Moving past the plunkings
Shin-Soo Choo has been hit a MLB-leading 19 times by pitches this season. That included one on the right knee from Charlie Morton on the very first pitch of Tuesday’s game.
“It hurt. I have 19 right now and I was the most hurt last night,” Choo said on Wednesday. There was a noticeable mark on the side of his knee.
“I’ve never been hit in the first inning with the first pitch [of the game],” Choo said. “I never saw with different teams that happen before. I don’t know what’s going on.”
Was it intentional? The Pirates weren’t happy when Aroldis Chapman buzzed a heater past Neil Walker on Monday. The Reds don’t think so.
“No. 1, you have to pitch inside to get guys out. And they’re doing a pretty good job of getting people out,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “You don’t really like getting hit that much. A lot of times in this modern times, it’s two things: they don’t pitch inside and they don’t know how to pitch inside. The second thing is batters don’t know how to get out of the way if they’re not pitched inside. There is a very small margin of error between a hit batsman and a strike. There’s only six or less inches. You don’t like getting hit. We don’t like getting hit. We don’t think they’re getting hit intentionally. You don’t want to hit Choo with the first pitch of the [game].”
Choo has been plunked six times this season by the Pirates, which lead the league with 39 HBP (10 against the Reds).
“We’ve played more games against the Pirates – I’ll get more hit-by-pitches,” Choo said. “You guys count how many are hit against the Pirates and other teams. I’m not counting. I only count the total, not one team.”
Choo believed the controversy about the HBPs is media driven.
“I watch ESPN and MLB [Network] and they make problems. We don’t have any problems,” Choo said.
When asked how it would be known that this was all over with, Baker did not know the answer.
“It used to be an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth until it was over,” Baker said. “Umpires would give you both a shot. Now whoever takes a shot first, it’s an automatic warning for the second time. I hope nothing is intentional. We pitch inside too. Johnny Cueto pitches inside. There’s a correlation between success and pitching inside.”