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Friday, August 17, 2018

Walter and Randy Johnson allowed home runs in first plate appearance (PA) for Luke Stuart and Marcus Thames.

Monday, August 8, 1921
Venue: Griffith Stadium
Game Duration: 1:50
Day Game, on grass
Senators 16, Browns 5

Walter Johnson, W (10-10)910542313.854150
Team Totals910542314.004150

Marty McManus started at second base for the St. Louis Browns, batting eigth. After going 0 for 3 McManus was replaced by 29 year old rookie Luke Stuart, who had played in a previous game July 28 in New York against the Yankees in the Polo Grounds but not batted. Facing the great Walter Johnson in Washington, D.C. in his first plate appearance (PA), Stuart hit a home run. The next day Stuart got his only start and went 0 for 2. Those three games were his only in the majors. For his three PA Stuart had:









Walter Johnson was 33 years old in 1921. He allowed 7 home runs in 264 innings and led the American League in strike outs with 143. 

At the end of the 1921 season Walter Johnson passed Cy Young for the lead in career strike outs 2,835 to 2,803. Walter Johnson retired after 1927 with 3,509 SO and held the career record until 1982 when Steve Carlton led at the end of the season with 3,709. Carlton was passed in 1984 by Nolan Ryan who has held the record since. Ryan retired after 1993 with 5,714.

Monday, June 10, 2002
Attendance: 45,698
Venue: Yankee Stadium II
Game Duration: 3:22
Night Game, on grass
Yankees 7, Diamondbacks 5

Randy Johnson, L (9-2)7.27553822.81331347636182271450500.1271.210.7
Bret Prinz, BS (2)0.112210112.003146411021022-0.6174.53-3.4
Team Totals88774837.883614882401923716605022-0.4901.48-2.6

HR: Marcus Thames (1, off Randy Johnson, 3rd inn, 1 on, 0 outs to LF-CF)

That gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead. Thames was playing in his first major league game, batting 9th in right field and he homered in his first plate appearance (PA) off the great Randy Johnson.

Randy Johnson was 38 years old and allowed 26 home runs in 2002 but he led the National League in 2002:
Wins 24
Winning "percent" .828
Complete Games 8
Innings 260
Strike Outs 334 (4th consecutive season over 300, 6th and final over all)
ERA+ 195

Randy Johnson retired after 2009 with 4,875 SO, second only to Nolan Ryan. Randy Johnson struck out over 300 batters in six seasons; most 372 in 249.66 innings in 2001, the year before Thames homered off him.

25 year old Thames batted three more times in that game but all were outs. He had 13 PA in 7 games in 2002 but that was his only home run. He played with Texas in 2003 and Detroit 2004-2009, returning to the Yankees for 82 games in 2010. Thames completed his ten year career with 36 games for the Dodgers in 2011. He hit 115 home runs in 1,827 at bats.

August 31, 2006 Randy Johnson was pitching for the Yankees in Yankee Stadium against Detroit and Thames was batting third for the Tigers. In the 9th inning Thames hit his second and final home run off Randy Johnson with a runner on. Johnson was then replaced by Mariano Rivera who got the final three outs in a 6-4 Yankee win. For Thames it was his 24th of 26 home runs in 2006, his most in any season, in only 348 AB. Thames hit 25 in 2008 in 316 AB.

Marcus Thames is currently the batting coach for the New York Yankees.


Home Run in First At-Bat (not necessarily first plate appearance)

Fifty-one American League players. Sixty-nine National League players. Two from the American Association...

Twenty-nine of these players didn't even have to wait until the second pitch; they hit their dingers on the first major league pitch they ever saw. Twenty-two did not hit another major league home run. Only four men hit their home runs with the bases loaded -- Bill Duggleby on April 21, 1898; Jeremy Hermida, one-hundred seven years later, on August 31, 2005; Kevin Kouzmanoff on September 2, 2006; and, finally, Daniel Nava on June 12, 2010. Four of these players made their major league debut with one team and had to wait to have their first at-bat when they played for a different team...

50. 118. Tyler Austin (Active) New York 08-13-2016
51. 119. Aaron Judge (Active) New York 08-13-2016

Austin and Judge are the most recent.

Data shows Jose Urena hit Ronald Acuna intentionally: modest BB, high HBP.

Braves rookie Ronald Acuna had hit leadoff homers in three consecutive games against the Marlins, then was Hit By Pitch on the first pitch thrown by Marlins starting pitcher Jose Urena in the first inning of the fourth game of the series, which the Braves swept.

Acuna had also homered in five consecutive games, including two in the previous game, and in 7 of the previous 8 games. On the Met telecast that night after the incident had become known, former Met Keith Hernandez stated that Acuna had to be hit.

After Braves and Marlins benches and bullpens cleared for a brawl, the umpires eventually ejected Urena for intentionally hitting Acuna. The video makes it look intentional but look at the data for this season.

It's been my contention for several years that pitchers with relatively few Bases on Ball (BB) but high HBP are hitting batters, not because they are wild, but because they want to hit batters.

For 2018, Qualified for league ERA title, sorted by smallest Bases On Balls per 9 IP from baseball-reference.com

Best control among 74 qualifying pitchers:
1Corey Kluber1.182222168.0201832CLEAL2525210156.714013356501602.683.3124.8%3.4%166.25521646619222012130600.215.243.359.6025824211618
2Bartolo Colon1.533223135.1201845TEXAL2422101710.41201488078755.195.1213.2%4.0%91.2762657053629911751110.276.306.509.81510920281349
3Justin Verlander1.537228164.1201835HOUAL2626110118.579012249462172.522.9833.8%4.4%157.2702364360324401423322.202.245.370.6147026261796
4Miles Mikolas1.555226151.1201829STLNL2424110123.800013352481022.853.3716.9%4.3%139.26811605564144464152101.236.274.333.6077022271533
5Marco Gonzales1.776128142.2201826SEAAL2424100128.600014864621253.913.5821.3%4.8%102.32016588549341014223460.270.310.423.73310422051495
6Carlos Carrasco1.786427136.1201831CLEAL2322200146.700012657531553.503.1428.1%4.9%127.319165515132334231111210.246.290.396.6858120791399
7Zack Greinke1.794031156.0201834ARINL2525000128.600013353521583.003.6425.3%5.0%146.2722262558524212351400.227.270.388.6587424311574
8Mike Leake1.804231154.2201830SEAAL252500087.53301647367963.904.1115.0%4.8%102.29718642604354311221520.272.311.432.74310722841527
9Mike Fiers1.805226130.1201833TOTAL232300086.571013152491003.384.5318.4%4.8%131.2792254551226311167300.256.298.447.7459920171313
10Sean Manaea1.848931151.2201826OAKAL2525110118.579012760581023.444.2116.6%5.1%118.24019613570232131105400.223.272.370.6427822371507

Number 74:
Lucas Giolito 4.92 13 8 72 in 131 innings
Giolito hits many batters because he has bad control, more than one BB every two innings.

Number 30, right in the middle of the pack of 74:
Jose Urena 2.58 11 2 37 in 129 innings
Urina hit batters intentionally.  Only 2 WP. Only one BB every 3.5 innings.

Intent follows the data. Pitchers with at least 10 HBP, sorted by BB9:
1Chris Sale2.0311433146.0201829BOSAL2323000124.75009134322191.971.9538.7%5.8%221.2761056651920200346210.
2Rick Porcello2.1411236151.2201829BOSAL2525100155.750013873681504.043.7423.6%5.7%108.2851963658226202564011.237.292.387.6788223981587
3Jose Berrios2.5811244153.2201824MINAL2525210118.579012965641573.753.8024.7%6.9%115.2741963557729112194210.224.291.376.6678024031555
4Jose Urena2.5811237129.0201826MIANL2424000312.200012869681044.744.1719.2%6.8%79.30515542487232743124621.263.327.411.73811421251329
5Jakob Junis2.6212537127.0201825KCRAL2222000611.353013073681224.825.0622.1%6.7%88.2942655349619312665300.262.325.470.79511720601334
6Tanner Roark2.8110545144.1201831WSNNL2423001712.368014068661254.124.0120.5%7.4%103.30216610545223346154610.257.322.396.7189323591487
7Cole Hamels3.1314746132.1201834TOTML232300079.438012673621344.224.7523.4%8.0%111.291235725072320041615212.249.326.438.76410021691380
8Felix Hernandez3.3311548129.2201832SEAAL2423000811.421013790811015.625.0717.5%8.3%71.29721576509332034129100.269.343.466.80812521451344
9Jhoulys Chacin3.4110355145.0201830MILNL2626000124.750011865601193.724.1219.6%9.1%112.2571460653024414786400.223.304.362.6668322891430
10Clayton Richard3.4810658150.0201834SDPNL2525000710.412014186831024.984.6316.0%9.1%79.27817638563295152205231.250.330.410.74010922431401
11Charlie Morton3.5412254137.1201834HOUAL2323000123.800010447441712.883.4430.2%9.5%137.28714566496213013103320.210.301.349.6508322001394
12Lucas Giolito4.9213872131.2201823CHWAL242400089.47101269290916.155.7915.4%12.2%67.267215915013121141221200.251.358.447.80512422591352
Urena has the fourth best control in this group. The two at the top are Red Sox. Chris Sale has a BB to HBP ratio of 3 to 1 (33/11). Sale hits batters intentionally. In an August 3 dust up at Fenway Park with the Yankees Sale was the leading antagonist in the Boston dugout when Yankee starter Luis Severino threw up and in to Boston leadoff batter Mookie Betts after Yankee leadoff batter Brett Gardner had just been HBP by ... number two above Rick Porcello.

If the league ever cracks down on these criminals, it might stop. This without getting into a morality play about this ridiculous barbarity. The league is afraid of the players union, half of whom, the ball players, should favor such a crackdown.