet Lemon1511207/25/199909/09/1999
Carlton Fisk1431304/25/199905/04/1999
Nellie Fox1421408/24/199804/25/1999
Art Fletcher1411508/20/199808/24/1998
Bill Dahlen1401608/11/199808/20/1998
Frank Chance1371707/21/199807/27/1998
John McGraw1341807/04/199807/11/1998
Dummy Hoy1341807/04/199807/11/1998
Nap Lajoie1341807/04/199807/11/1998
Steve Brodie1322106/22/199807/04/1998
Brian Downing1292206/17/199806/20/1998
Willie Keeler1292206/17/199806/20/1998
Honus Wagner1252405/20/199805/23/1998
Buck Herzog1202504/01/199804/28/1998
Jimmie Dykes1152609/12/199709/17/1997
Sherm Lollar1152609/12/199709/17/1997
Bill Freehan1142809/12/199709/12/1997
Frankie Crosetti1142809/12/199709/12/1997
Steve Evans1113009/01/199709/07/1997
Andre Dawson1113009/01/199709/07/1997
George Burns1103208/31/199709/01/1997
Sherry Magee1093308/30/199708/31/1997
Andres Galarraga109*3308/30/199708/31/1997
Bill Joyce1083508/27/199708/30/1997
Pete Rose1073608/24/199708/27/1997
Wally Schang1073608/24/199708/27/1997
Dan Brouthers1053708/17/199708/23/1997
Tris Speaker1033808/12/199708/17/1997
Orlando Cepeda1024008/12/199708/12/1997
Henry Larkin1004107/25/199708/09/1997

*Andres Galarraga, as noted above, had 178 career plunks, but he was at 109 when Biggio passed him.

27 of the above named players did not live long enough to see Craig Biggio pass them on the all time HBP list.

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Craig Biggio got the night off last night while the Astros dropped another game in St. Louis (6-5), and the news tells us that he'll get tonight's game off as well. It seems the Astros have noticed that Biggio is batting .309 at home and just .174 on the road - but is that more important than Biggio's 5 plunks on the road this season compared to just 3 in Houston? The Astros say it is.

Jason Marquis pitches for the Cardinals tonight - he hit Biggio with a pitch on May 29th of this year. Steve Schrenk plunked Biggio on September 13, 1999 and Jason Simontacchi did so on September 13, 2002.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Biggio vs league leaders

Last week, commentor Tom asked if Craig Biggio got hit by pitches at an increased rate in games he played against players who were leading the league in HBPs at the time. It would be extremely difficult to establish who was leading the league in HBPs at the time of each particular game, but it's not quite as complicated to look at Biggio's stats in game in which he faces someone who would finish the season at the to of the HBP standings.

From 1988 to 2005, Craig Biggio played in 653 games in which a player starting for the opposing team would finish the season in the top 5 in their league in HBPs. In those games, Biggio was hit by 71 pitches, at a rate of one plunk per 40.6 plate appearances. That's about 3% more often than in games when he didn't face a top 5 get-hitter. In those games he got hit about once every 41.9 plate appearances. In 64 of those games, there were 2 players on the other team who would go on to make the top 5 in HBPs that year, and Biggio was plunked just once per 46 plate appearance against them. And, Biggio played 8 games in which 3 players starting for the other team would finish in the top 5 on the plunk charts - but he was only hit once against them, in 35 plate appearances.

While Biggio's plunk rate sligthly increases when playing against a top 5 get-hitter, it appears to decrease in games against players who would finish in the top 3, or those who would win the plunk title. In 439 games against players who would finish in the top 3, he's been hit 42 times at a rate of once per 45.6 plate appearances, compared to once per 40.8 plate appearances when not facing a top 3 get hitter. In 122 games against players who would go on to at least tie for the league plunk title, he's been hit just 7 times, at a rate of once per 74.9 plate appearances, compared to once per 40.7 plate appearances in games when the Astros are not facing a player who is going to win the plunk title that season.

So, it would appear that Craig Biggio does not feel any strong need to step up his getting-hit just because there may be another great get-hitter on the opposing team.

room for improvement in St. Louis

Nothing good came out of the Astros attempts at baseball last night in St. Louis, but they'll hope to do better tonight against a pitcher who ISN'T a defending cy young award winner. Jeff Weaver is scheduled to pitch for the Cardinals tonight. He hit 4 batters in the American League this season before being replaced by his brother in Anaheim and being picked up by the Cardinals. He's hit another 4 batters this for the Cardinals. Weaver hit Biggio with a pitch on August 28, 2005 for the Dodgers, but "umpire" Doug Eddings did not award Biggio first base, claiming Biggio didn't try to get out of the way. Therefor, that plunk is not included in Biggio's 281.

Craig Biggio was plunked twice on September 12, 1997 by Chan Ho Park of the Dodgers, and Dontrelle Willis threw plunk 273 on September 12, 2005 for the Marlins.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Team hit-batsmen totals

At the moment, tonight's opponents, the St. Louis Cardinals, are 2nd in the majors in hitting batters with 76, behind the Washington Nationals 84 plunks. This looks like it's going to be the first season since 2000 in which a National League team wins the major league plunking title. In 2000, the LA Dodgers carried the season, hitting 75 batters, and the National League held 4 of the top 5 spots on the batter plunking leader board. All 4 of those NL teams plunked Craig Biggio that season, and the Dodgers led all teams plunking Biggio 5 times that year.
This season, the National League is in position to sweep the top 5 spots on the hitting batters leader board (only 3 of those top 5 teams have plunked Biggio). The NL has only swept the top 5 spots in hitting batters once since the American League began play - in 1940 the Boston Bees (Braves) led the majors with 35. That's only 1 more plunk than Biggio's best season.
Here are the HBP leaders among 1940 pitching staffs:
Boston Bees - NL - 35
Pittsburgh Pirates - NL - 32
Brooklyn Dodgers - NL - 31
St. Louis Cardinals - NL - 27
Philadelphia Phillies - NL - 26
Cleveland Indians - AL - 25
Boston Red Sox - AL - 23
Washington Senators - AL - 21
St. Louis Browns - AL - 20
Cincinnati Reds - NL - 18
New York Giants - NL - 18
Detroit Tigers - AL - 17
New York Yankees - AL - 16
Chicago Cubs - NL - 16
Philadelphia Athletics - AL - 15
Chicago White Sox - AL - 14

None of those teams plunked Biggio in 1940.

The American League has shut the NL out of the top 5 on the team plunking list 6 times since its formation. 5 of those times have been since the DH rule was installed, most recently in 1989 and 1990.

no progress in Milwaukee

A weekend series in Milwaukee did not help Craig Biggio make progress toward plunk 288, but the Astros have moved on to face the division leading Cardinals in St. Louis tonight. The Cardinals have already plunked Biggio twice this season, and tonight's starter Chris Carpenter has plunked Biggio in each of the last two seasons. He threw plunk number 242 on April 14, 2004 and plunk 272 on September 3, 2005, so maybe he's been waiting to throw plunk number 282 as well.

Today is also the 10th anniversary of Biggio being plunked by Matt Beech. Beech plunked Biggio for the Phillies on September 11, 1996.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

last 2 with Milwaukee

The Astros picked up another win last night but Ben Sheets and the rest of the Brewers pitching staff refused to contribute any further to Craig Biggio's HBP total. Tomo Ohka might be more willing to make a contribution in his start tonight, but he's never plunked Biggio before.
Biggio has been hit by three different pitchers on September 9th - in 1996 by Kevin Ritz, in 1997 by Jamey Wright, and in 1999 by Paul Byrd.

On Sunday, the Astros will face Dave Bush. Bush is tied for the major league lead in hitting batters with 17 plunks on the season, but he has never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. Biggio has only been hit once before on September 10th, but it was against Milwaukee at Miller Park (by Leo Estralla).


Friday, September 08, 2006


If Jason Kendall finishes his career within 14 plunks of Craig Biggio's HBP total, he might think back to the 14 times he was behind the plate calling those pitches that ended up hitting Biggio. Jason Kendall and Kirt Manwaring are tied for the record in that category - both were behind the plate for 14 of Biggio's HBPs. Kendall's 14 were all with Pittsburgh but Manwaring had 7 with the Giants and 7 with the Rockies. Mike Matheny is just behind them having been behind the plate for 13 Biggio plunks. Charles Johnson is next with 12, and Todd Hundley rounds out the top 5 with 9 occasions when he was the catcher while Biggio got plunked.

Manwaring behind the plate for 3 of the time Pedro Astacio plunked Biggio, and no pitcher/catcher combination has plunked Biggio more times than that. Chan Ho Park and Mike Piazza also teamed up to plunk Biggio 3 times, and Pedro Astacio threw 3 more plunks at Biggio with Brent Mayne catching.

There have been 211 pitchers who have hit Biggio with a pitch, but only 102 different catchers calling those pitches. While no pitcher has hit Biggio with a pitch for 3 different teams, Mike Matheny, Benito Santiago, Damian Miller, Brent Mayne, Gary Bennett, and Tom Lampkin have all been the catcher for 3 different teams while being the closest witness to a Biggio plunk.

Milwaukee... again

The Astros return to Milwaukee tonight for 3 more games in the home of sausage racing. Ben Sheets pitches for the Brewers tonight, and he plunked Biggio the last time they met, just last month. Sheets also hit Craig Biggio in his rookie season on June 29, 2001. Sheets has hit just one other batter this season, but has thrown 6 of his 29 career plunks in September (2nd only to his April total of 7). He has also hit 6 batters on Friday, more than any other day of the week. Sheets, however, has never hit a Major League batter on September 8th, but since he's never pitched on that date, we can once again claim that he's never missed a batter on September 8th.
Craig Biggio has been plunked twice on September 8th - in 1992 by Scott Bankhead, and in 1995 by Paul Fletcher.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Berkman 4, Phillies 3

Lance Berkman drove in 4 of the Astros 5 runs including 3 in the top of the ninth inning to break a 2-2 tie, but Craig Biggio didn't get hit by a pitch. Berkman has 116 of the Astros 600 RBIs this season. The Astros are off today, traveling to Milwaukee for 3 more games their, so their will be not additions this year to the list of pitchers who have hit Biggio with a pitch on September 7th. John Franco plunked Biggio in the 10th inning on September 7, 1993, and Rod Beck threw a 9th inning plunk on


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

more plunk inspiration

Yesterday, commenter Tom asked about whether Craig Biggio gets plunked more often in games when he's facing a league leader in HBPs. But, while looking into answering his question, I got completely distracted by the change in season plunk rates of opposing players based on whether or not they started a game in which Biggio got plunked.

When opposing players see Craig Biggio get hit at least once in a given season, their rate of being plunked themselves seems to go up. From the 1988 season through 2005, those players who did not start a game in which Biggio in a particular season were plunked an average of once every 129 plate appearances, but those players who did start games in which Biggio was hit one or more times during a season averaged a plunk every 120 plate appearances in those seasons. Opposing players who saw Biggio get plunked twice in games they started averaged a plunk about every 117 plate appearances, and players who witnessed the team they started for plunk Biggio 3 times in a season averaged a plunk every 99.7 plate appearances. In general, the more times an opposing player witnesses Biggio getting plunked in games they started, the more their plunk per plate appearance rate increases. The 4 players who have seen Biggio get hit 6 times in a season averaged a plunk every 66 plate appearances themselves that season.

Oddly though, players who started at least one game that Biggio played, but did not start a game in which Biggio was plunked in a given season were plunked less frequently in those seasons than player who did not start any games against Biggio's Astros. Players with no starts in games Biggio played in averaged 126.7 plate appearances per HBP, while players who started at least 1 game in which Biggio played but did not see him get struck by a pitch that season averaged 133.8 plate appearances per plunk - 5.6% less often.

From 1988 through 2005 there were 241 players who started 30 or more games in which Craig Biggio played - of that group, there are only 9 who never started a game in which Biggio got hit by a pitch. Mike Scioscia holds the career record in that category, starting 51 games in which Biggio played without Biggio being plunked in any of Scioscia's starts. The 113 players with more starts against Biggio have all seen him get plunked in at least one of those games. Next behind Scioscia is Alfredo Griffen who started 38 games in which Biggio played against him, but never started one in which his team hit Biggio with a pitch.
Barry Larkin has the record for starting the most games against Biggio with 162 - an entire season - but Biggio was hit 13 times in those games.

no plunking in the rain

The Astros were rained out in Philadelphia yesterday, but they'll try to get a game in tonight. Currently, Randy Wolf is expected to start tonight's game since he didn't get to throw yesterday, and if you've read the last two posts on this site you'll recall that Wolf is the Phillies active leader in career plunks. Wolf is also the only pitcher who has plunked Biggio at Citizen's Bank Park (August 17, 2004), and the last pitcher to plunk Biggio in Pennsylvania. Wolf has also plunked Morgan Ensberg once and Ken Caminiti, but he has never hit anyone else in an Astros uniform.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Phillies franchise record holder

On July 19, 2005, Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal was hit by a pitch thrown by Dodgers' pitcher Steve Schmoll. It was the 81st plunk of Lieberthal's 12 year (now 13) career with the Phillies, and it broke the franchise plunk record, which was held for 104 years by Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty. Delahanty was hit 80 times for the Phillies between 1888 and 1901, and that total stood through July of last season when Lieberthal became the first player to take as many pitches for the Phillies. Lieberthal's franchise record now stands at 88. Mike Schmidt is third on the franchise list with 79. But, Craig Biggio has been hit by more pitches than the three of them combined.

Philadelphia Phillies franchise HBP leaders:
Mike Lieberthal - 88
Ed Delahanty - 80
Mike Schmidt - 79
John Titus - 78
Sherry Magee - 78
Roy Thomas - 66
Greg Luzinski - 61
Tony Taylor - 60
Cy Williams - 55
Scott Rolen - 54

Scott Rolen's 54 plunks for the Phillies is 10th on their franchise list, but it is only 1 more HBP than Craig Biggio has recorded on Saturdays.

The Phillies are leading the Majors in plunks this season with 80 - 6 ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are in second place. The Pirates have been plunked more times than any active franchise with 4,427 HBPs in their history, but the Phillies are #2 with 4,305. If the Phillies continue to close the all time gap at this rate, they'll take over the lead sometime in the 2028 season (get your tickets now).

On the pitching side, the Phillies have hit more batters their history than any other active franchise with 4,328. Bill Duggleby has held the Phillies franchise record for hitting batters since 1907, with 82 in his career. The closest any Philly has come to that record since then was Hall of Famer and US Senator Jim Bunning who hit 72 batters. Bunning led the league in plunks 4 times while pitching for the Phillies, but the more important and still unanswered question is - did anybody he plunked ever vote for him?

Here's the Phillies franchise list for hitting batters:
Bill Duggleby - 82
Chick Fraser - 75
Jim Bunning - 72
Wiley Piatt - 59
Chris Short - 59
Pete Alexander - 54
Tully Sparks - 52
Vicente Padilla - 50
Erskine Mayer - 48
Randy Wolf - 47

Randy Wolf and Vicente Padilla have both plunked Biggio.

Steve Carlton hit only 31 batters in 3,697 and a third innings for the Phillies - only one player in the 20th century pitched more innings for one team with as few plunks (Ted Lyons). But, perhaps more interesting, Carlton recorded 79 of his 90 career balks while with the Phillies - that's more than twice as many as any other player has recorded with one team (35 by Phil Neikro with the Braves), and exactly twice as many as the 2nd place career total (45 by Bob Welch).

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More Phillies

Craig Biggio still hasn't been plunked in Pennsylvania this season, but he'll have two more chances at Philadelphia's home park tonight and tomorrow. Tonights starter for the Phillies is Randy Wolf, who is the only pitcher who has plunked Biggio at Citizens Bank Park, having done so on August 17, 2004. Biggio hasn't been plunked in the state of Pennsylvania since then. Wolf has hit 47 batters in his career, but hasn't hit anyone this season in 35.2 innings of work.

On September 5, 1995, Xavier Hernandez plunked Biggio at the Astrodome.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Labor Day weekend notes

Craig Biggio was not hit by a pitch in last night's game, and he was forced out at second to end the game. He would have been the tying run in the 8-7 loss.

Tonight the Astros face Mets' starter John Maine. Maine has hit only 1 batter in his career and that was Jason Kendall of the A's, on August 28th last season. Biggio has been hit twice on September 2nd - in 1990 by John Smiley and in 1995 by Marc Valdes. Both were in the 4th inning, and both were at the Astrodome.

On Sunday, the the Mets will be sending Orlando Hernandez to the mound. He's never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch either, but he has hit 58 batters in his career and 8 this season. Biggio was hit a year ago on September 3rd by Chris Carpenter, and on September 3, 2003 by Kevin Brown.

Monday may be a holiday for the rest of the country, but Craig Biggio and the Astros still have to work. They'll travel to Philadelphia for an afternoon game with the Phillies and Brett Myers. Myers has hit 34 batters in 135 career games, but this season he's hit a career low 2 batters. Perhaps he'll be looking to make up for that when he faces the Astros.
Biggio hasn't been hit on September 4th since 1995 when Mark Portugal did it. He had never been hit on September 4th before that.
Portugal's plunk on September 4, 1995 was also Biggio's first HBP recorded on Labor Day. Only Joel Adamson his plunked Biggio on Labor Day since then, on September 1, 1997. Both Labor Day plunks were recorded in the 3rd inning, both games were at the Astrodome, and the visitors won both games.

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Friday, September 01, 2006

more lineup notes

From 1988 through 2005, Rafael Palmeiro started 2,648 major league games, more than any other player, and 173 starts ahead of Craig Biggio, who is next on that list. But, in games in which someone got hit by a pitch, Craig Biggio has the most starts in that time span, with 1,183 - though Palmeiro is just 24 behind. In games when someone on his own team got hit by a pitch, Craig Biggio has the most starts with 776, but in games when the opposing squad has at least one plunk, Rafael Palmeiro has started the most games with 650. Biggio started 220 games through 2005 in which both teams got hit by a pitch, more than any other player.

Among games in which Craig Biggio got hit by a pitch, Craig Biggio has had the most starts of any player. You'd never have guessed that, would you? Yes, Craig Biggio holds the all time record for being in the starting lineup for the most games in which Craig Biggio got hit by a pitch. Biggio has started 257 of the 261 games in which he's been plunked, with 4 plunks coming in appearances off the bench. 2nd on that list is Jeff Bagwell with 220 starts in games when Biggio was plunked. But, 218 of Bagwell's starts in games when Biggio got plunked were at first base - the most starts Biggio has at one position in games when he got hit is 205 at second base.

The record for the most starts in games for the opposing team when Craig Biggio gets hit by a pitch is 19 by Todd Helton. Helton has played his entire career for Colorado, the team that has plunked Biggio the most, so all 19 of those plunks came while Helton played for the same team. Todd Zeile, on the other hand, has started for 6 different teams in games when Biggio was hit by a pitch (the Rockies, Marlins, Cardinals, Yankees, Phillies and Dodgers). Charlie Hayes, Ron Gant, Reggie Sanders, and Royce Clayton have all seen their team plunk Biggio while working for 5 different teams, but Hayes is the only one who has also started for the Astros in a Biggio plunk game.

Most starts, 1988-2005:
Rafael Palmeiro2648
Craig Biggio2475
Barry Bonds2378
Roberto Alomar2307
Fred McGriff2292
Ken Griffey2210
Luis Gonzalez2207
Omar Vizquel2202
Steve Finley2190
Alex Gonzalez2189

Most starts in games in which someone was hit by a pitch, 1988-2005:

Craig Biggio1183
Rafael Palmeiro1159
Alex Gonzalez1108
Jeff Bagwell1040
Gary Sheffield1022
Ken Griffey1016
Luis Gonzalez1010
Omar Vizquel999
Barry Bonds970
Roberto Alomar945

Most starts in games in which someone on the player's team was plunked, 1988-2005:
Craig Biggio776
Alex Gonzalez709
Jeff Bagwell700
Rafael Palmeiro693
Luis Gonzalez615
Gary Sheffield584
Roberto Alomar577
Ken Griffey570
Barry Bonds564
Omar Vizquel563

Most starts in games in which someone on the opponents team was plunked, 1988-2005:
Rafael Palmeiro650
Craig Biggio627
Ken Griffey620
Alex Gonzalez604
Gary Sheffield602
Omar Vizquel602
Luis Gonzalez582
Tino Martinez572
Edgar Martinez558
Jeff Bagwell548

Most starts in games in which players on both teams were plunked, 1988-2005:
Craig Biggio220
Jeff Bagwell208
Alex Gonzalez205
Luis Gonzalez187
Rafael Palmeiro184
Alex Rodriguez176
Ken Griffey174
Vinny Castilla170
Omar Vizquel166
Gary Sheffield164

Most starts in games in which Craig Biggio has been plunked:
Craig Biggio257
Jeff Bagwell220
Brad Ausmus117
Lance Berkman102
Derek Bell96
Richard Hidalgo95
Adam Everett58
Luis Gonzalez55
Ricky Gutierrez52
Ken Caminiti51

Most starts, by position, in games when Biggio has been plunked:

Jeff Bagwell2181st Base
Craig Biggio1982nd Base
Brad Ausmus118Catcher
Derek Bell80Right Field
Adam Everett58Shortstop
Lance Berkman57Left Field
Morgan Ensberg563rd Base
Luis Gonzalez55Left Field
Ken Caminiti513rd Base
Ricky Gutierrez46Shortstop

Most starts, by batting order slot, in games when Biggio has been plunked:
Jeff Bagwell1873rd
Craig Biggio1651st
Craig Biggio752nd
Brad Ausmus708th
Richard Hidalgo596th
Lance Berkman514th
Derek Bell474th
Moises Alou445th
Brad Ausmus387th
Jeff Bagwell304th

Most starts on the opposing team in games when Biggio has been plunked:

Todd Helton19
Larry Walker18
Sammy Sosa17
Royce Clayton17
Barry Bonds16
Jason Kendall15
Brian Giles14
Mark Grace14
Mark Grudzielanek14
Vinny Castilla13

brooms for brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers got swept out of town in a 5-2 win, featuring a Craig Biggio 2 run homer, but Biggio did not get hit by a pitch. Tonight, the New York Mets visit Houston, with a tough matchup for the Astros to move to 7 straight wins, and maybe an even tougher matchup for Craig Biggio to record plunk number 282. Tom Glavine, the Mets scheduled starter tonight, has hit 60 batters in his career in 4,112.2 innings pitched. In the last 50 years, only Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts and Warren Spahn have hit fewer batters while pitching over 4,000 innings. None of the 60 batters Glavine has hit were named Craig Biggio. But, it could be one of those final career milestones guys at Glavine's stage of their career are looking to pass before retirement.

John Costello plunked Biggio on September 1, 1989, and Joel Adamson did it on September 1, 1997.

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