close call in Arizona
Micah Owings got a little over-enthusiastic last night, with the idea of joining the long list of pitchers who have plunked Biggio clearly in his mind. In the 5th inning he sent a fastball toward Biggio at about head level, and slightly behind him. It could have been Biggio's 284th plunk, had he not hit the dirt, but it also could have been his last. As Craig Biggio well knows, there's no point in taking 284 if it means your not going to get to 288. Biggio did collect career hit number 2,972, but the Astros didn't show many other signs of offense, losing 9-1, and leaving pitcher Wandy Rodriguez to drive in his only run support of the game.
Tonight the quest for 288 continues in Arizona against Edgar Gonzalez. He's never plunked Biggio, but 10 of the 647 batters he's faced in his career, all with the Diamondbacks. Biggio has been plunked once before on May 25th - in 2002 by Kerry Wood.
In the news, over at ESPN.com, they have an excerpt from Jason Stark's book "The Stark Truth: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players in Baseball History". Stark argues, in the excerpt, that Craig Biggio is the most underrated 2nd-baseman of all time. It's an excellent summary of Biggio's accomplishments and why they may have been overlooked by much of the baseball world, but for some reason he claims Biggio has been hit by more pitches than anyone in history. I'm not sure if he just doesn't want to admit Hughie Jennings existence, or - since it's from a book - he wrote it assuming Biggio would break the record before the book was published. Stark also says that the only people who noticed what Biggio was up to for the first 19 years of his career are "Barbara Bush, Lyle Lovett, several million other Texans, and a few off-kilter hit-by-pitch junkies".
Off-kilter hit-by-pitch junkies?
I assume he's talking about you.