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.


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