Josh Harrison may be baseball's unluckiest batter with four consecutive hit-by-pitches
After leading the American League in hit-by-pitches each of the last two seasons -- despite never reaching the 400-plate appearance mark -- Brandon Guyer had the title of King of the HBP. Though it's a crown that no one probably wants, he may have already lost it in 2017.
That's because Josh Harrison was hit in four consecutive plate appearances. That's right -- starting in the seventh inning of Sunday's 6-1 victory against the Cubs and extending to Monday's 2-1 loss versus the Cardinals, Harrison came to the plate four times and was rewarded with a trip to first base. Perhaps even stranger: They're all basically to the same place.
That's gotta hurt:
It's like he's a real life Scott Sterling. Harrison ended his painful baseball magnetism when he grounded out in the seventh inning.
As Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told MLB.com's Adam Berry after the game, ""You talk about the game being contagious. I've never seen anything like that. I don't know if we need to figure that one out."
The broadcast pointed out that it's a feat that hasn't been accomplished since at least 1974. In fact, according to Elias, only two players in the past 80 years even had two consecutive games with two HBPs: Jon Jay in 2014 and Craig Biggio in 2000.
You can imagine why no one may have accomplished it: players probably shuffle to the far edge of the box after the second or third HBP, before ever reaching that fourth plate appearance. If anyone was to do it, it would probably have been Hughie Jennings, who played before there was gameplay data. In a career that spanned from 1891-1903, with sporadic appearances until 1919, Jennings set the record with 287 HBPs in his career. Perhaps even more shocking: Biggio finished his career only two behind with 285.
No source other than Guiness World Records, the book that ends all bar bets, lists the record for most consecutive batters hit by a pitcher. It's three -- held by nine hurlers. Those men with great control-but-not-really: Javier Vazquez, Dock Ellis, Pink Hawley, Earl Hamilton, C.J. Nitkowski, Steve Sparks, Walter Thornton, Jeff Weaver, and Wilbur Wood. Woe be the batters who had to face them on that day.