Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Astros win on the road, but no HBP:BGO

The Astros won a road game last night, something they hadn't done in their last 8 attempts away from Houston, but Craig Biggio made no progress toward plunk 288 or his 3000 hit. The Astros won 4-1, and Carlos Lee got hit by a pitch in the 9th inning sparking a near-altercation. Lee still needs 250 HBPs to catch Craig Biggio.

Tonight the Rockies will send Aaron Cook to take another shot at Craig Biggio. Cook plunked Biggio on April 2, 2003. Cook could also become the second Rockies' pitcher to plunk Biggio on June 6th, joining Brian Bohanon, who did it on June 6, 2001. Biggio has also been plunked by Joey Hamilton on this date, back in 1997.

In hit-by-pitch record news, Greg Garber at ESPN put together a great piece on Biggio's plunks, which I believe aired sometime on Saturday. I missed it originally but someone has heroically posted it on the internet here. It's required viewing for all fans of the plunk chase.


At 6/06/2007 10:55:00 AM, Blogger Angry Sam said...

I didn't know you were from New Hampshire! My hometown is Nashua. Still mourning the day that the Old Man in the Mountain got plunked by nature.

Not sure if you've covered it before, but in similar HBP news, Randy Johnson is just 23 plunks away from surpassing Walter Johnson as the all-time leader in hit batsmen.

At 6/06/2007 01:55:00 PM, Blogger pbr said...

Rich Garces has 3 saves for the Pride, Sam. 5 innings pitched, no runs allowed. El Guapo fever has gripped historic Holman Stadium. Only one hit batter though.

And yes, I did some Randy Johnson content last month when the Astros were in Phoenix here and here.

And I think I mentioned the hit batsmen record in the Diamondbacks preview during spring training. But the odd thing about the hit-batsmen record is that there is some disagreement on it - if you look around the web you can find three sites that list Walter Johnson's hit-batsmen total as either 203 or 205, and some will tell you one of those numbers is the record and others might tell you Chick Fraser holds the record at 219 hit batters or Gus Weyhig has the record at 277.

Unfortunately, HBP stats have not been tracked quite as carefully as a lot of other stats, and I suspect the pitching side of the equation has been worse than the batting side. For batters, it's necessary to keep the number of batters hit by pitches to get the box score to balance - plate appearances have to equal put outs + runs + runners left on base. Box scores have been around a long time, and the concept of having them balance like that has been around a long time, but that doesn't require them to list which pitcher threw the pitch that hit someone. So, I believe that 287 plunks for Hughie Jennings is probably pretty accurate, but I'm not so sure about the pitching records.

I blame the lack of blogs in the Walter Johnson era for not keeping an accurate count.


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