Final two in Florida
Craig Biggio's attempts to find a 286th pitch to get hit by were once again foiled last night by the opposing pitching staff, who were too busy giving up 8 runs to the Astros batters. Biggio did collect his 3,022nd hit, and the Astros won 8-2, but those of us wishing to see the Craig Biggio reach 288 plunks, and the unification of the so called "modern" and all-time HBP records have to see it as another lost opportunity against a known plunker (Dontrelle Willis). To make matters a bit worse, Biggio will probably be on the bench for the final two games of the series, as has become the Astros custom. It seems they, and some fans, have already decided that the team would be better off seeing if they can get Chris Burke moving toward the all-time HBP record. But let's face it - Burke has shown signs of being a promising get-hitter, but his chances of approaching the record are astronomically low (no pun intended). Why not devote the remaining 53 games of the season to someone with the best chance anyone's had in 104 years to break this record? Burke will need to average 20 plunks a year from next season until he's 40 to break the record. I have nothing against Chris Burke, and it will be fun to see if he can make a run at this record a dozen or more years from now, but can't he just wait until next year and watch the master at work for two more months?
Tonight, Sergio Mitre is expected to pitch for the Marlins. He's hit 6 batters this year, and 19 in his career, but he never plunked Biggio. Jose Valverde is the only pitcher ever to plunk Biggio on August 4th - that was a 9th inning plunk in 2005.
Tomorrow, Scott Olsen will face the Astros. He's cut down his plunkings from 7 last year to only 1 this year in 21 starts, and he's never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch.
Biggio has also never been plunked on August 5th.