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Mets Set Record for Most Hit by Pitches


The 2022 Mets season might be remembered for the franchise’s first trip to the playoffs in six years, the pitching of Max Scherzer and the all-around play of shortstop Francisco Lindor.

And likewise, oddly enough, for batters being hit by pitches.

When Luis Guillorme was plunked by Jake Cousins of the Milwaukee Brewers within the ninth inning of Wednesday’s 6-0 loss on the road, it was the 106th time a Met was hit by a pitch this yr — a single-season record. The Cincinnati Reds had held the record, 105, which they set last season. The Mets, who were clinging to a one-game lead within the N.L. East through Wednesday, still have 11 games to go.

The common-or-garden hit by pitch is commonly underestimated. If, as they are saying, “a walk is nearly as good as a success,” then surely a success by pitch is nearly as good as a walk. However the Mets stopped wanting celebrating their record, despite the 106 invaluable base runners which were handed to them.

“I’m closer to the plate, and I don’t move, and pitchers pitch in lots now,” Mark Canha, who was hit twice in the sport, told reporters afterward. “It just type of works out that way.”

“It’s like a broken record at this point,” Canha said, adding: “Yeah, sure, we’re frustrated. It’s like not an amazing thing to occur to your team.”

Manager Buck Showalter, who has complained concerning the Mets getting hit so often that the SNY network has a running gag of him reacting to the incidents, acknowledged after the sport that getting hit by a pitch helped a player’s on-base percentage. But he said he was more concerned concerning the risk of injury. He also said his players weren’t responsible for the preponderance of incidents.

“It’s just wild pitches. You’ve seen them,” he said. “They’re not near the plate. They’re all the best way across the batter’s box. It’s pretty hard to hit Guillorme how he got hit. You could have to miss by a very good margin. It’s frustrating. I’ve got some personal feelings about why it happens a lot, but I’m sure M.L.B. doesn’t wish to hear about it on this format.”

Hitting a batter tends to be considered something a pitcher controls. But as anybody who has played the sport will attest, a batter can influence it, leaning the fitting way, crowding the plate excellent or moving away a fraction of a second too slowly.

If it were only as much as the pitcher, how would one explain the Hall of Famer Craig Biggio being hit a record 285 times in his profession when Wade Boggs, one other Hall of Famer with an analogous amount of exposure, was hit only 23 times?

Canha leads the majors this season, having been hit 24 times, still wanting his personal high of 27 last yr, when he also led the majors. His fellow Mets Brandon Nimmo (16) and Starling Marte (13) are also in the highest 10, and Marte has not played since Sept. 6 after being hit within the hand and injuring a finger.

At the least one Met has been largely spared: Infielder Eduardo Escobar, who reached 500 plate appearances for the yr Wednesday, has been hit just once.

The Mets’ total of 106 is comfortably ahead of some other team this season, but loads of players are getting hit. The San Francisco Giants and the Cincinnati Reds have each had greater than 80 batters get hit this season, and 6 more teams are within the 70s. Twenty years ago, only 4 teams wound up within the 70s, and 40 years ago, in 1982, no team was higher than 35.

Since 2018, there have been greater than 0.4 hit batsmen a game in every season, numbers not consistently seen because the rough-and-tumble days of the 1800s.

There are theories as to why so many batters are being hit lately. One is that players are more protected: Equipment like elbow guards makes them more fearless and fewer taken with diving out of the best way of an inside pitch. A second theory holds that teams are valuing pitchers’ velocity way more than control, resulting in faster but wilder pitching.

Early this season one other theory emerged: The ball was responsible. “M.L.B. has a really big problem with the baseballs,” Mets starter Chris Bassitt said on the time, adding: “They’re bad. Everyone within the league knows it. Every pitcher knows it. They’re bad.”

Baseball responded by saying it was analyzing trends and speaking with players and coaches to handle concerns over hit batsmen.

Showalter asked for the ball after the record-breaking pitch Wednesday. After the sport, he joked, “It will be obscene to let you know what I used to be going to do with it.”

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