plunk report, 1st quarter
We're about a quarter of the way throught the 2007 season, and through 602 games there have been 428 HBPs recorded. If batters continue to get hit at this rate, and everyone plays their full 162 game schedule, that should work out to about 1,728 plunks for the season - the lowest total since the 2000 season. As of the end of the games played on May 17th last year, there had been 482 batters hit by pitches - 54 more than this year - in 7 fewer games. That's a little more of a dropoff than you'd expect to be caused solely by Biggio's relative lack of HBPs this season, but in past years, we have seen that the rest of the players in the league get hit more often on days when Craig Biggio gets hit by a pitch. So, the effect of Biggio on HBP rates league wide is broader than just his own plunks. Or so statistics say.
One area that has seen an increase in plunks this season, though, is extra innings. Through May 17th last season, no one had been hit by a pitch in extra-innings, but this year there have already been 10 extra-innings plunks. In all, 33 batters were plunked in extra innings in 2006, but the 2007 season is ahead of that pace.
So far this year, 60 of the 428 HBPs recorded were thrown in the 6th inning, making it the most popular inning for plunks. Last year, the 1st inning saw the most plunks, but as of May 17th, the 6th inning had the lead, just like this year.
Here are the league wide plunk totals by inning:
(as of 5/17/07)
(as of 5/17/06)