Carlos Quentin’s HBP Zone

This post is going to be short and sweet, but given what transpired last night and David Temple’s plea to Quentin on Tuesday, I got curious about where the pitch locations of Carlos Quentin‘s HBPs actually have been. We all know he hangs over the plate, and that he gets hit by a lot of pitches, so I asked Jeff Zimmerman to query out PITCHF/x data and create a plot of where Quentin has been hit since 2008.

During that span, Quentin has been hit by 95 pitches. Here is where those pitches were located.

QuentinHBP

There are four pitches that were plotted against the upper corner of the strike zone, to the point where we wouldn’t have been surprised if they had been called strikes had they not hit Quentin.

This is going to be harder to see from the plot, but there are 25 HBPs represented there that were between -1.0 — the inside corner to an RHB — and -1.5 on the horizontal axis. The labels on the x axis are in feet, so you could otherwise say that Quentin was hit by 25 pitches that were recorded to be no further than six inches off the inner part of the plate.

I asked Zimmerman about the frequency of HBPs in that area. According to Jeff, 0.02% of all pitches thrown by Major League hurlers in the -1.0 to -1.5 range result in a hit by pitch, or 2 HBPs per 10,000 pitches thrown in that area. For Quentin, 0.4% of all piches in that range result in an HBP, or 40 per 10,000 pitches.

Quentin’s rate of being hit by pitches within six inches of the inside corner is 20 times higher than the Major League average. It is, at the minimum, a little hard to have sympathy for the guy.

For the record, last night’s pitch from Greinke was plotted at -1.504, so it is just barely outside of that sample area. It was certainly inside and off the plate, but most batters would not have been hit by that pitch.




Print This Post



Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


215 Responses to “Carlos Quentin’s HBP Zone”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. bowie says:

    beautiful and elegant
    One would think that a player who is continually hit by pitches (and frequently injured) might think to himself, “Maybe it’s me.”

    +58 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Devil's Advocate says:

      Turning it around: besides Greinke, none of the many pitchers who have hit CQ have ever been charged at.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • tomemos says:

        This is irrelevant, since there’s nothing Greinke could have done or said in that situation to justify Quentin’s action. It’s not like Greinke has some history of being charged, or being perceived as anything other than a nice guy, anyway.

        +11 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Freakshow says:

          Huh? Grienke comes off as a grade A douchebag to me.

          -50 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • KDL says:

          Douchebag and headhunter are different things. If being a douchebag were a reason to charge the mound, someone would charge the mound every time the Phillies were up by less than 3 in the 9th.

          +39 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Jeremy says:

          If being a douchebag were a reason to charge the mound, someone would charge the mound every time the Phillies were up by less than 3 in the 9th played.

          FTFY.

          +30 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • randplaty says:

          He has a history of mouthing off. If someone hits you with a pitch and then says “F*** off” to you. What are you going to do?

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • NATS Fan says:

          I am a fan of neither team nor either player, but I happened to be watching that game and Greinke all but demanded that Quentin charge him. No player could have not charged in that instance without being considered a huge panzy. Plus, Greinke threw consecutive pitches right at Quentin’s wrist. hit him twice in essentially the same spot, but Quentin was considered to have swung at the first pitch even though he checked his swing. Honestly, I am beyond shocked that Greinke has not been suspended. It was very very deliberate, both the pitch and the baiting to fight, and I rarely feel that way about an HBP. I almost always side with the pitcher. I used to like Greinke but that was a richard move!

          -17 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Baltar says:

          NATS, Greinke has been suspended for at least 8 weeks; Quentin, for 8 games.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • WhiteSoxFan says:

          Baltar, Gerinke wasn’t “suspended”. He is on the Disabled List due to a broken collar bone. But when you look at the history between the two guys, it’s been built up tension. He had it coming. Not saying he deserves a broken bone, but you can’t say that a confrontation wasn’t bound to happen.

          -13 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • KDL says:

          If someone had ridiculously been whining about a perceived wrong I did to them for 4 years and they very publicly started whining about it again, I would probably tell them “Fuck off”. Even if Greinke reacted before Quentin was headed toward him (which wasn’t the case) he would have been totally justified in telling Quentin off.
          Finally, I am completely perplexed by the macho types saying “man-up” “take what you deserve”…while never once questioning the manliness of crying about being hit by a baseball.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Devil's Advocate says:

          The point was: if Quentin is “continually hit by pitches” as the OP stated, yet never charges the mound, what was different this time? Perhaps Greinke should think “Maybe it’s me”?

          I am not defending Quentin, he clearly comes off poorly here, just saying that by the OP’s logic, perhaps there is more to the story than we know?

          Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Jim says:

      You never know; he could have intentionally been trying to injure Grienke.

      I always had an idea, back in the ’90′s, that I called “the Tyson Rule.” The thinking was that every basketball team should hire Mike Tyson (or someone similar), whose sole purpose on the team would be to go out on the floor and injure the opposing team’s best player, thus keeping him off the court for at least that game (and, hopefully, as long as possible). Obviously, this was unlikely to have been Quentin’s goal in a game in in April, but if, say, a bench player on a playoff team were to charge the mound against another playoff team’s ace or closer during a meaningless game in mid-September with the intention of ending that pitcher’s season, it could create a significant amount of value for his team.

      -10 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Dave says:

        Grienke was cruising through 5. It’s entirely possible (though not at all likely) that Quentin wasn’t trying to injure Grienke, but WAS trying to get him ejected from the game.

        +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Rally says:

        It really helps when that Mike Tyson type can actually play basketball, like Dwyane Wade.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mtwzzyzx says:

        “You never know; he could have intentionally been trying to injure Grienke.”

        I don’t how else you could characterize a guy the size of an NFL linebacker running at you full speed. No, no intent to injure there.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • The Ted, Section 437 says:

        Sure, it’s just a hypothetical, but at some point you’re really compromising the integrity of baseball.

        Ha.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • vivaelpujols says:

        HAHAHA this is a great idea.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • James says:

      Unless, of course, you feel the guy has thrown at your head multiple times previously.

      One would also think that a player who is being charged by someone noticeably larger than him might think to himself, “Maybe I should mitigate the impact.”

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Pseu says:

    Fascinating stuff. One quick question: Do those figures (0.02%, 0.4%) take into account batter handedness? Otherwise, one might expect an average batter to have well over the league average percent chance of being hit by a pitch inside to him, since an opposite-handed batter would be in zero such danger and would drag down the mean.

    +21 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. robby says:

    so he should have perspective about being hit, shouldn’t he?

    -21 Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. lonndoggie says:

    Can you highlight which one was last night’s incendiary HBP?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • The Foils says:

      It is highlighted.

      You just can’t see it because it’s covered up by fifteen other pitches that hit him in the same spot.

      +30 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • TreeFrog says:

      Can you also highlight the ones where he has charged the mound after being hit?

      Nobody knows more than CQ that he gets HBP more than average, and it seems as though he’s been ok with it until last night. Maybe he was just in an extra pissy mood, but I believe there is more to the story.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • tomemos says:

        Victim-blaming. Remember when Braves coach Roger McDowell called some San Francisco fans “f****ts”? People were saying the same stuff: “Well, they must have done *something* for him to pop off like that.”

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Nik says:

    Can we see a chart like that for Utley, the only guy who gets hit more than Quentin?

    +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • LTG says:

      Utley – 151 HBPs in 5178 PAs = 2.9%
      Quentin – 116 in 2796 = 4.1%

      Utley gets hit a lot but less than Quentin. And it’s not even close.

      +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • vivalajeter says:

        Utley does get hit more than Quentin, as 151 is obviously more than 116. If Nik had said “more often” then maybe it would be different – but he didn’t say that.

        -42 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Will says:

          Yes Utley has gotten hit more than Quentin but the article even referred to a percent. Quentin has been hit less because he has had just over half the PAs that Utley has had. If Quentin keeps this current trend he will have 211 HBPs when he reaches 5178 PAs (the number of PAs Utley is at now).

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • LTG says:

          Viva,

          ‘x gets hit more than y’, as I understand English, entails a claim about an on-going process such that over any similar section of the process we should expect the result to be that x has been hit more than y. What you are attributing to Nik is the claim of the form ‘x has been hit more than y’, which only makes a claim about the results of the process not the process itself. But that wouldn’t be relevant to his post.

          Of course, it would still be interesting to see Utley’s HBP plot-graph. But it is not for the reason that he is “better” than Quentin at getting hit. And, so, there’s no reason for Dave Cameron to investigate Utley on this score for this article.

          On a completely different note, Utley gets hit a lot, but I can’t remember him ever even threatening to charge the mound. My memory, of course, could be wrong.

          +21 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Spoilt Victorian Child says:

          In any case, if he didn’t mean “more often,” then the “only” part is still incorrect: http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=0&season=2013&month=0&season1=1871&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=16,d

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Gary says:

          You are not very good with math, are you? Utley has many more at bats than Quentin. But, Quentin has a much higher hbp average. Thus, Quentin gets hit more often Einstein

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Tom says:

          LTG, you must not remember Game 6 of the 2010 NLCS. He didn’t charge the mound, but he did instigate a benches-clearing standoff. It was a similar situation to Greinke-Quentin, as Jonathan Sanchez also had a history of pegging Utley. However, I’m pretty sure getting hit by a Sanchez pitch is inherently unintentional. It wouldn’t have hit you if he was aiming at you.

          +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Will says:

        I thought Sean Rodriguez got hit a lot but damn 4.1% is outrageous.

        Rodriguez, S – 31 HBPs in 1312 PAs = 2.4%

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. glib says:

    I get the opposite conclusion from the plot. Assuming a normal (Gaussian) distribution of pitches, with a width that empirically I know is a few inches, the expected distribution for unintentional HBP will be something peaking near the inner edge and sharply falling off.

    it is evident from the plot that the bulk of HBP are intentional pitches to the chest, with some to his mid-side and legs. I now have 200% more sympathy for Quentin. Greinke and others should be given a lengthy suspension. This plot is the most damning evidence I have yet seen on Fangraphs.

    -96 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • enhanced performance says:

      I have sympathy for Quentin but I am not sure that this is damning evidence of intent on Greinke’s part. Good post.

      -23 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Or he dives over the plate such that his hands are in the exact spot where he’s constantly getting hit.

      Not trying to promote, but this shows it: http://www.chadmoriyama.com/2013/04/c-j-nitkowski-doesnt-think-carlos-quentin-hangs-over-strike-zone-anymore-than-matt-kemp-hes-wrong/

      Your counter to that reasonable explanation is that all the pitchers in the league, over his whole career, are purposely hitting him in the wrist/forearm area?

      Gonna go with no.

      +54 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kevin H says:

        Yeah, I would think that if we saw a plot of all pitches in that general zone (from the inner edge of the plate over to Quentin’s body) we would see more along the lines of what we expect from Gaussian distribution. It just so happens that the plot of pitches closer to the plate that hit him occupy the area where his arms are during his step. There are probably a good number of pitches in that same general area that don’t show up on the plot because they end up crossing the plate above or below where his arms hang over it.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Richie says:

      How do you get that?? The ‘center’ is about 8 inches from the strike zone. Who bats such that their chest is 8 inches from the strike zone?!

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Damien D says:

      “the expected distribution for unintentional HBP will be something peaking near the inner edge”

      Who says? I blindly assert that the expected distribution will be in the thigh or foot due to poor control on breaking pitches.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • BookWorm says:

        I agree with Damien.

        Glib, can you point to a study that backs up your range of a few inches, or the calculation used? I agree that you’d expect there to be a long tail of few pitches the further you get out of the strike zone, but how are you figuring the distribution and where you might find the most errant pitches?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • glib says:

          I can not, but I can tell you that at least for fastballs a few inches location is the norm in MLB. I might concur that the spread is larger for any sort of breaking balls, but it is all easily measurable and can be modeled accurately (kurtosis, even whatever the sixth moment of the distribution is called), pitcher by pitcher, pitch type by pitch type.

          Granted, as some have suggested, the distribution is biased by the fact that a hitter had to be hit. But a simple, stupid test would be to compare the fall off of pitches distribution on the outside of the plate, and pitches on the inside of the plate. Any difference will give you an estimator for intentional HBP, and small biases (such as umps giving extra balls to lefties, published here a short time ago) easily correctable.

          Surely the whole matrix is populated, including unintentional HBP and there will be the occasional, intentional chin music that missed badly, so you will never establish whether a HBP was 100% intentional. But I am going to say, without having looked at the data, that they will be significantly different, and that the tail inside will be larger.

          All this if you want to prove that a certain fraction of HBP were intentional. But MLB could just legislate that any pitch more than 6 inches inside leads to a four bases walk, or other similar, discouraging penalty (can not care which). This may ruin the career of the Mitch Williams of the world, but I can not agree with the general sentiment here because in my view a baseball is a much deadlier weapon than fists. Collarbones heal nicely and speedily. I have little doubt that that distribution shows general intent.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • tynandaly says:

          That is interesting Glib, but at least in this isolated case of Greinke hitting Quentin we can safely say it was absolutely unintentional.

          Just look at the situation- it is a one-run ball game in the 6th inning with 0 outs. Greinke pitched Quentin to a 3-2 count. Why on EARTH would he bother pitching Quentin to a 3-2 count if he intended on beaning him the entire time? Why risk giving up a HR in those pitches? Further, a pitcher would never intentionally put the tying run on base with 0 outs. If there were 2 outs with nobody on, then maybe. But not with 0 outs.

          The Giants were in a similar situation in the NLCS last year when Holiday took out Scutaro on a bad slide and they wanted to retaliate. They couldn’t bean him for 2 or 3 games because the scores were always close and they didnt want to put a free baserunner in danger of losing. Same situation here with the Dodgers. Only Greinke did it on accident.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • jfree says:

          Greinke may never have intended to hit Quentin during that entire plate appearance. That is an irrelevant strawman. The only question (probably unanswerable except by Greinke)is — did he intend to hit Quentin WITH THAT PITCH.

          His choices at 3-2 were:
          1. keep throwing outside and probably walk Quentin
          2. throw it down the middle/inside and give up hard contact and possibly a HR
          3. throw it well inside knowing that its Quentin and will hit him.

          The third option is probably the most rational. Esp since it is highly likely that Greinke had felt forced into using only the outside of the plate to get to a full count precisely because Quentin’s stance intimidates pitchers from using the inside.

          -20 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Yeah says:

          You’re right Jfree I’ve never heard of a pitcher throwing somewhere they didn’t intend to throw, I mean how silly would that be?
          And he knew it was Carlos Quentin so obviously any inside pitch hitting him is purely intentional and Carlos is perfectly reasonable to think he should never have to deal with pitches inside, and if he does he should get angry because the pitcher has no right to work him there he already decided they couldn’t.

          +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • wally says:

          Jfree, stawman you say? How about your impossibly silly false-choice….

          +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • jfree says:

          Impossibly silly false choice? This entire HBP distribution shows that Quentin gets hit a lot by high inside pitches. Those pitches are also called “brushback pitches” precisely because pitchers throw them in order to intimidate batters into either moving back in the box or getting hit by the pitch. Are you saying that that sort of pitch doesn’t actually exist?
          Or that it is impossibly silly that a pitcher would choose that pitch at precisely the moment when a HBP (batter doesn’t budge) has the same consequence as a called ball (batter does budge)?

          -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • tynandaly says:

          So you’re saying a pitcher gets Quentin into a 3-2 count and the only rational decision left is to bean him. Because otherwise he would get a walk or a hard hit.

          Last season Quentin got on base via walk or hit 55% of the time the count was 3-2. The “rational decision” of hitting Quentin changes that 55% to 100% reaching base. It throws away the 45% chance the pitcher had of getting him out.

          That is not rational.

          +23 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • wally says:

          jfree, on 3-2 pitcher don’t throw “brush-back” pitches. Maybe 0-0, 0-1, 1-2, counts where the pitcher can “spare a pitch”. Not 3-2.

          tynandaly handled the other points quite well, so I won’t restate them. But the upshot is that nothing you’ve said really makes any sense at all.

          +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • jfree says:

          You seem to think “brushback pitch” means “intentional headhunting as ordered by the coach”. A brushback pitch is simply a high and inside pitch. It is very common on a 3-2 count — especially when preceded by a whole bunch of garbage (low and outside) that stretches the batter out nearer the plate in order to cover that outside corner. Even more common when the batter is a power hitter with good contact skills – where the weakest contact will come with bat contact near his hand. Even more common when the batter is slow as molasses and more of a threat at the plate than on 1st base (where a GIDP can still get him out).

          And no it does not transform that pitch into a 100% on-base probability. There is still a possibility of jamming the batter and getting a failed checked swing or of getting a very poor contact ball-in-play. As well as a probability of smashing a batter’s hands/wrist and ALWAYS being able to get away with that (see Ronald Belisario two days earlier).

          In this case, I can also easily see a “Hello Carlos. Lookie. We’re in the same division again. Get used to this.” message that is as important as any single at-bat.

          -5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • The Foils says:

      Much like he has 200% more sympathy for Quentin, so am I 90% sure this was just a funny post by someone who has heard of Gauss.

      +8 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • funketown says:

      Rick Ankiel might take issue with your Gaussian specification.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dave says:

      I wanted to make sure I understand what you’re saying here, so I re-read your post at least a dozen times. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re saying based on a normal distribution of pitches, we would expect to see more pitches thrown just off the plate, and therefore more HBPs just off the plate. I’ve identified at least two serious flaws in your logic:

      1. Why would you expect a normal distribution of pitches? We’re looking at one specific batter, and specific batters have specific tendencies that pitchers attack. As mentioned below, Quentin seems to have trouble with sliders inside, so pitchers would want to throw him more sliders inside. This is probably a result of his swing mechanics, which dive towards the plate, which probably allow him to hit more sliders away.

      2. Why would you expect all pitches to have the same likelihood of hitting the batter? A pitch 1 inch outside has almost no chance of hitting the batter – he would have to actually be moving TOWARDS the ball to get hit there, rather than trying to avoid it, like the rules state. The argument is that Carlos Quentin, as part of his normal swing, DOES move towards those balls. A pitch 1 foot outside, at the player’s chest, would be FAR more likely to hit him. The argument here is that Carlos Quentin is far more likely to get hit on balls just barely outside than any other batter. In other words, if we looked at a similar plot for another hitter, the center would be shifted much further outside.

      Pitchers are not intentionally throwing at Quentin, it’s his mechanics that make him more likely to get hit. Therefore, it is really, really stupid for him to charge the mound like that on a ball that was about 6″ inside.

      +19 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mark says:

        How many of those clustered hbp were in three-ball counts? I think that should settle the issue is he a serial leaner or mechanically incapable of avoiding pitches that hitters normally avoid. I still say only a lunatic would lean into what is obvious ball four.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • enhanced performance says:

        Your first 2 points are good. Still it is not ok to hit Quentin. The rules do not sufficiently punish pitchers for hitting batters. It is his weakness to inside pitches plus his mechanics that account for his HBPs(I agree with you) but it is still wrong to hit someone with a ball that is not a strike. Intent is tricky to figure because if the penalty for hitting someone is not great (and on a 3-2 pitch it is the same as a ball) then we can never really logically guess intent. I think Quentin is getting killed unfairly.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • John Thacker says:

      Assuming a normal (Gaussian) distribution of pitches, with a width that empirically I know is a few inches, the expected distribution for unintentional HBP will be something peaking near the inner edge and sharply falling off.

      Nope. The expected distribution for unintentional HBP is obtained by normalizing:

      Distribution of pitches * Likelihood of a pitch in location X of hitting someone.

      You’re asserting that the latter likelihood is uniform, so that only the distribution of pitches matters. I assert that it is not. Pitches directly in someone’s chest are much more likely to hit someone than a pitch just off the plate; a normal batter is assumed to make some attempt to dodge a pitch, not fail to avoid it.

      A distribution that showed most balls hitting a batter being only slightly off the plate would, to me, show a batter that made no attempt whatsoever to avoid pitches, and arguably even dived into them.

      +11 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • wally says:

      “the expected distribution for unintentional HBP will be something peaking near the inner edge and sharply falling off.”

      Um, no.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Yeah says:

      The likelihood of your assumptions being wrong is higher than the conclusion that they lead to, Carlos Quentin being constantly hit on purpose by pitchers, I would think this would make you reconsider those assumptions.

      +10 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • stan says:

      This is a very intelligent and reasonable response. I couldn’t believe the amount of negative votes for it. That seems to be a pattern whenever anyone disagrees with a fangraphs writer though…

      -22 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Dave says:

        Umm… No, it’s not intelligent and reasonable. That’s why there are so many posts pointing out all the flaws in the reasoning of the post. THAT’S why it got down-voted.

        +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • stan says:

          Then explain why every post that favors the author has numerous pluses and every post that favors the alternative view has numerous minuses. Are all of the people who disagreed with Cameron unintelligent and unreasonable, or is there a herd mentality that causes people to attack anyone who disagrees with Dave Cameron?

          -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Yeah says:

          In this case there is a very simple explanation for that, and reading the posts might help to understand it, some posts, the ones getting down voted, are just not popular for various reasons, such as poor arguments, obvious bias, and/or callousness. There are more variables than agree/disagree and others explain what you’re seeing better.

          +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Dave says:

          Maybe it’s because, in this instance, Cameron hit the nail on the head, and the few posts that disagree are seriously flawed – Glib’s, for example, make a number of false assumptions that that lead to a horribly inaccurate conclusion. A number of others, which I can only assume are from Padres fans (or other Carlos Quentin fans), want to blame the victim for not sprinting towards the safety of the dugout when Quentin approached him menacingly.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • KDL says:

          So if I disagree with Cameron, I’ve automatically made a good point that is above criticism and “down” votes. There’s no possibility that I’ve made a bad point or a good point poorly? Pro-fangraphs bias is the ONLY possible explanation?

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • vivaelpujols says:

          Stan this is true, but that the post you replied to was actually retarded. It made zero logical sense.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Tomrigid says:

        It’s the liberal media!

        +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Majesty says:

      Sorry, you got confused and thought that we’re looking for a gaussian distribution of locations. In reality HBP locations come from the correlation function between two gaussians, one for the batter and one for the ball. Hence, naturally, the peak is not expected to be at the edge of the strike zone. On the other hand, congratulations at being bad at math.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • ed says:

      Why on earth would you assume a Gaussian distribution? That’s crazy. The data are highly skewed. Assuming a Gaussian distribution makes no sense.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • ed says:

        And I see that several people have addressed what I said. That’s what I get for commenting before I read the rest of the thread, I guess.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • asdf says:

      Peaking near the inner edge? So you think batters routinely get hit by strikes? You do realize the batters box is 6 inches from the plate and that it’s illegal to hit from outside the batters box right?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mtwzzyzx says:

      Uh, how about when you’re a bi time leaner- and he appears to be the biggest, pitchers naturally are going to throw some brushbacks. It’s as it’s always been. The flaw in their thinking is that he doesn’t really try to get out of the way (turning your back isn’t dodging, it’s just putting the hit to a less sensitive area). One might even conclude he’s a bit masochistic.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • jim says:

      obvious troll is obvious

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • vivaelpujols says:

      What the fuck are you talking about? Wait I know, assuming a normal (Guassian) distribution, you are an idiot.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Christian says:

    Interesting, only incorrect thing, Carlos Quentin does not wear body armor. Adding that projects a touch of confirmation bias.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. reillocity says:

    Interesting plot. Any breakdowns on pitch type of the 94 HBP pitches – how many were fastballs?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. stripesjr says:

    Just looking at pitchfx the pitch that hit Quentin was around 6 inches inside and just shy of 4 feet off the ground. So it would be buried in the biggest cluster of pitches in the graphic.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. Farmer Ted (not a farmer) says:

    A relevant anecdote:

    http://blog.sfgate.com/giants/2013/04/12/todays-sf-giants-lineup-behind-matt-cain/

    Last Aug. 19 in San Diego, Ryan Vogelsong had a beef with Quentin after hitting him with a pitch, and Clayton Richard retaliating by hitting Brandon Belt.

    Vogelsong fumed after the game that Quentin crowds the plate and should not react the way he does.

    “Go look at the video,” Vogelsong fumed. “It was a two-seamer that ran of the plate. That guy hammers balls over the plate and he gets pissed when you throw the ball inside. It doesn’t make sense. Every time you hit a guy in this game now they think you did it on purpose. It’s tired.”

    +52 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • The Foils says:

      It is a beautiful thing when rivals can come together to agree that Carlos Quentin is a crybaby.

      +71 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      What’s interesting to me is that TCQ has been HBP’d 115 times without charging the mound, and one time where he did.

      In terms of statistical analysis, where does 1 become greater or more emphasized than 115?

      He charges the mound one time and he’s a “crybaby”.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • tomemos says:

        “I was valedictorian in high school, but no one calls me ‘Bob the Valedictorian’! I was a teacher for twenty years, but no one calls me ‘Bob the Mayor’! Hell, I was mayor of this stinking town, but no one calls me ‘Bob the Mayor’! But you screw ONE SHEEP, and…”

        +29 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • KDL says:

        I can use that same stat to say something different. Wanna see?

        CQ was a reasonable human being hit 114 previous times. His own past suggests he was not acting normally last night.

        Beyond that I would argue that the irrationality or the degree to which an act is unjustifiable has an impact on whether that “one” gets weighted. I mean Mike Tyson fought in over 50 fights in which he didn’t bite someone’s ear off…and it’s pretty fair to weigh that “one” a little bit more than the rest.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • tomemos says:

          And in fact, Holyfield was provoking him, in ways against the rules, but only a sociopath would say that Holyfield therefore deserves some blame for getting his ear bitten off.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Phrozen says:

    “The labels on the x axis are in feet…”

    Ummm… The plate isn’t 24″ wide. Those labels are at 8.5″, assuming the box is the strike zone.

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Damien D says:

      I *think* he meant the unit value of the labels only.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Phrozen says:

        Well, either the strike zone box is wrong or the labels are scaled to 1 = 8.5″.

        If it’s the former, then Quentin hasn’t been plunked by pitches that “we wouldn’t have been surprised if they had been called strikes had they not hit Quentin.”

        If it’s the latter, then Quentin’s 25 HBPs between -1.0 and -1.5 are actually only up to 4.25″ off the plate.

        I don’t know how important this is, but it seems like it should matter.

        +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Paul says:

          I agree. Was surprised I got so far before somebody brought it up. The batter’s box is 6 inches off the plate. After looking at the Nitkowski-inspired gifs above and comparing to the data above, it looks to me like he’s getting hit by a bunch of pitches that are right on the line of the batters box or well into it. I’ve seen plenty of guys “hang out over the plate.” Quentin crowds the plate, but I wouldn’t call him a plate hanger at all.

          The difference to me is that Quentin makes no attempt to get out of the way. Don Baylor did the same thing. But to my knowledge Baylor did that because he was happy to take the base and it was also intimidating. And I could be wrong, but I don’t remember him being a crybaby about it.

          I have no problem at all with pitchers throwing inside – let one get away and it defeats the purpose. Take a look at ERA with runners on vs. bases empty sometime. There is a consequence. Both players have a decision to make. Take your f’in base and play on.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Nigel Tufnel says:

      Why are these models of Stonehenge so small?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mtwzzyzx says:

      It’s diagramming the sktrike zone as called in reality after analysis of MLB’s pitch data (over 88,000 pitches for the dataset).

      See the explanation here.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mtwzzyzx says:

        Oh, and additionally, remember that the plate is 17″ wide, but if even a portion of the ball touches the edge of the plate extended vertically, it’s a strike, so you have to add a ball diameter- 2 7/8″-3″ extra (a half a ball on each side so we’re showing a strike zone that relates to pitch location shown by ball center). That’s an almost 20″ wide strike zone by the book.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Phrozen says:

          Ok… but 24>20…

          And wouldn’t the actual strike zone based on 88,000 pitches be closer to the width of the plate, rather than seven inches wider?

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Phrozen says:

          But thanks for the explanation and link.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • vivaelpujols says:

          “And wouldn’t the actual strike zone based on 88,000 pitches be closer to the width of the plate, rather than seven inches wider?”

          Apparently not!

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mtwzzyzx says:

        Why does it say you can use html tages like “a href” when you can’t?

        Here’s the aforementioned link:
        http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/strike-zone-fact-vs-fiction/

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Chris from Bothell says:

    2 follow-up questions:

    1. Does Quentin historically have more of a problem with sliders than other pitches, especially pitches that break inside? His wSL suggests he might. (http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=6274&position=OF#pitchvalues)
    2. Are most of his HBP that are close to the strike zone, on non-fastballs?

    Not to make excuses for the guy, but maybe a part of it is just simple pitch recognition. Perhaps he’s just slightly worse at detecting late breaks on pitches than others and isn’t recognizing it fast enough to get out of the way.

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Yuniesky Betancourt says:

    I’d swing at about half of those.

    +36 Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. AK7007 says:

    I think it would be hilarious if the umps would start calling strikes when Quentin gets hit – he rarely attempts to get out of the way of pitches that hit him.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • stan says:

      Only three of the data points are in the strike zone, and they’re all in the higher portion of the zone which we all know is rarely called a strike.

      If Quentin doesn’t get out of the way (which I agree he rarely does) then it gets called a ball.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Primi timpano says:

      I thought the HBP rule only applied to pitches that are not strikes. If so, a few of CQ’s HBPs should have been called strikes. I also thought the batter had to try to evade being hit.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. john says:

    very interesting article

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. CircleChange11 says:

    Interesting.

    Other things to consider are how close to the plate a batter needs to stand, depending on his stance, so that a 33-34 inch bat can have its barrel cover the outer half or outside corner of the plate.

    Let’s not act like batters can stand far away from the plate and still have coverage.

    Other aspects are simply a batter’s willingness to not be hit by a pitch. TCQ acknowledges that he crowds and his hands are away from his body. It should also be pointed out that TCQ has been HBP’d 116 times and charged the mound once.

    There are a lot of people making disparaging remarks about TCQ and his failure to realize “Maybe it’s me”. I think the data shows that he completely realizes it’s him, and simply took issue with how one pitcher reacted to the whole deal.

    It’s amazing to me that so many are defending Greinke even though it’s clear ZG said something to escalate the situation. I don;t think many, including TCQ, are saying that ZG intentionally plunked him, but evidently TCQ did not appreciate what ZG said to him after drilling him.

    I would not surprised at some point to see FG write a post quantifying how all of TCQ’s HBPs add to his value, by not moving out of the way TCQ is also reaching 1B maybe 100 more times than other players. Now, we know what value this has in terms of base runs.

    For certain types of players and swings, not getting out of the way may be the only way they can “stay closed” on pitches that break away from them.

    As I said in another thread, if TCQ’s first instinct is to “get out of the way” of inside pitches, then maybe he bails or flinches on all breaking stuff that starts inside.

    TCQ’s weakness could be the outer half, and the it’s possible that the only way he can cover it is by crowding the plate and not allowing pitchers to “brush him off” without allowing him to reach base.

    Clearly TCQ is committed to this philosophy and it’s not likely because he’s just too damn dumb to get out of the way or that he’s too macho to.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dave says:

      “TCQ’s weakness could be the outer half, and the it’s possible that the only way he can cover it is by crowding the plate and not allowing pitchers to “brush him off” without allowing him to reach base”

      Cool. Fine. Understandable, even. BUT THAT MEANS HE’S MAKING A CHOICE TO INCREASE THE CHANCES HE GETS HIT. He doesn’t get to charge at and injury another player for that.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        He charged 1 time out of 116.

        Rather than just assume he’s a douchebag or a baby, can we consider that maybe there was something unique about this experience?

        +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • TreeFrog says:

          In agreement with you Circle…. Although I love FanGraphs, this seems to be a good case where stats and graphs can’t explain everything in the game – although it looks like they will try.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Dave says:

          Sure, we can assume there’s something unique about this instance. We can assume a lot of things, like maybe Quentin’s roid regiment changed, or maybe his girlfriend broke up with him last night, or maybe he just found out he’s got the clap. None of them change the fact that HE’S MAKING A CHOICE TO INCREASE THE CHANCES HE GETS HIT and he doesn’t get to charge at and injury another player for that.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • EDogg1438 says:

          Quentin is full of crap with his never charging the mound comments. He tried to charge the mound last time Greinke hit him but was restrained by the umpire. Don’t take his word as gospel because he is a liar and a punk.

          Who knows if there are other times he tried to charge that he is conveniently forgetting to fit his bullshit narrative.

          He tries to intimidate Greinke because Greinke is on the smaller side for a pitcher. He would never charge someone like Farnsworth because he would get destroyed and he knows it.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Robert Stevens says:

          So because this is the first time he’s charged the mound, he should be excused? So if a kid is bullied and hit by a fellow student all year and finally decides to bring a gun to school and shoot him, he should be let off THIS ONE TIME because hey, he doesn’t have a history of violence so this was obviously an anomaly. If an otherwise law-abiding citizen has a DUI and kills someone, he should be given a pass since he’s driven many times and never killed anyone? We should have given those kids from Columbine a pass since they were bullied so much and they only fought back this one time.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • jfree says:

          You forgot to bring the Nazis into the argument. This incident last night was not just “like Columbine”. It was more like marching into Poland and starting WW2. Cmon bud. This is the Internet and hyperbole doesn’t cost a thing.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Jake says:

          Godwin’s Law strikes again.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • ElDon says:

          1) Just because he has only charged once doesn’t mean he hasn’t taken exception to getting hit or that it hasn’t caused trouble. Per the Voggleson example above its clear that HIS CHOICE to get hit has the potentially escelate the situation.

          2) In general I feel if ZG said something it was said when Quintin was already taking steps towards the mound and starring down the pitcher. The question would then be: If he is making the choice to stand in there and get hit, is he entitled to stare down and intimidate the pitcher?

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Dave says:

          Honestly, Circle… what? In civilized society, you don’t just assume that the person who attacks another person probably had a good reason for it because they’ve never reacted that way to the situation before.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • vivaelpujols says:

          yeah maybe he took too many steroids that day.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • CircleChange11 says:

          Honestly, Circle… what? In civilized society, you don’t just assume that the person who attacks another person probably had a good reason for it because they’ve never reacted that way to the situation before.

          Good grief fellas, let’s not make it sound like I am blaming Greinke for the whole thing, but likewise I’m not going to other extreme and acting like poor little Zack Greinke got attacked by that big bad Carlos Quentin.

          If I had to assign “% Blame”, I’d say 80 TCQ, 20 ZG.

          What I AM saying is that ZG IS a pro baseball player and understands how people react. When a pissed off TCQ is staring you down because YOU just hit HIM with a baseball, you don;t say something all smart-assy and then expect him not to charge.

          My point about TCQ only charging once out of 116 times is since this is a statical analysis site, rather than just a “create any narrative to suit your fancy” place, it seemed relevant.

          I deal with this type of conflict all the time. There’s always one guy in the conflict that doesn’t want to look like a sissy backing down or walking away, but then also doesn’t agree that they should be punished for fighting, even though once it started they were “all in” just as much as they other guy.

          In this case, I don;t think ZG is even saying he didn’t do anything, so I’m pretty much commenting to fans that seem to think that ZG is 100% innocent.

          Rare are the situations where the accurate perception is one extreme.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • TKDC says:

          Irrelevant, in all cases and especially in this one. There is never an excuse to charge the mound simply because you were hit by a pitch, even if it was intentional. Maybe you disagree. That’s okay. There is zero reason to believe that Greinke was trying to throw at Quentin. Zero. So what’s left? Fighting words? Are you going to suggest that if (and we have no idea what was actually said) Greinke were talking trash, he is partially to blame? Why don’t we try that out. Your mother wears combat boots. Now come to my office and try to fight me, then tell me what percentage I am to blame for the fight.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • CircleChange11 says:

          There is never an excuse to charge the mound simply because you were hit by a pitch, even if it was intentional.

          Says who? Seriously. Charging the mound in a sporting event is not the same thing as walking up to someone on the street and throwing punches. We have over a century of history in American sports that tells us that. I definitely disagree that there’s never a reason to charge the mound.

          But, I’ve disagreed with others in that I feel there are situations in society, even just verbal situations, that could escalate to a physical one and for good reasons. For example, I think if you use a racial slur or similar type of significantly and intentionally derogatory term to another person, you should be punched in the mouth. I don;t consider that “uncivilized”, I consider that a “reasonable expectation” or a “possible natural consequence”.

          I’m not sure why we think any physical violence is “uncivilized”, but being a smartass isn’t. Couldn’t we say that saying “F— Off” to someone you just hit with a baseball (intentionally or not) is “uncivilized”?

          There is zero reason to believe that Greinke was trying to throw at Quentin. Zero.

          Zero or low? I agree that there is no much reason, but not zero.

          Are you going to suggest that if (and we have no idea what was actually said) Greinke were talking trash, he is partially to blame? Why don’t we try that out. Your mother wears combat boots. Now come to my office and try to fight me, then tell me what percentage I am to blame for the fight.

          Let’s use a situation that’s more similar to what actually happened to Greinke-TCQ, rather than making it sound like Greinke merely made an innocent smack-talk comment to TCQ and then he just went ape-poop.

          So, you are walking down a hallway South to North. I’m walking down the hallway West to East and we are approaching a corner. I’m carrying very hot coffee. You’re walking down the middle of the hallway and our shoulders bump (unintentionally or intentionally) as we both turn the corner, causing me to spill hot coffee all over myself and it doesn’t feel good. I jump up and am not happy about it and say “Damn man, you just knocked my coffee all over me!” You reply “F— Off”, now am I completely unreasonable or uncivilized if I pin you up against the wall or shove you to get your attention? A good portion of people might say you’re getting what you had coming or that your comment escalated the situation to what it became.

          If people think all Greinke did was some harmless trash talk and that TCQ just decided to go ape-poor this one time out the 116 times he had been hit, then so be it. I’m not really trying to convince everyone that I’m right, just trying to get people to see that there’s very often more to the situation than the emotional reaction.

          My view is that two, very intense competitors dis things that contributed to a conflict situations. One more than other, but the situation doesn’t escalate to the charging without contributions from both.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • TKDC says:

          Says who? Says me. Please assume that everything anyone writes is written by that person. And your analogy is seriously lacking. I have had hundreds if not thousands of interactions with people who in my opinion were being unmitigated assholes, and I have never fought any of them, and if I did, it would have in every instance been 100% my fault. Whether for 100 years or 10,000 years people have done things differently is irrelevant. And once again, all of this is according to me.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Mark says:

        Well nobody is saying he didn’t do no wrong and shouldn’t be punished. But Quentin is not Ted Bundy and Greinke is not Anne Frank. Quentin never charged before and it does look like Greinke trashtalked a bit. It doesn’t justify Quentin but Greinke is more than a random victim.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Mtwzzyzx says:

          Just imagine if players charged the plate every time someone trash talked them.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • CircleChange11 says:

          Just imagine if players charged the plate every time someone trash talked them.

          What % of batters would charge the mound after an HBP if the pitcher says something or makes a gesture that basically translates to “Bring it on, bitch.” or “STFU, jagbag”?

          I’m guessing “over half of em”, for the ones that are 6’2 240ish, I’m guessing significantly higher than 50%.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Yeah says:

      I’m sure all that time off the field recovering from injuries contributes a lot to his value.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        Risk v. Reward

        We know that sliders are the pitch that is most correlated to injuries. We also know that sliders are perhaps the most effective pitch. Pitchers still throw sliders. Risk v. Reward.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Yeah says:

          But Carlos is actually a fairly good hitter, why would he need to get on base that way? Seems like a small reward for the risk, especially considering how it’s worked out so far in his career, with all the DL time.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Dave says:

          Yeah: the reward is getting to the low and away pitches – by diving in, he’s got greater plate coverage. It’s part of what makes him a good hitter. The risk is injury from getting hit – even though he gets hit more than any other hitter in the game, it’s still a very small percentage of his at bats, and the ones that injure him are even lower.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

    • wally says:

      Circle,

      I think pitchers are allowed to say something if the batter is walking toward the mound with the type of expression Carlos had. While that might be true that Greinke escalated the situation, we don’t remotely know what he said, plus what one player did was so many times worse than the other, its irrelevant what he said. Carlos charged the mound and lead to the breaking of Greinke’s collarbone. That’s really all there is to this story.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • wally says:

        whops, block quote fail. I think you get it though

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • randplaty says:

        We do know what was said. Thousands of people were at the game and we heard and saw Greinke say “F*** off”

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • asdf says:

          So Carlos Quentin assaults everyone who tells him to fuck off? I tell people to fuck off all the time and haven’t been assaulted yet.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • CircleChange11 says:

          Try this, since you are so eager to relate professional athletes in a heated competition to your personal life.

          1. Cause a car accident either intentionally or unintentionally.

          2. When you see a 6’2 240 pound angry guy staring you down as he comes out of the car, approaching you yelling some stuff about how you just hit his car.

          3. Look right at him and say “F— Off”.

          4. Then when he charges at you, try to meet him head on.

          Then explain to law enforcement how you “didn’t do anything”.

          Let’s stop acting like this was one guy walking by another on the sidewalk and beat the poop of the other for being told “F— Off”.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • wally says:

          Circle, the problem with your “analogy” is that this 6’2″ 240 pound angry guy ends up getting arrested for assault and probably faces a nice civil suite as well…

          Saying “F- off” maybe, MAYBE changes it from assault to aggravated assault. Either way, one guy is in jail and one guy isn’t.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

    • You can take it as a unique if you prefer, but as you say it is clear that Greinke aggravated the situation by saying something (what did he say, by the way?), it is clear from Quentin’s remarks that there is history there (3 HBPs and a minor incident is a history?) that he is being a huge crybaby about this one pitcher. No matter what he, Greinke said, he didn’t need to charge the mound and there is no excuse to justify it away.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • randplaty says:

        Nobody is trying to justify Quentin. It takes TWO to tango. Quentin was wrong, but Greinke was wrong also. His comments were “F*** off”. If you were AT the game sitting behind home plate you would have heard it loud and clear.

        Quentin charged first but Greinke ran TOWARD Quentin also. They both wanted to fight. They both knew there was history. They both hated each other.

        -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Paul says:

          This.

          I’m baffled at the arguments that when brawl breaks out it was the result of rational thinking on one or the other side. I’m not a fighter myself, but in every fight I’ve ever seen both sides were wrong. Since we only ever focus on who won the fight, I’ve always just thought that this was widely accepted, but I guess not.

          People should not assume Greinke is some weenie because he’s a funky dude who doesn’t follow the cue cards. He’s tough as nails and is not going to let anybody push him around. My guess is Matt Kemp has witnessed some of that already and that’s why he’s so juiced about having his back.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • KDL says:

          When did Greinke run toward CQ? The impact that broke his collarbone happened within a foot or two of where he wound up after his pitch. Or have I totally misunderstood what “run” means for my whole life?

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • vivaelpujols says:

          Yeah Greinke was like a like 4 asshole and Quentin was like a level 9 asshole.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • randplaty says:

          Watch the tape.

          1. Quentin takes a few steps toward Greinke while Greinke walks off the mound in no particular direction.
          2. Greinke mouths off to Quentin
          3. Quentin charges Greinke
          4. Greinke throws down his glove
          5. Greinke lowers his shoulder and takes two steps TOWARD Quentin to thrust his shoulder INTO Quentin.

          Yes Quentin initiated the physical part of the fight. Greinke initiated it verbally and willingly engaged in the fight. He didn’t try to bear hug Quentin and wait for his catcher to rescue like most pitchers do. He charged TOWARD Quentin. This is what got him injured.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. Dan J. says:

    This is an illuminating summary, thanks for posting it.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. jfree says:

    I am quite stunned at the commentary here and the article. Only 7 of those HBP’s can remotely be called “crowding the plate”. “Six inches” is the distance from the inside of home plate to the batter’s box itself. It is not some free-fire zone for the pitcher and it is not some magical “small number” where one can expect a Bob Uecker comment. A pitch that is more than six inches wide of the plate is actually IN THE BATTER’S BOX. And it is insane to say that the batter should somehow be dodging pitches inside the batters box or it is “their fault if they’re hit”.

    If Quentin is getting hit within that six inch zone, the chances are very high that those hits are coming to his hands/wrist/arm — ie the part of his body that is actually holding the bat which he is swinging. He’s not sticking his foot out or anything. Maybe it might be wiser for him to not be swinging at some of those pitches — but being hit by them is at least an indicator that he has the swing plane correct. ie – the pitch is hitting him, he is not jumping into the pitch with his body.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Richie says:

      Ummm, 4 of those ARE! over the plate. So an inch or two off is your definition of “remotely”??

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • jfree says:

        Depends where on his body he is being hit. If he is being hit on his foot or his back or his head “one inch off the plate”; then yeah he is crowding the plate.

        But if he is being hit on his hand/wrist/arms; then no he is not crowding the plate. The batter has every right to swing the bat and try to hit the ball. Oddly, no batter has ever managed to perfect the Jedi mind trick of swinging the bat while keeping his hands well-protected behind his back and safe in the batters box.

        And Greinke’s pitch (the only relevant pitch to today’s article) was IN the batter’s box anyway. Not “one inch off the plate”.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Phrozen says:

        No, I don’t think any of them are “over the plate.” They’re in the green box, but assuming that the x-axis is indeed in feet, as Dave said, those pitches are, at best, just off the outside corner.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Blair Wendell says:

        Dave Cameron,

        Please correct your diagram. Homeplate is not 2 feet wide, and your McPaint job at painting a strike zone is creating a lot of discord among people who think that’s actually the strike zone. It is not.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Richie says:

      And yes, any area outside the batter’s box is a “free-fire” zone for the pitcher. Especially considering that you can aim for the inside corner and miss (in either direction).

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dave says:

      Carlos Quentin is 20 times more likely than the average right handed hitter to get hit by a pitch in that 6″ segment. Either there’s a huge conspiracy among pitchers to give Carlos Quentin free bases and forearm bruises, or he’s doing something different than other hitters. And if he IS doing something different, then he’s making a choice that results in a higher likelihood of being hit. Which, of course, is fine (as long as he follows the written rules of baseball and makes some attempt to get out of the way). Howevver, all of that is irrelevant, because nothing excuses his reaction and decision to severely injure Zack Grienke. His only recompense for getting struck with the ball is a free base, and if the umpire deems it to be intentional, the pitcher will be tossed.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. Max Grady says:

    Can Mr.Zimmerman please run the same PITCHF/x data to create a Craig Biggio plot? This way we could compare Quentin’s HBP tendencies against an all-time great HBP’er. It would be curious to see if the location concentration is the same. I’d be surprised if such pitch location data is available for Biggio’s entire career, though.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Richie says:

    I think a helpful graphic would be the ‘-1.5 and in’ for Quentin, and that of the Average Player. Side by side. Showing 20 red squares for Quentin, and one for Average.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  21. thalooch says:

    It would be cool if someone had Quentin’s email address and could send him these articles. That would assume he was intelligent enough to use a computer.

    Maybe snail mail would be better, or better yet, send it to his Mom, she might care about her son’s health and get in his ear.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Lorenzo says:

      Sheesh. Quentin went to Stanford. No need to be snarky – he may actually know more than you do.

      I agree with the commenter above – there’s more to this incident than just the mechanics of being hit. You can’t graph ‘bad blood’ between two players.

      Most of the national press seems to think Greinke’s pitch was unintentional, but at least one commented that Greinke is a control pitcher who threw a pitch high and inside when his catcher set up low and away. He either hit Quentin deliberately or he’s no $147 million control pitcher.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • tomemos says:

        Pssh, I know, and what’s with Verlander being paid so much? Guy gave up THREE HOME RUNS in a World Series game! He’s obviously one of the worst pitchers in the game!

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • EDogg1438 says:

        Good point. Most pitchers never miss their mark ever, even for a single pitch.

        Clearly we need a graph with x-axis showing millions of dollars and y-axis showing number of pitches missing spots per game.

        +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

  22. chris says:

    I find it very amusing that, even if Grienke had said something, people think that gives Quentin the right to charge the mound.

    +19 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dave says:

      Yeah, this is the weirdest part.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Paul says:

      Maybe this is a regional thing. Where I’m from if you tell somebody to “F off,” you need to be ready to throw down. I think people are just saying that Quentin charging the mound is not remotely surprising, not that he “has the right” to do so. Rights are a legal construct and to my knowledge the only time you have a “right” to assault someone is in self defense. Isn’t this, in the context of the 150 years of history of the game, quite different?

      And by the way, I don’t think Greinke was remotely surprised by Quentin’s reaction, either. People seem to be assuming that he’s a wimp and would never ask for a fight. That is wrong. He’s old school and will plunk you and tell you to get your ass down to first.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • KDL says:

      I think it’s weird, because he clearly said something only AFTER Quentin was on the infield grass. Last I checked the infield grass is not a direct route to first. CQ makes 2-3 escalating actions…and ZG still gets blamed as the escalator.
      This kind of thinking is why we can’t have nice things.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      It doesn’t give him the right, but it does make it more understandable.The idea that ZG was a lily white innocent victim to a beating from the infamous TCQ is what I have been talking about.

      We have been trained to accept that there’s no reason ever for physical violence. I personally don’t agree with it, but as a law abiding citizen I follow it to the letter.

      I can think of plenty of situations and things one could say to another that could easily cause a fight. Granted you’d get consequences for the violence, but there are plenty of situations where I could think “Okay, knowing that, I understand why he punched him in the mouth”.

      Let’s stop acting like charging the mound is an absolutely horrific act. TCQ charged the mound, shoulder blocked ZG, and was then pulling his jersey. Did he punch him a bunch of times? No. Did ZG try to shoulder blast TCQ right back? Yes. If ZG wasn’t injured during the fray, would this be a big deal? Likely not.

      We have to stop acting like there’s “no” reason why anyone would be justified in punching or fighting another person just over something that was said. In a civilized society, people would refrain saying inflammatory things to one another.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • wally says:

        “It doesn’t give him the right, but it does make it more understandable.The idea that ZG was a lily white innocent victim to a beating from the infamous TCQ is what I have been talking about.”

        I don’t think anyone has been saying ZG is Mother Teresa in this conflict. But its pretty clear one person was very much more in the wrong than other. Circa two orders of magnitude difference sounds about right to me.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  23. Jon says:

    Great research, great article!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  24. HenduforKutch says:

    In case anyone’s interested, here’s a list of all the guys who have hit Quentin more than once, along with their “plunk” rate (HBP/PA):

    Erik Bedard – 33%
    Jim Johnson – 25%
    Jon Lester – 20%
    Carlos Silva – 18.2%
    Brett Anderson – 16.7%
    Jeff Niemann – 15.4%
    Glen Perkins – 15.4%
    Bruce Chen – 14.3%
    Kevin Millwood – 14.3%
    John Lackey – 13.3%
    David Price – 12.5%
    Jake Westbrook – 11.8%
    Kyle Davies – 11.1%
    Nick Blackburn – 10.8%
    Francisco Liriano – 10.5%
    Zack Greinke (after) – 9.7%
    Jeremy Guthrie – 9.1%
    Zack Greinke (before) – 6.7%
    Justin Verlander – 5%

    That’s a lot of anger directed to Public Enemy #16 in the Quentin household.

    +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

  25. Drew says:

    My analysis (link below) is much less high-tech data, but proves the same point. Quentin gets hit at an all-time high rate (4.1% of Plate appearances) which is above every other player in history, except good ol’ Hughie Jennings from the 1890′s (5.1%). He has no right to complain that he got hit intentionally when
    A) You are leading off the inning in a one-run game; and
    B) You lead the world in getting hit by pitches because you stand ON TOP of the plate and lean in

    http://s412.photobucket.com/user/drewn8/media/Quentinanalysis.png.html

    +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Nate says:

      Magnificent analysis. This guy really knows what he is talking about.

      P.S. Shout out to Honus Wagner, bottom right of the chart, for staying out of the way of pitches and having the most expensive Baseball Cards in history.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  26. Christian says:

    The assumption here is that the only thing that matters are instances when a player is actually hit. The article about the previous incident, that is the basis of the Quentin/Greinke angst, deals with a game where in the first inning Greinke through a ball in the vicinity of Quentin’s head. That pitch did not hit him but was in the vicinity of his head. In the 4th inning of the same game Greinke hits him square in the back between the shoulder blades (ESPN is running this highlight). So why numbers and graphs are cool, and serve a purpose, review the actual past events.

    Note that game was in 2009, the best year of Greinke’s career and he shutout the White Sox in that game, but I am sure those were accidents as well. Yesterday may have been an accident, but Quentin’s actions were not based purely on yesterday.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090408&content_id=4169006&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  27. Kazinski says:

    The umpires shouldn’t call HBP on balls that are inside of the batters box. There is 6″ between home plate and the batters box, that should not be forbidden territory for pitchers. I realize that is would be hard to enforce on the spot, but the commissioners office should review HBP and start fining batters that repeatably get hit by pitches over the plate or within the 6″ space between the plate and the batters box. The first or second per season should get a warning, after that their should be fines and suspensions.

    If a pitcher can get fined. suspended or thrown out of a game for throwing a ball where he shouldn’t, then hitters should be fined, suspended or thrown out of a game for getting hit by a pitch where they have no business being.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • asdf says:

      Or how about we accept that getting hit by pitches is a skill that adds value to the team and that if you’re doing it you have no right to charge the mound. Or rather that you have no right to charge the mound period, but it’s particularly egregious if you’re a hit by pitch wizard.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • KDL says:

      Call HBPs, but give umpires the okay – hell, encourage them – to toss batters very quickly (aka before they get to the mound) for macho posturing and threats on such innocuous inside pitches.
      Likewise, give them a little more leeway to toss pitchers for dangerous, intentional pitches.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  28. Jay says:

    Granderson, Morse et al. When a pitcher hits a batter, he should serve a suspension for the amount of days that the hitter is out. Get hit by a 95 MPH pitch and tell me what you would do. Screw Greinke. Quentin reacted to the mo money. I do want to hear the BS that he leans over the plate. Screw that. If you hit people with a lethal weapon you may have to pay the consequences. I saw Tony C. Get hit and Jim Rice in 75. Both were BS and could have been intentional. What is the difference between hitting with a pitch and what Tatum did to Stingley? Go Quentin. Mat tingly charged the mound several times in his career.

    -23 Vote -1 Vote +1

  29. Jay says:

    Sorry for the typos in my post

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  30. Ashman says:

    But at what point does HBP / PA begin to normalize??

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  31. Tompayer says:

    How about the inverse, a plot of Grienke’s HBP, maybe some info on pitch type, he only has 22 HBP, and 3 are Quentin?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mtwzzyzx says:

      Given Quentin’s likelyhood of being hit, that correlation makes perfect sense. Why would you think it doesn’t?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  32. J says:

    Is it possible to show a scatterplot of HBP pitch locations of all other players, 2008-2013 and compare it to Quentin’s?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  33. NATS Fan says:

    I am unsure who on this site actually watched that game, but I did and Greinke’s pitch was a very deliberate attempt to injure Quentin. That was very obvious to anyone who was not rooting for either team. Greinke threw consecutive pitches right at the wrist that kept Quentin from being able to play all last season. Every single pitch was thrown with the intention of hitting Quentin on the wrist. The previous pitch had already hit Quentin there, but it was ruled that Quentin’s check swing had been a real swing (which was debatable) Apparently, getting hit on the wrist while swinging is not an HBP. Then Greinke threw the very next pitch in exactly the same spot and Quentin did not swing. Thus,it hit him on his oft injured wrist. Quentin took one step. Greinke clearly said something that both teams could hear. So Quentin and both teams came at Greinke without hesitation. I learned later that Greinke had caused Quentin to face a long DL stint while he was on KC by hitting Quentin on that same wrist (Q was a white sox). Considering the history, Greinke deserves a huge suspension and a fine by any reasonable account.

    -12 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • asdf says:

      That is complete and utter baloney. All pitches in that at bat were over the plate except the one that hit Quentin. The pitch you’re referring to, the 2nd strike was over the middle of the plate and down. Greinke had only come “inside” with 2 pitches, one was a ball high but over the plate, and the other was the one that hit Quentin. See pitch chart here:

      http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/live/MLB_20130411_LAD@SD

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Matt says:

      “Greinke’s pitch was a very deliberate attempt to injure Quentin. That was very obvious to anyone who was not rooting for either team.”

      Trying to speak for the entire world and stating your own opinions as fact don’t really help your argument.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  34. Joel says:

    I am a Cubs fan from Chicago and from what I had read in the past was that the White Sox considered Greinke a head hunter. Konerko can’t stand the guy and said he has come close to charging him and Konerko is about as even tempered a guy as you will find. Konerko said he remembers at least 9 pitches that were aimed at players heads in one season.

    While it is a shame Greinke got hurt this has been brewing for years and he needs to “shoulder” some of the blame.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  35. Fedman says:

    I guess this douche bag’s number won’t ever bet retired. If you play with fire, accept you will be burned!!!!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  36. Greg Tellis says:

    Eric Byrnes knows Quentin well and spoke about him on the radio…he said he had as quick a temper as he’d ever observed in baseball…added that nobody wanted to be near him after he made an out…notorious for smashing stuff…Byrnesy added that when Greinke said something, Carlos HAD to charge the mound because he’d been challenged.

    This is not the “Gas House Gang” era…Carlos Quentin is a 30-Y-O baby…players now are mini-corporations, and between the two of them baseball has invested more than 200 million dollars…and now an injury prone player who can’t play 120 games a year gets an 8 game suspension that should be a lot more…what kind of a baseball code is that?

    You couldn’t hit Willie Mays if you tried,

    Greg Tellis
    Sausalito

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  37. Razzle says:

    Anyone who says Greinke intentionally hit Quentin is ignorant and knows nothing about baseball, like “Nats Fan”. NO pitcher would EVER throw at a batter in a 2-1 on a 3-2 count. Ever, ever in baseball history. Nats Fan is clueless.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  38. Razzle says:

    If Quentin had played during Bob Gibson’s era, he’d get a fastball to the ear every time he stepped to the plate, once per game, for the rest of his career.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  39. Brian MacKinney says:

    Home plate is 17″ wide. If the center is 0 and -1 is 12″, that rectangle extends 3.5″ beyond the inside corner.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  40. Jay says:

    You are all too analytical, intelligent, introspective, transidentalist… Getting hit with a pitch is tantamount to a cut block in football…you “light up” the offender. Whether it has value offensively or you look at Greinke’s ratios or anus or anything else. Hit and you get hit. Simple.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  41. Jay says:

    Trancendentalist

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  42. Jay says:

    Transcendentalist. Just kidding. I love baseball

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  43. james wilson says:

    I can’t remember the last time I saw a player in the show hit the dirt. It was once a common thing. Until the sixties at least. Maybe they started protecting hitters at the same time the mound was lowered, the strike zone was raised, and helmets were mandatory. The majority of players I see hit now have made no movement back from the plate whatever. Often they are diving in.
    I look forward to the day when balls and strikes are called electronically, and pitches which hit batters four inched off the plate are just called dead balls. Dive all you like, in or out. No warnings. Beanball wars were good for the game.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  44. Eric Schuster says:

    I think the fact that the other Padres were apologizing DURING the “brawl” is all you need to know. Not a single Padre backed up CQ and his manager did his best to not throw him under the bus during the postgame.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  45. Hurtlockertwo says:

    The Dodgers need to let this one go. Getting even with the Padres ought to take the form of beating a lousy team.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *