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Preview: Plunk Biggio

Plunk Biggio



Dedicated to Craig Biggio and his (probably unintentional) Quest to break the all time major league career record for getting hit by pitches.



Updated: 2015-10-03T20:27:24.073-04:00

 



new, from the makers of plunk biggio

2008-07-18T14:53:39.348-04:00

If you've been noticing that your blog reader has been woefully lacking information about people getting hit by pitches this year, you might want to check out www.plunkeveryone.com. Apparently, to my amazement and in defiance of all the available statistical data last year, people are STILL being hit by pitches even though Craig Biggio retired and it's now been more than a year since his last HBP. Shocking, eh?

While the new site no longer focuses one one player's attempt to reach historic levels of getting hit by pitches, it does feature an all-new nearly-interactive bruise board which will keep track, as daily as I can manage, of a wide variety of HBP statistics, season leaders and records. (We even have radar gun readings for most 2008 plunks). As always though, we do not support or endorse intentionally plunking everyone.



The Record Stands

2008-07-10T16:29:14.268-04:00

Three year ago it seemed like a sure thing. Even in March of this year, it seemed like Craig Biggio couldn't possibly avoid getting hit by six pitches even if he took his elbow pad off and actually started getting out of the way of inside fastballs. Well, like the sportscasters like to say, that's why they play the games - to see who gets hit by pitches.Hughie Jennings record of 287 plunks may have just withstood the best - or at least most excessively documented - assault it will ever face. It's entirely possible that his record will stand forever, with Craig Biggio's 285 just below it. Jennings got hit 287 times in an age before helmets, and with a pitchers mound closer than the current 60 feet 6 inches, but pitchers may not have thrown quite as hard then. And, while he played before modern painkillers, it was probably more socially acceptable make full use of the popular painkillers of the day (like whiskey). Only 18 players have made it even half way to 287 plunks. Only 7 have passed 200, only 4 have passed 250 and only 2 have reached 285.So, while we might be disappointed that we didn't get to see someone break the 104 year old record for getting hit by pitches, it's tough to be disappointed by the career of Craig Biggio. 3,060 hits, 668 doubles, 1844 runs scored, 414 steals, 291 homers, 20 seasons for one team. The stats speak for themselves, but they don't exactly tell the story of what Biggio has meant to Houston's fans - for that you might have to look at the attendance line in the box score for those last three games at Minute Maid Park, or take a look at that banner that was hanging in left center field with several thousand notes from fans thanking Craig Biggio for his career. But hey, you probably know all this.Sometimes, when we watch baseball, we get that feeling that we might see something particularly amazing. We turn on the game, because we think something special might happen that night - and it could, on any night, and we love to hope to see those things even though we know they hardly ever happen. But they do happen sometimes, and most of all we really don't want to miss seeing it. Most of the time we think of those special things as single game records - have you ever seen a pitcher strike out the side in the 2nd inning and started doing the math in your head, counting the number of outs that aren't strikeouts as the game went along until they reached 8 and you know that's not going to be another 20 strikeout game? Maybe that's just me. But you pay special attention when a pitcher gets through a few innings without giving up a hit, or you realize someone has hit a homer, triple and double in the game and is coming up again. We also love streaks, and runs toward single season records - if it's someone on your favorite team you don't want to miss a single game on the way to what you think might be one of those special moments. And sometimes you go into a season thinking this is the year for your team - and you don't want to miss the game that could be the key moment for the season when they finally win it all.But it's a little harder to spot when the amazing thing is just one guy playing 20 years for the same team. You never feel like you're missing something when you know the guy was there playing yesterday and he'll be their playing again tomorrow if you turn on the game. Then suddenly he's running up on 3,000 hits and announcing his retirement, and there's some weirdo on the internet who's all excited about the prospect of him getting hit by a record number of pitches. And then you look at it that way, you realize you got to see Craig Biggio play - and even if you sat and watched him go 0-4, you saw something particularly amazing, even if you didn't know it at the time.Thanks for the years of stats, Craig Biggio. Messing around with them the way I have for the past three years probably hasn't entertained me quite as much as you have entertained Houston fans for the past 20 years, but it's been fun. Hopefully I brought a little bit more entertainment [...]



Last Chance to See...

2007-09-30T09:48:22.217-04:00

Craig Biggio became the first player with over 3000 career hits to play catcher since 1899 yesterday, and he got past the curse of 666 doubles, bringing his career total to 667, but he didn't get hit by a pitch. Maybe he's happy not to get struck by baseballs anymore. Maybe 285 is as many times as we can reasonably expect any man to get hit by flying baseballs to help his team. Or maybe he's trying to be dramatic, and he'll strap on the elbow-pad and get hit 3 times today.

Many players have been hit by three pitches in the same game, but Craig Biggio has never done it. If he really wanted to go all out, he could get hit 4 times, which would be the single game record. But lets face it, if he goes out and gets hit three times today it will look awfully suspicious.

Chuck James will be starting for the Braves for Biggio's final game, and he was the last pitcher to plunk Biggio in 2006. But, he's only hit one batter since then, and has a career total of just 7 plunks.

Craig Biggio has never before been plunked on September 30th.



Craig Biggio - major league catcher

2007-09-29T08:07:48.131-04:00

As some of you might remember, Craig Biggio used to get hit by pitches a lot - a long time ago. Last night he didn't get hit by any pitches, and the Astros lost 7-2, but tonight he's going to do something he hasn't done in a long time. Play catcher. But, back when Biggio played catcher he didn't really get hit by very many pitches - just 11 in his first 4 seasons in the majors. It wasn't until after Biggio switched to second base that he really started getting hit by pitches, so hopefully his walk down memory lane tonight will be historically accurate enough to include moving back to second base, and then getting hit by a few pitches.

(By the way, Craig Biggio is the only player who was ever a full time catcher to reach 3000 hits, and todays game will be the first time some with over 3000 career hits has played catcher in the major leagues since 1897 when Cap Anson did it. Anson and Biggio are the only 3000 hit club members ever to catch at all, and Anson caught 105 games.)

While Biggio will be catching for Brandon Backe, the Braves will have Jeff Bennett starting for them. This is Bennett's 2nd start this season, after not being in the league since 2004 when he made 60 relief appearances for the Brewers. Bennett walked Biggio the only time the two faced each other, and Bennett has only hit 2 batters ever.

Kerry Wood plunked Biggio on September 29, 2001, and Chuck James threw plunk 282 on September 29th 2006 - the same Chuck James who is expected to start tomorrow - for Biggio 2,849th and final career game.



pointing fingers

2007-09-28T13:36:39.161-04:00

There is still time for Craig Biggio to break the all-time HBP record - but not much of it. He needs 3 plunks in 3 games, and while he has been plunked that many times in a 3 game span 20 times before, he's never done it against the Braves. He's been plunked 3 times in 3 games by the same team 5 times, most recently in 2005 when the Rockies did it (though they only took 2 games to do it).But, it looks very likely that Biggio will fall short of Hughie Jennings amazing total of 287 HBPs. This will undoubtedly be very disappointing to a large number of fans, and when baseball fans and people in general are disappointed, we like to blame people. Right or wrong, we always find someone to blame. So, lets start throwing the blame around now so that on Sunday, when Craig Biggio's career ends, we can celebrate, knowing we've already thrown all the blame around we wanted to.Obviously at the top of the list, you can blame me. We've all seen the stories in the news about how the media pressure of the plunk chase has ground it to a halt, and the clear record-setter for most words written about Craig Biggio getting hit by pitches is held by this website. Maybe I cared too much. Maybe if this site had never existed, no one would have noticed how often Biggio was getting hit by pitches and he would have been able to cruise past the record sometime last season. Instead, I had to make a big deal out of it and get everyone thinking about whether or not they WANTED the record broken - particularly the pitchers and umpires who could most effect the record chase. Then people some people got upset about whether or not wearing elbow pads should be allowed - and other people started getting bent out of shape about how hard a batter should try to get out of the way of pitches. Controversy - our largest and most un-productive export.Blame me if you must, but here are a few others who could have contributed more, or gotten in the way less:John Burkett. Biggio had 77 plate appearances against John Burkett and Burkett didn't contribute a single plunk to Biggio's total. Sure, Tom Glavine and Curt Schilling may have faced Biggio more times and they never hit him either, but Glavine has only hit one out of ever 286 batters he's faced in his career, and Schilling only hits about one out every 255 batters. Burkett, on the other hand, hit one batter in 126, and since he faced Biggio 77 times, he should have plunked him 0.61 times. Okay, it's hard to throw 6 tenths of a plunk, but the point is that if Burkett had plunked Biggio at the same rate he plunked the rest of the league, he probably should have hit Biggio once. But, Biggio has historically been hit nearly three (2.96) times more frequently per plate appearance than the league, so if Burkett had plunked Biggio 2.96 times more often than he plunked the rest of the league, he really should have contributed 1.83 plunks. We can round that up and claim Burkett owes Biggio 2 plunks. Not that we're saying Burkett should have thrown at him twice - it's just that the stats may suggest that Burkett was pitching around Biggio for a net result of two less plunks than he should have had.Ramon Martinez, Julian Tavarez, Mark Prior and Woody Williams - using the same logic and stats above, they all should have plunked Biggio at least once.Matt Morris - he hit Biggio once, but based on the same logic above, he probably should have plunked Biggio once more.Umpire Doug Eddings - He's an easy target. On August 28, 2005, Jeff Weaver hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, but Eddings didn't award Biggio first base, claiming Biggio didn't make enough effort to avoid being hit. He's the only umpire to make such a call against Biggio, and it's well within the rules for him to do so, even if it was not the right call in that particular circumstance. That only technically kept 1 plunk out of Biggio's total, but it may have demoralized him and made him less willing to take plunks, knowing the umpires may no[...]



the last choice for the last hope - the Braves

2007-09-28T07:36:06.858-04:00

Craig Biggio only had one plate appearance last night, and he didn't get hit by any of the three pitches he saw from Bill Bray. That means that 2007 is the first year since 1991 in which Biggio was not hit by a pitch thrown by the Cincinnati Reds. There's only one player left in the league who played for the Reds in a prior season in which they didn't plunk Biggio - Reggie Sanders, and he only played 9 games for the '91 Reds. There are only 35 guys, including Biggio, playing this season who were in the Major Leagues the last time the Reds went a season without plunking Biggio.

All this means that the final hopes of those of us who want to see the record fall - and the unification of the all time record and the so-called "modern" record - rest on the arms of the Atlanta Braves. If you had to pick one team to plunk Biggio, the Braves would be the last team you'd pick, particularly if you were picking based on Biggio's plunks per plate appearance against each team. The Braves are dead last. Biggio has only been hit 8 times in 770 plate appearances against Atlanta. No National League team has plunked him less, and no team in either league has plunked him less per plate appearance. But that's all we have left, so we'll just have to watch and hope. Maybe Biggio's plan to return to his days as a catcher (tomorrow) will put him in the mood to return to the days when he got hit by as many as 4 pitches in two days.

Jo-Jo Reyes is the starter for Atlanta tonight. He's a rookie, and has only hit one batter ever - but it was Astro Ty Wigginton. Biggio has been hit by Carlos Reyes and Al Reyes, and has been plunked twice in 38 plate appearances against the four pitchers named Reyes he has faced, but he hasn't faced Jo-Jo Reyes yet. Jo-Jo Reyes has faced 202 batters (TBF), while Biggio has been hit by 213 pitchers.



Last of the Reds

2007-09-27T06:41:53.224-04:00

The Astros beat the Reds by a 7-6 score last night, but Craig Biggio's only plate appearance resulted in a walk. The Reds last chance to plunk Biggio may be today, if it hasn't already passed, but after that they won't have Craig Biggio to plunk around any more. They've done it 21 times, and it looks like that number will stand.

Matt Belisle is pitching for the Reds today, but he's never hit Craig Biggio with a pitch. He's hit 17 other batters but none of them are likely to ever have a shot at the all-time HBP record.

Biggio has never been hit by a pitch on September 27th.



no 16th?

2007-09-26T06:47:00.705-04:00

Craig Biggio did not get hit by a pitch by the Reds last night, which means his 15 year streak of getting plunked by the Reds is likely over, since he's not expected to start either of the next two games, leading up to his return to the other side of the plate on Friday. It's still possible that he could have a pinch hit appearance, but they haven't been using him much in that role with such a deep September bench to choose from.

Tom Shearn pitches for the Reds today, but he's never hit a batter. He's only pitched 32 innings so far, so he'll probably get around to plunking a batter sometime soon.

Craig Biggio has never been plunked on September 26th.



more crazy astrology junk

2007-09-25T12:20:15.743-04:00

The big problem I've always had with horoscopes, whether they're in the newspaper or on a restaurant place mat, is that they never list who's been hit by the most pitches for each sign. Maybe it's just me. But if anyone else was bothered by this, here are the top 5 players in the HBP standings for each astrological sign.HBP records by Chinese Zodiac sign:DogCurt Welch - 173Nap Lajoie - 134Dummy Hoy - 134Honus Wagner - 125Frankie Crosetti - 114DragonBrady Anderson - 154Steve Brodie - 132Jose Guillen - 114Barry Bonds - 106Mike Macfarlane - 97HorseBill Dahlen - 140Larry Walker - 138Andre Dawson - 111Dan Brouthers - 105Dick Padden - 97MonkeyFred Clarke - 153Chuck Knoblauch - 139Willie Keeler - 129Jeff Bagwell - 128Gary Sheffield - 128OxDon Baylor - 267Minnie Minoso - 192Andres Galarraga - 178Bill Joyce - 108Wally Schang - 107PigTommy Tucker - 272Frank Robinson - 198Kid Elberfeld - 165Carlton Fisk - 143Jason Giambi - 134RabbitNellie Fox - 142Alex Rodriguez - 126David Eckstein - 116Scott Rolen - 95Jake Stahl - 94RamDan McGann - 230Chet Lemon - 151Luis Gonzalez - 111Mo Vaughn - 108Dick Bartell - 97RatCarlos Delgado - 157Frank Chance - 137Sherm Lollar - 115Tris Speaker - 103Elmer Flick - 99RoosterFernando Vina - 157Art Fletcher - 141John McGraw - 134Damion Easley - 125Buck Herzog - 120SnakeHughie Jennings - 287Craig Biggio - 285Ron Hunt - 243Bill Freehan - 114George Burns - 110TigerJason Kendall - 218Brian Downing - 129Derek Jeter - 129Eddie Yost - 99Jason LaRue - 97HBP records by astrological sign:AquariusCurt Welch - 173Chet Lemon - 151David Eckstein - 116Steve Evans - 111George Burns - 110AriesHughie Jennings - 287Kid Elberfeld - 165Fernando Vina - 157John McGraw - 134Pete Rose - 107CancerDon Baylor - 267Dan McGann - 230Jason Kendall - 218Carlos Delgado - 157Chuck Knoblauch - 139CapricornBrady Anderson - 154Carlton Fisk - 143Nellie Fox - 142Art Fletcher - 141Bill Dahlen - 140GeminiAndres Galarraga - 178Dummy Hoy - 134Jeff Bagwell - 128Jim Delahanty - 92Miguel Tejada - 89LeoJake Beckley - 183Alex Rodriguez - 126Sherry Magee - 109Wally Schang - 107Barry Bonds - 106LibraFred Clarke - 153Brian Downing - 129Frankie Crosetti - 114Eddie Yost - 99John Reilly - 94PiscesRon Hunt - 243Willie Keeler - 129Honus Wagner - 125Jeff Kent - 118Jason LaRue - 97SagittariusCraig Biggio - 285Minnie Minoso - 192Larry Walker - 138Bill Freehan - 114Mo Vaughn - 108ScorpioTommy Tucker - 272Gary Sheffield - 128Damion Easley - 125Jimmie Dykes - 115Bucky Harris - 99TaurusJose Guillen - 114Dan Brouthers - 105Reggie Jackson - 96Eric Young - 89Andruw Jones - 83VirgoFrank Robinson - 198Frank Chance - 137Nap Lajoie - 134Steve Brodie - 132Sherm Lollar - 115[...]



D'oh!

2007-09-25T07:07:06.387-04:00

The Astros are in Cincinnati tonight for the 6th to last game of Craig Biggio's career, and facing them will be Reds rookie Homer Bailey. Craig Biggio has never been plunked by Homer Bailey or any other Homer, nor has he been plunked by a Marge, Lisa, Bart, or Maggie. And he's never been hit by any Lenny, Karl, Moe or Barney, or anyone named Burns or Smithers. He has been plunked by Sideshows Bob Wickman, Walk, Ojeda and Tewksbury, Groundskeepers Willie Blair, Fraser, Banks, and Roberts and an assortment or Rods and Todds (Beck, Ritchee and Coffee). But no Homers. Homer Bailey has hit two batters so far in his career, but he's only thrown 151 pitches so far, and that's 132 short of the number of pitches Craig Biggio has been hit by.

If Biggio gets hit by a pitch sometime in the next three games, it will be the 16th consecutive season in which Biggio has been plunked at least once by the Reds. That may or may not be a record, but we can be sure no one has done it in at least 62 years.

Geremi Gonzalez plunked Biggio on September 25, 1997, but don't expect a historic re-enactment of that plunk in tonights game. Biggio got hit in the face by that one, but still stayed in the game.



it's the final off day

2007-09-24T06:51:00.033-04:00

The Astros lost two more to the Cardinals on Saturday and Sunday, and Craig Biggio was not awarded first base for getting struck by any pitches, but he did collect his 3,055th hit, which ties him with Ricky Henderson for 20th on the all time list.

Today is the last off-day Craig Biggio's career which at least means the rest of us don't have to spend another day sitting around without an Astros game to watch wondering if Craig Biggio will get hit by a pitch tomorrow. After today. Not that we'd spend an entire day just wondering if Biggio was going to get hit by a pitch the next day... well, not very often anyway. The Astros are back in action tomorrow at Cincinnati, where the Reds have plunked Biggio at least once in 15 consecutive seasons - they'll have three games to extend that streak to 16.

Mark Clark is the only pitcher to plunk Biggio on September 24th, doing so in 1997.



last two in St. Louis

2007-09-22T09:59:10.934-04:00

Craig Biggio sat around and watched the Astros beat the Cardinals 6-3 last night, and he might take today's game off too. Brad Thompson is pitching for the Cardinals today, but he's never plunked Biggio, not has any other pitcher named Brad. Thompson has hit 11 batters this year, which leads all guys named Brad, but that only brings him to 20 in his career - 4th among Brads all time behind Radke (62), Penny (35) and Lidge (25). The entire list of guys named Brad ever to pitch in the Majors has only accumulated 251 hit-batters, which of course is 34 less plunks than Biggio has received.

Gabe White plunked Biggio on September 22, 1997 - 10 years ago today.

Todd Wellemeyer is pitching for the Cardinals tomorrow, and Biggio is planning to play in that one. He's never plunked Biggio, and only hit 3 batters this year and 7 in his career. Pitchers named Todd have only hit 238 batters ever, but at least they've plunked Biggio 3 times.

If Biggio wanted to do something he's never done before on September 23rd, he could get hit by a pitch. He's never had a sacrifice fly or a sacrifice bunt on September 23rd, or reached base on an error or on catchers interference, but I'd still vote for the getting hit by a pitch option.



the outfielder who plunked Biggio?

2007-09-21T12:31:40.225-04:00

As you may have seen or hear, Rick Ankiel is now playing outfield for the St. Louis Cardinals, after several years in the minors attempting to revive his career as a pitcher. This would seem to make Rick Ankiel the only outfielder who has ever plunked Craig Biggio.

Ankiel has only played 41 games as an outfielder so far, but that's still 37 more appearances at non-pitching positions than all the players who have plunked Biggio had up until this year. Only one pitcher who plunked Biggio had ever recorded an out at another position - Jose Deleon (who also recorded that out in the outfield for the Cardinals).

If Ankiel continues to play well, he should have a chance at breaking most of the batting records among pitchers who have plunked Biggio. He's just one homer behind Carlos Zambrano, among Biggio plunkers - Zambrano has 12 to Ankiel's 11. He's only got 1 triple so far, but he only needs to get to 4 to pass Brian Anderson and AJ Burnett among those who have contributed to Biggio's plunks.

In the doubles category, Ankiel has 8 this year and 9 for his career, but if he keeps hitting them about once every 5 games, like he has this year, he won't get to Greg Maddux's career total of 35 until sometime next August. Ankiel will also need to come up with 211 more hits to catch Maddux in that category - Maddux has 265. (Yes, the record for hits among pitchers who have plunked Biggio is 20 less than the number of times they've plunked Biggio.)

But most importantly - Rick Ankiel has never been hit by a pitch. Time to stop thinking like a pitcher and take a few for the team Rick! Andy Benes and Bob Walk hold that record among those who have plunked Biggio, with just 6 each. Bob Walk does not, however, hold a share of the walks record for Biggio plunkers - John Smoltz has that, with 78 (61 ahead of Ankiel).



they saved all the offense for this game?

2007-09-21T06:46:58.305-04:00

Hughie Jennings played excellent defense from beyond the grave again yesterday, somehow preventing Craig Biggio from being hit by any pitches, but the Astros won 18-1, suddenly deciding to score all those runs they've been saving all year. Biggio did get a hit - his 3,053rd - tying him with Rod Carew on the all time list. He's now two hits behind Ricky Henderson at 3,055 but that's the last rung on that ladder he'll be able to reach. (Barring a surprise 2008 comeback).

Joel Piniero is pitching for the Cardinals tonight. He's never hit Biggio with a pitch, and he's probably not going to get the chance today because Biggio is expected to be out of the lineup until Sunday. But, maybe if they score another 18 runs tonight, they'll use him to pinch hit somewhere along the way.

Salomon Torres hit Biggio with a pitch on September 21, 1993, but Biggio hs not been plunked on this date since then.



In other news, the Astros named Ed Wade their new general manager, which is nice and all, but they could have been a real MLB trend setter if they had gone in a different direction. Why not take the plunge and become the first team to promote someone directly from "lunatic blogger" to General Manager? Isn't it the next logical step after the wave of stat focused GMs that have been getting jobs around the league for the past few years? It's time someone got into the front office who knew what the most important batting stat is, and it's initials are not OBP.



plunk primes

2007-09-20T12:48:23.332-04:00

Ten years ago, Craig Biggio was 31 years old and setting his career high in getting hit by pitches with 34 (assuming he doesn't break that high mark by getting hit 32 times in the next 10 games - that would be several records). Biggio was the 2nd oldest player ever to reach 30 HBPs, behind only Don Baylor who reached his rather late career plunk-peak at age 37, when he got hit 35 times for the '86 Red Sox (the AL single season record).Here's breakdown of everyone who ever had a career high of 10 plunks or more, by the age at which they reached their get-hitting peak:AgePlayers who set theircareer high inHBPs at that age2012132272321243825492646277628632956305731423226332234113510368377382396402421431(players who tied their own career high in different seasons are counted multiple times, and ages are based on season - year of birth rather than the frequently used convention of age at july 1st of the season, just because my way is slightly easier)Deacon White was 42 through the entire 1890 season, when he set his career high of 19, but is in the 43 bucket because he turned 43 in December of that year. He's still the player who was the oldest when he recorded his career high though (among players who don't have a lame career high under 10), because the next oldest was chemically enhanced active senior-citizen Barry Bonds. He turned 42 in the middle of 2006, and he only tied his career high with 10 that year.For most players, their best getting-hit years will be between the ages of 27 and 30. The largest numbers of 15+ and 20+ plunk seasons can be found at those ages as well as shown below.Numbers of 15+ and 20+ plunk seasons in years players turned each age:Age15+ HBP seasons20+ HBP seasons2010212122502331241442519526269273312283812293811303410312411321773314234713562367337523832393040104310Don Baylor narrowly edged Biggio for the highest age during a season with over 20 plunks, because he turned 38 during his final season over 20 plunks, and Biggio turned 38 in the December following his last season with over 20. Frank Robinson was the youngest player ever to reach 20 plunks, in 1956, the year he turned 21.[...]



Brewers leave, Astros to St. Louis

2007-09-20T07:05:00.473-04:00

The Brewers left town last night without leaving Craig Biggio with the lovely parting gift of an HBP, but they did leave the Astros with a 5-4 10th inning victory.

Tonight, the Astros begin Biggio's final series in St. Louis. He's been hit 14 times in St. Louis, including his first game at the new Busch Stadium, which is just 1 plunk behind Colorado for the road city where Biggio has been most often plunked. If the Cardinals could plunk Biggio 6 more times, they'd tie the Rockies for the most plunkings of Biggio thrown by any team. Braden Looper will be throwing for the Cardinals tonight, and he plunked Biggio on April 13, 2005 - a plunk which Biggio counts among the most painful of his career (a near-arm breaker, but Biggio still didn't leave the game). That plunk ended a 48 game plunkless streak by Biggio, so maybe Looper can work some streak-ending magic again today (but not the arm-breaking magic -we can't see the record broken if Biggio is on the DL).

Craig Biggio has never been plunked on September 20th.



who CAN get hit 288 times?

2007-09-19T21:00:41.255-04:00

Anyone? Bueller?Craig Biggio only needs to get hit 3 more times to get there, but if he doesn't, who can? Here's a look at the possible candidates using a (small) number of projection methods, in order of how soon they could possibly reach 288 plunks.2011Jason Kendall - He's the next most obvious choice with 218 career HBPs to date. He's averaging a little over 18 plunks per season, so if he could keep up that pace he'd be there in 2011. Unfortunately his pace has been slowing - 18 HBPs per year for his career, but only 17 per season for the past 5 years, 13.7 per season for the past 3, and only 9 HBPs this season. If this years total becomes his average for the rest of his career he'd have to play until age 41 - 20 seasons - to reach 288.2015Alex Rodriguez - He's only 7th on the active list, but if there is anyone in the league (not named Bonds) that the fans could really root for to get hit by a lot of pitches, he's the guy. He's got just 126, for a career average of just 8.2 per season, but he's got a career high of 20 this year. If he could keep getting hit at this year's pace, he could be in the 288 neighborhood in late 2015 or early 2016. He'll be over 40 then, but he is probably the sort of player who will still be playing then. Of course, projecting 9 years in the future based on one year isn't exactly science.2017Carlos Delgado - He's third among actives, with 157, and if he were to continue at the pace of his last 5 seasons, he could be at 288 in 2017. Unfortunately he'll also turn 45 in 2017. Betting on Delgado to break the record would be optimistic on a number of levels.Jose Guillen - Guillen has been hit 19 times this year bringing his three year average to 15, and his 5 year average is 14.8 plunks per season. Those averages would be plenty to reach 288 if he could keep them up over 20 seasons, but he's already played 11, at only 10.4 plunks per year. If he can continue getting hit 19 times a year like he has this year, though, he could break the record in 2017, but he too will have to play until he's 41 to do that.2018David Eckstein - Along with Kendall and Reed Johnson, Eckstein is the only active player sporting a career plunks per season average that would get him to 288 in a 20 year career. He's been hit 16.6 times per season so far, and at that rate he could reach 288 in 2018. The downside there is that he'll be 43 in 2018, and his averages for the past 5 and the past 3 years are only around 13 a year. That won't get it done, but he could be the sort of player to roll off a few 20+ HBP seasons any time now. Then again he hasn't been the picture of health recently, and he's already 32.Jason Giambi - He's 4th on the active list with 134, and he's been getting hit at about 14 plunks per season for the last 5 and the last 3 years, and he could reach 288 if he kept that up until 2018, but he'd also be 47 by then, and everyone knows that 87% of people who take human growth hormone have all their limbs fall off within the next ten years. I read that someplace. It might just be a rumor though.Aaron Rowand - He's only been hit 81 times in 7 seasons, but in his last three he's been hit 21, 18, and 19 times this year. If he keeps up the pace of the last 3 years, he could reach 288 in 2018. He'll turn 41 at the end of August that year. It's not out of the question that he'll still be playing then, if he cuts down on his wall collisions a bit, and he could conceivably pick up his HBP pace a bit. Or he might end up like that guy in the bloopers real they show on the center field scoreboard in the Naked Gun where the outfielder crashes into a wall and his head fall[...]



last call for Milwaukee to brew up a plunk

2007-09-19T06:57:27.291-04:00

Criag Biggio hit his 100th career sacrifice bunt last night, but he didn't sacrifice his body by getting hit by a pitch. However, maybe this was another of those milestones he wanted to cross off his list and now he can go back to chasing Hughie Jennings - sort of like how he got plunked twice in under 10 games after he passed 3000 hits. The Astros lost the game 9-1, but they get one more shot at the Brewers tonight.

Dave Bush will have a chance to become the 214th pitcher to plunk Biggio when he starts for the Brewers tonight. Bush has hit 9 batters this season, which is still 9 behind his total of 18 plunks in 2006. He'll need to do some serious work if he's going to meet his quota for this season.


Matt Morris plunked Biggio on September 19, 2003, but he didn't have the courtesy to do it again when I was at the game last Saturday.



Things left to do

2007-09-18T13:22:01.533-04:00

Aside from getting those last 3 plunks he needs to get to 288, breaking the all-time record, there are also a few demographic holes Craig Biggio could fill in among the list of pitchers who have hit him with pitches, though there won't be very many opportunities.Biggio has been hit by a pitch by someone born in nearly every calendar year between 1953 and 1984 - missing only 1954, 1959, and 1961. The oldest pitchers currently in the league are Roger Clemens and Jamie Moyer, and they were both born in '62. There hasn't been a pitcher in the league born before '62 since John Franco retired after the '05 season. Yovani Gallardo missed his chance last night to become the only pitcher born in 1986 ever to plunk Biggio, but Biggio could still get hit by Jose Ascanio of the Braves, who was born in 1985.Craig Biggio has also been hit by pitchers wearing 53 different uniform numbers, but there are 5 pitchers on the rosters of the teams left on the Astros schedule who wear numbers not on that list. Biggio has already been plunked by pitchers wearing numbers 14 to 19, 21 to 23, 25 to 62, 66, 67, 69, 71, 75 and 99. Carlos Villenueva wears #12 for the Brewers but he won't pitch against the Astros (barring a really long game in which he'd be forced into a relief appears). The Brewers also have Seth McClung though, wearing #73. The Cardinals have a #63 in Andy Cavazos, and the Reds have #81 Eddie Guardado and #64 Tom Shearn.Also, Biggio has only been plunked by pitchers born in 37 of the 50 US States. For some reason, he's never been plunked by any pitcher born in the 4 states which have postal abbreviations ending in the letter T - Vermont, Connecticut, Utah and Montana or any of the 3 states with abbreviations ending in E - Maine, Nebraska or Delaware. He's also been left unplunked by pitchers born in Oregon, Tennessee and New Mexico, as well as three states who have teams who have plunked him - Minnesota, Arizona and Colorado - the team that's plunked him the most.There hasn't been a pitcher born in Vermont working in the majors since 1985, so Biggio never had a chance at a plunk from all 50 states, but there have been 35 pitchers from Tennessee, 25 from Colorado, 22 from Oregon, 21 from Arizona, 20 from Minnesota, 15 from Connecticut, 10 from Nebraska, 8 from Utah, 6 from New Mexico, 5 from Delaware, 4 from Maine, and 4 from Montana pitching in the Majors between 1988 and 2006. But he didn't get hit by a pitch thrown by any of them. Meanwhile, he got hit by 50% of the pitchers born in Alaska, North Dakota, and Wyoming who threw in the Majors between '88 and '06, and a third of the pitchers from both Hawaii and Idaho.There are only two states, among those who haven't produced a Biggio plunker, represented on the rosters of the teams left on the Astros schedule. Derrick Turnbow of the Brewers and David Weathers of the Reds were both born in Tennessee, and Buddy Carlyle of the Braves is from Nebraska. Any of them could become the first pitcher from their state to plunk Biggio.Also, Manny Acosta of the Braves could be the only pitcher born in Panama to plunk Biggio, and Peter Moylan could be the first Australian to do so. A plunk from Moylan would not only add Australia to the list of countries which have produced a plunked of Biggio, but it would mean that Biggio would have been plunked by pitchers from 5 different continents, and all 4 of earths hemispheres. Currently, Biggio has not been plunked by a pitcher born on the southern half of the planet. Venezuela, South Vietnam and Aruba are the southern most places of birth for those who hav[...]



More Brewers,

2007-09-18T17:11:01.752-04:00

Craig Biggio did not get hit by a pitch last night, making it the 50th consecutive game he's played in without being hit. That makes this just the 8th plunkless streak of 50 games or longer of his career, and 2007 is the first season he's ever had two 50 game plunkless streaks in the same season (most of them have straddled two seasons). And, the Astros lost 6-0.



Tonight, Ben Sheets will have a chance to become the 16th pitcher ever to plunk Biggio three different times. He'd be the first to join the 3-timers club since Jason Jennings threw plunk 267 in 2005. Sheets has only hit one batter this season, but he only hit one batter other than Biggio last season. He plunked Biggio on August 17, 2006, and June 29, 2001, but both of those plunks occurred in Milwaukee.


Biggio has only been plunked once on September 18th - in 2003 by Jose Jimenez.



Brewers - that might be a good idea

2007-09-17T06:54:55.280-04:00

The Pirates came and went over the weekend, and didn't leave any HBPs for Craig Biggio, despite our efforts Friday and Saturday to will a plunk from the Minute Maid Park stands. Craig Biggio's career total will finish up at 0 for plunks in games attended by the guy who's written 867 blog posts about him getting hit by pitches.

The Astros will be hosting the Brewers for the next three games, and their malty beverage could add fuel to the final hopes of the quest for 288 plunks. Or, it may douse the final few flickering embers of the dream of seeing the HBP record broken in our lifetimes. Either way, Yovani Gallardo is pitching for the Brewers tonight, and he's never plunked Biggio. Gallardo has only hit 2 batters in his 90.1 inning career. Of cours, it only takes one pitch to plunk Biggio.

Today is the 10th anniversary of Biggio's only plunk on September 17th - thrown in 1997 by Jason Schmidt.


By the way, reader Brad wins the award for being the only fan in attendance in either Friday or Saturday's game to spot us and say hi. Unfortunately it's one of those metaphorical awards, not the kind where you get anything, except perhaps the knowledge that the guy who writes this site is a lot more interesting on the internet than in person. But thanks for saying hi, Brad. Nice meeting you.



they only have to play the Pirates twice more

2007-09-15T10:06:58.377-04:00

Visiting Minute Maid Park last night, it seems, did not help Craig Biggio get hit by a pitch - but if this was the Craig Biggio sacrifice bunt website, or the Chad Qualls blown save website, we could have taken all the credit. The Astros lost 4-3 and Craig Biggio is still stuck on 285. Also, while Biggio's 3050 hits are clearly displayed on an electronic counter in left center, I was unable to spot the HBP counter. I'm sure it's there someplace, right?

We'll be back at the park tonight to see Matt Morris throw toward the Astros. He's shown the ability to plunk Biggio in the past - on September 19, 2003 he threw Biggio's 241st plunk. Morris has hit 8 batters so far this year.

Mark Thompson plunked Biggio on September 15, 1996 for plunk 84.



Tomorrow, Tony Armas will attempt to add his name to the list of pitchers who have plunked Biggio, unless Biggio gets the day off. He's hit 8 batters this season, but none so far in September. Armas could become only the 2nd pitcher to plunk Biggio on September 16th, joining Chin-hui Tsao who plunked Biggio on this date in 2003.



Pirates of the Monongahela 5, near season's end

2007-09-14T06:46:25.626-04:00

The Cubs finished off there final series against Craig Biggio for his career and the Astros for the season, but they didn't leave any plunks to remember them by. The Cubs won the game 6-2, and Biggio will have to settle for only having been hit by the Cubs 19 times in his career.

Tonight, the Pirates come to Houston for their final visit, and what could be the battle for last place in the NL Central. Houston is currently 2 games behind the Pittsburgh squad, but they could pull out of the basement with a couple of wins. If we're lucky, Craig Biggio might add to his 22 career HBPs against the Pirates, and Ian Snell will have the first opportunity to contribute in tonight's game. Snell has never plunked Biggio, but he has hit a career high 8 batters this season, bringing his career total to 11.

Also, in a nearly-last ditch effort to get Biggio out of this extended plunking streak, the Plunk Biggio team (all two of us) will be in attendances at Minute Maid Park for the games tonight and tomorrow. Once again, please refrain from throwing baseballs at us. While I enjoy the history and statistics of major league players being hit by pitches, my enjoyment of plunks does not extend to personally receiving them - and my getting hit by baseballs doesn't help any major league team. But you can say hi if you want to. Also, since I'll be at the park, there may be some delay in the documenting of plunks on this site, since I'll be at the game as a spectator. (maybe I should have asked for a press pass? or an interview for the GM job?)

Dan Haren hit Craig Biggio with a pitch on September 14, 2003.



to plunk and get plunked

2007-09-13T13:04:31.122-04:00

You probably already knew that Craig Biggio has been hit by 285 pitches thrown by 213 different pitchers. But did you know that those 213 pitchers have been hit a total of 131 times themselves, by only 111 different pitchers? And of the 131 plunks that landed on a pitcher who has plunked Biggio, 57 were thrown by another pitcher who also plunked Biggio. 41 pitchers have both hit Craig Biggio with a pitch, and plunked at least one other pitcher who plunked Biggio. So, 43.5% of the plunks that hit pitchers who plunked Biggio were thrown by pitchers who plunked Biggio, but in the National League, between 1988 and 2006, only (only?) 37.1% of all the HBPs thrown were thrown by pitchers who have plunked Biggio.Andy Benes and Bob Walk were each hit by 6 pitches in their careers, making them the leaders in the getting hit category among those who have hit Craig Biggio with pitches. Greg Maddux, Kevin Brown, Pedro Astacio and Oral Hershiser all have 5 career plunks to their credit, and Livan Hernanez, Mark Gardner, Matt Clement and Darryl Kile have 4 each. Biggio has been hit by Pedro Astacio more times than any of those guys have been hit, and none of them has been hit more times in their career than Biggio has on April 29th alone. All 4 of Darryl Kile's career plunks came while batting for the Astros, and Mark Portugal, Pete Harnisch and Ron Villone all recorded their only career plunks (1 each) while playing for Houston.All 6 of the times Andy Benes was plunked, the pitch was thrown by someone who has plunked Craig Biggio, but none of Bob Walk's 6 plunks were thrown by Biggio plunkers. Matt Clement was also plunked exclusively by pitchers who have plunked Biggio.Of those 213 pitchers who have plunked Biggio, only 54 have as many career plunks as they've inflicted on Biggio alone.Darryl Kile and Greg Maddux are tied for the record for hitting other pitchers who plunked Biggio, with 4 plunks each. Maddux hit Steve Cooke, Jason Jennings, Dustin Hermanson and Dontrelle Willis, while Daryl Kile hit Scott Karl, Andy Benes and Kevin Ritz twice. DK plunked Ritz twice in the same game, making Ritz the only pitchers who has plunked Biggio and been hit twice himself in one game. Coincidently, Ritz had plunked Kile in their previous meeting. Kile also plunked Ritz before either had plunked Biggio, and Kile was pitching for the Astros at the time.Of the 131 times pitchers who have plunked Biggio have been plunked themselves, only 10 of those HBPs were thrown by the Astros (including the 2 Kile threw at Ritz), and only 2 were cases where the pitcher had plunked Biggio before getting plunked by the Astros. Willie Banks is the only pitcher to plunk Biggio and get plunked in the same game, but Banks got hit first. Jason Marquis is the only pitcher to plunk Biggio and then get hit by the Astros in the same season. Only 77 of the 131 plunks recorded by pitchers who plunked Biggio were actually recorded after each pitcher hit Biggio for the first time. Here's the complete (to date) history of pitchers who have plunked Biggio plunking each other:Tom Browning hit Mike LaCoss on 6/8/1987, John Smiley hit Greg Maddux on 9/16/1989, Ryan Bowen (of the Astros) hit Andy Benes on 8/8/1991, Mark Portugal (of the Astros) hit Andy Benes on 9/9/1991, Jose DeLeon hit Andy Benes on 7/2/1993, Greg Maddux hit Steve Cooke on 7/16/1993, Ryan Bowen hit Pete Harnisch on 8/26/1993, Kevin Ritz hit Darryl Kile (of the Astros) on 8/4/1994, [...]



last game against the Cubs

2007-09-13T06:26:39.681-04:00

The Astros lost another one last night, 3-2, and Craig Biggio went plunkless for the 47th consecutive game. Tonight the Cubs will have Steve Trachsel pitching for them, and he's one of 4 active pitchers with over 2000 innings pitched in the National League without ever hitting Craig Biggio. Only Tom Glavine and Curt Schilling have thrown more innings in the NL without plunking Biggio, among pitchers who are still active. Trachsel has hit two batters this season, bringing his career total to 51.

This is Biggio's last chance to make the Cubs the 5th against whom he has 20 or more plunks.

Steve Schrenk hit Biggio with a pitch on September 13, 1999, and Jason Simontacchi plunked Biggio on Friday, September 13, 2002.