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« 3-2 is a Pitcher's Count for Max Scherzer | Main | Wainwright's Curveball Key to Bucs-Cards Game 5 »
Wednesday
Oct092013

Shane Victorino's HBP Strikes?

As I wrote this morning on Billy-Ball.com:

Shane Victorino is the winner of the this season's Black-and-Blue Award, or if this were an official award, MLB would make sure it was The Johnny Walker Black and Blue Award.

Victorino was hit by 18 pitches in the regular season and another four times by Rays pitchers in the four games of the ALDS and more than once pitches that hit the Flyin' Hawaiian were very close to being, or may have been, strikes.

Take a look at Victorino's 2013 regular season HBP

Still feeling unsure whether any were strikes? 

Here's another look:

There was one HBP, delivered by James Shields on August 11, that was regarded as being "on the black."

Now take a look at Victorino's 2013 ALDS four HBP

These are close, but you can see they are not strikes.

Let's watch...

It will be interesting to watch in the rest of the Red Sox postseason run whether a manager complains about a Victorino HBP as to whether he is actually hanging too much over the plate and if that complaint gets into the head of the ump in the future. 

We also have to watch how many more kerplunkings Victorino can survive.

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Reader Comments (4)

It is bad for baseball for a player like Victorino to hang over the plate the way he does and not be asked to get back in the box to hit. We watched him destroy in the dirt the inside line toward the plate prior to receiving a pitch. Last night during ALDS Game 4 he was hit twice by very good pitchers who weren't having any command problems. TV angles show that at least one of them was definitely a strike. That should not be a part of any team's or player's legitimate baseball strategy to reach base and some official in baseball should call him out about it. I appreciate "gamers" but this is just cheating unfortunately on the part of one of baseball's best teams, the Boston Red Sox.

October 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJan Stenhouse

Rodney did not have command. I don't think you were watching the same game as everyone else Jan.

October 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterK

Jan, how can you say that TV angles show that at least one of the pitches that hit Victorino was a strike when you have clear evidence right in front of your very eyes in this article that show you that none of the pitches that hit him were strikes? Yes, Victorino hangs over the plate, but his feet are in the batter's box, are they not? Plenty of guys in the majors hang over the plate, and do so legally. Baseball rules state that you can hang over the plate as long as your feet are in the batter's box, and you are awarded first base if you get hit by a pitch that is out of the strike zone and if you make an attempt to avoid being hit. What Shane Victorino did on all 4 HBP's in the ALDS fall under these rules.

October 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDan

Jan,

If a ball that hits a batter in the strike zone it is the umpire's job to call that pitch a strike whether the ball is swung at or not.

If the umpire does not call that same pitch as a strike and it hits the batter, then the batter is awarded first base by rule (as Dan mentioned).

So, the determining factor is the umpire and not whether Victorino is "cheating".

Are you saying that players are cheating on other plays when an umpire may make a mistake?

October 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercharlie
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