Monday, September 25, 2006

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.)

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