Sunday, April 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Cubs-Indians World Series features hit-by-pitch artists Brandon Guyer and Anthony Rizzo

UPDATE: A version of this story appeared on tampabay.com earlier in the week. In Brandon Guyer's first plate appearance of the World Series, Cubs starter Jon Lester struck him with a 90 mph pitch. In his five other plate appearances, Guyer has one hit, two walks and two strikeouts. Anthony Rizzo has not been hit by a pitch this postseason.

For all the talk of suffering heading the World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians, little has been said about the pain a couple of players have endured in recent seasons.

We're talking about Indians outfielder Brandon Guyer, whom Cleveland acquired in an August trade with the Rays, and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Since the start of the 2014 season, no player has been hit by pitches more often than Guyer and Rizzo.

RELATED STORY: Never Budge: Missing out on Brandon Guyer's incredible run at baseball history

Guyer has been hit a major-league-high 66 times in that span, while Rizzo has been hit 61 times, second-most. Guyer led baseball this season with 31 HBPs, the most since Pirates catcher Jason Kendall also had 31 in 1998. Rizzo led baseball last season with 30 HBPs. He was hit 16 times this season, fifth-most.

To be plunked more than 60 times over three seasons is remarkable in itself, but even more astounding is that Guyer has been hit five more times than Rizzo and yet has about half as many plates appearances (1,024 to Rizzo's 1,993).

In fact, through his five-season career, Guyer has been hit like no player in baseball history. He has been plunked once every 16.3 plate appearances.

No one else comes close. Hughie Jennings, who played from 1891 to 1903, is second with a hit-by-pitch rate of once every 19.6 appearances. Ron Hunt, who led baseball in HBPs seven times, was hit once every 25.3. Don Baylor, who also led seven times, was hit once every 35.2. Craig Biggio, who led five times, was hit once every 43.9. Rizzo has been hit once every 43.3.

Rizzo, a left-handed hitter, stands closer to the plate than Guyer, his back foot on the chalk of the batter's box and his hands out over the inside part of home plate. Guyer, a right-handed hitter, stands in the middle of the box, but when he takes his stride, his front foot lands on the chalk of the box.

Pitchers often hit Rizzo's arms or back. Guyer is a bit of an anomaly. Pitchers tend to hit his lower half, in part because of his stride. When they throw an offspeed pitch inside, he just doesn't budge. He's content to let it hit him in the thigh so he can take his base.

This World Series is the first since 1979 in which each team's roster features a player who finished the regular season in the top five in hit-by-pitches. In the 1979 series, the eventual champion Pirates had outfielder Dave Parker (nine HBPs) and the Orioles had outfielder Gary Roenicke (12).

The Philadelphia Phillies, who beat the Rays in the 2008 World Series, are the last champion to roster the major-league leader in hit-by-pitches. Second baseman Chase Utley was hit 27 times that season. He leads all active players with 190 HBPs.

Contact Thomas Bassinger at [email protected] Follow @tometrics.

Comments
Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

ST. PETERSBURG — Good pitching and hitting go hand in glove, but the Rays did not look like a team that could swing the bats very well until this completed homestand.In their series sweep over the Twins, Tampa Bay scored 8, 10 and 8 runs. ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rick Stroudís takeaways from Rays-Twins

Rick Stroudís takeaways from Rays-Twins

–Yonny Chirinos may be the Rays fourth starter, but it seems to be in name only. He was lifted after pitching 4 2/3 innings against the Twin on Sunday, the shortest start of his career and his second-shortest appearance.  "Going into the g...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Raysí Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

Raysí Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

ST. PETERSBURG — With every swing, there is a chance Carlos Gomez is going to do something extraordinary with the baseball bat.He may swing so violently that he spins himself into the ground as if he were an oil drill. Or, you could see him sna...
Updated: 5 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

Rays pitcher Yonny Chirinos is no longer just part of a bullpen day, he's the No. 4 starter and who goes to the mound at 1:10 p.m. against Phil Hughes to try to help Tampa Bay attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the Twins.Catcher Wilson Ramos g...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Members of the Rays organization sent their thoughts and prayers to former teammate Danny Farquhar, who was hospitalized Saturday night in Chicago in stable but critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.Farqu...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Sunday vs. Twins1:10, Tropicana FieldTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 760-AM (Spanish)Tickets: $20-$300; available at Tropicana Field box office, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within five hours of game.Promotion: Mascot socks for kids 14 a...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

ST. PETERSBURG – Let's be clear here, the Rays still have a long way to go, and a lot of ground to make up.But seeing them play like they did Saturday in beating the Twins 10-1, putting on a solid all-around show in cobbling their first three-g...
Published: 04/21/18
Updated: 04/22/18
Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

* Is it time to take the leap and believe this is the real Blake Snell? He talked a good game this spring and pitched well in his debut, but that rough second outing raised old doubts. But a good outing in Chicago and two dominant ones on the homesta...
Published: 04/21/18
Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

When the Rays, in the opening weekend of their 20th anniversary celebration season, brought back and honored the inaugural 1998 Devil Rays squad, it got us thinking unexpected thoughts, such as which was a better team:The first one, or the current on...
Published: 04/21/18
Rays will go forth with four starters

Rays will go forth with four starters

ST. PETERSBURG — Three weeks was enough for the Rays to officially ditch their three-man rotation plan.Starting Sunday, they will go forth with Yonny Chirinos as their fourth starter.Which is a five-star idea.The flaws in the three-man plan ...
Published: 04/21/18