getting the sign moving
Craig Biggio his 2,981st, 2,982nd, and 2,983rd career hit out of the way last night, keeping the 3,000 hits countdown sign moving faster than it has for quite a while, and the Astros pulled out a 5-4 win. Brad Ausmus contributed 4 RBIs, including the 11th inning game winner, and Carlos Lee hit his 10th sacrifice fly of the season. He's more than half way to the single season record for sacrifice flies - 19 by Gil Hodges in 1954. The closest recent challenge to the sac fly record was made by Mark Loretta, who got to 16 with the Padres in 2004. However, despite all that, Craig Biggio did not move any closer to the all-time HBP record.
If plunk 284 shows up tonight, it might by thrown by A's starter Joe Blanton, but he's only throw 10 plunks in 493.2 innings. He has, however, never faced Craig Biggio. And, Joe Blanton wears number 55, which is tied for second place among the most popular uniform numbers worn by pitchers who have plunked Biggio. Blanton would become the 11th 55 to plunk Biggio and that would tie number 55 for first place.
Rolando Arrojo plunked Biggio on June 13, 2000.