I wrote yesterday about how Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo had been hit by more pitches than any player in baseball history through this point in the season and then last night he got plunked again.
Choo has now been hit 10 times in 19 games. You can read yesterday’s post to see how far ahead of everyone else that is this early in a season, but here are some more stats for a little context:
• None of the other 29 teams have been hit by 10 pitches collectively and 13 of the 29 teams have been hit by five or fewer pitches.
• If you remove Choo from their total the other Reds have been hit a combined three times.
• Choo’s career-high is 17 plunkings in 156 games back in 2009.
• Choo has already been hit 10 times, but no other player in baseball has been hit more than four times.
• Last season Prince Fielder, Carlos Quentin, and Kevin Youkilis tied for the MLB lead in hit by pitches … with 17.
Oh, and one more tidbit: He’s yet to charge the mound.
Here are the Cubs and Pirates lineups for tonight’s Wild Card game in Pittsburgh:
CF Dexter Fowler
RF Kyle Schwarber
LF Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Tommy La Stella
2B Starlin Castro
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
SP Jake Arrieta
Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted Tommy La Stella in the lineup over Jorge Soler or Chris Coghlan, so he starts at third base and Kris Bryant shifts to left field. Bryant started just four games in left field all season, compared to 136 starts at third base. Also of note: After batting Addison Russell ninth–behind the pitcher–116 times this season Maddon has him in the more traditional eighth spot tonight.
RF Gregory Polanco
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
1B Sean Rodriguez
SP Gerrit Cole
Pedro Alvarez started 119 games at first base for the Pirates and with right-hander Jake Arrieta on the mound he was the presumed starter tonight, but instead manager Clint Hurdle has benched the 27-homer slugger in favor of utility man Sean Rodriguez. Alvarez is vastly superior to Rodriguez offensively, especially versus a righty, but he’s also very shaky defensively. During the regular season Rodriguez started a grand total of one game at first base against a right-hander, so this qualifies as a hunch by Hurdle.