Monday, October 02, 2006

That's a season

The lesson, as always, is this: Sure, it's a lot of fun to wait until you have to win 12 consecutive games to make the playoffs, and then win 9 in a row... but it's not really the best way to make the playoffs. Similarly, it may be fun to wait until the last week of the season to get those last 7 HBPs you need to break the all time record, but as it turns out, it will probably leave you with some work to do next season.
Craig Biggio got hit by a total of 9 pitches in 2006, the lowest total he's had since 1994, the year before he first led the league. He was hit by 9 different pitchers on 7 different teams in 7 different ballparks. He was left unplunked by the Colorado Rockies for the first time since 1999, but he continued his streak of being hit by the Reds for the 15th straight season.
Everyone expects the Astros to sign Biggio for one more year, and that it will be his last. The goals for 2007 are clear: 6 more HBPs for 288. 70 more hits for 3000. Another 19 home runs for 300 is a distinct possibility as well, and there will be a concerted campaign to get Craig Biggio a spot on the NL all-star team one last time.
And, maybe next year the Astros can arrange a 9 game winning streak sometime a little earlier in the season. Maybe more than one?

Have a good offseason everybody. I'll be back for spring training sometime in late February.

2006 hitting batters awards

The Phil Knell Award (most plunks):
National League - (tie) Dontrelle Willis (FLA), 19
American League - Vicente Padilla (TEX), 17

The Mitch Williams Award (most plunks by a reliever):
American League - Fernando Rodney (DET), 8
National League - (tie) Danys Baez (ATL), Ryan Vogelsong (PIT), 7

The Gus Weyhig Award (most plunks by a rookie):
National League - Paul Maholm (PIT) 12
American League - Adam Loewen (BAL) 8

The Chick Fraser Award (most batters faced without hitting anyone):
National League - Greg Maddux (Cubs/Dodgers) 862
American League - Bruce Chen (BAL) 453

Most plunks by a team:
National League - Washington Nationals 92
American League - Boston Red Sox 68
The NL took the top 6 spots on the plunking chart, and plunked 1038 batters this season.

Fewest plunks by a team:
American League - Minnesota Twins 36
National League - Los Angelos Dodgers 41

The 2006 Pedro Astacio Award for Outstanding Contribution to Craig Biggio's chase of Hughie Jennings' all time hit-by-pitch record goes to:
Chuck James. Last season, Jason Jennings plunked Biggio 3 times to win this award, but since nobody did it more than once in 2006, the award goes to the most recent plunk... for some reason.


2006 get-hitting awards

Most Plunkable Player
(most plunks):
American League: Reed Johnson (TOR), 21 HBPs
National League: Rickie Weeks (MIL), 19 HBPs
Johnson's 21 plunks is the lowest total to lead the majors since 1994 when Mike Macfarlane got hit 18 times. Weeks led the NL with 19 plunks despite only playing 95 games due to injury.

Plunked Rookie of the Year (most plunks by a rookie):
American League: Kenji Johjima (SEA), 13 HBPs
National League: Prince Fielder (MIL), 12 HBPs

Sandy Alomar Award(most plate appearance without an HBP):
American League: Brian Roberts (BAL), 628
National League: Brad Hawpe (COL), 571

Most Plunked Team (the plunk pennant):
National League: Philadelphia Phillies, 93
American League: Baltimore Orioles, 73

Least Plunked Team:
National League: San Diego Padres, 40
American League: Texas Rangers, 40

All Plunked Team

National League
C Ryan Doumit (PIT), 11

1B Nick Johnson (WAS), 13

2B Rickie Weeks (MIL), 19

3B Edwin Encarnacion (CIN), 13

SS David Eckstein (STL), 15

OF Aaron Rowand (PHI) 18, Jose Bautista (PIT) 16, Matt Holliday (COL) 15

P Pedro Astacio (WAS), 2

American League
C Kenji Jojhima (SEA), 13

1B Jason Giambi (NYY), 16

2B Mark Loretta (BOS), 11

3B Melvin Mora (BAL), 14

SS Some guy who doesn't need more publicity (NYY) 12

OF Reed Johnson (TOR) 21, Grady Sizemore (CLE) 13, David DeJesus (KC) 12

DH Travis Hafner (CLE) 7

P John Rheinecker (TEX), 1