In last week’s edition of TLPAotW, commenter dbertelli asked, “Who are the all-time hitter record holders for number of plate appearances of more than 10 pitches?” The answer is these guys, with the caveat that “all-time,” in this context, means “since 1988,” which is as far back as Retrosheet pitch-by-pitch data goes:
This one goes to 14. An extended struggle exposes Jake Odorizzi, and Jose Fernandez shows Matt Joyce his whole arsenal.
The two longest plate appearances of 2013 (to date) took place two innings apart in Monday’s Rays-Marlins game at Tropicana Field. They both involved right-handed rookie pitchers who were facing batters for the first time in the big leagues. And like last week, I’m going to go over them both.
Two epic plate appearances with a dramatic disparity in styles.
Normally this series is on the blog side of the site, but since this is an extra-long edition, I’ve made it an article. If you’re new to “Longest Plate Appearance of the Week” because you don’t read the blog section regularly, A) read the blog section regularly! and B) catch up on the first edition here and the second edition here. I’ve added a few new elements this week: the length of the plate appearance, the number of mound visits involved, and a GIF of an exhausted player who’s wishing the plate appearance would end.
Bonus long plate appearance trivia: I don’t know why I didn’t think to look it up before, but if we’re going to talk about long plate appearances every week, we should know what the gold standard in long plate appearances is. The pitch-by-pitch data in our database goes back to 1988, and in that time, the longest plate appearance was a 20-pitch battle between Bartolo Colon and Ricky Gutierrez on June 26, 1998. Gutierrez struck out swinging. So, 20 pitches: that’s the goal. The average plate appearance in 1998 was 0.15 pitches shorter than today’s, so we have a head start.
Starling Marte makes Bobby Parnell throw 13 pitches.
Last Friday, I started a new series in which I'll be breaking down, marveling at, and ruminating on the longest plate appearance of the preceding week. This is the second installment of that series. The inaugural edition featured a 12-pitch showdown between Mike Moustakas and Chris Sale that remains exactly as interesting as it was when it was published, so if you want to watch that plate appearance, click this link. If you’ve already seen it, or you’re interested only in the latest longest plate appearance, read on.
Starting a new series with a 12-pitch battle between Mike Moustakas and Chris Sale.
I’ve always loved long plate appearances. If one of the best thing about baseball is the batter-pitcher matchup, and one of the other best things about baseball is that it has no clock or appointed time for anything to end, then it stands to reason (sort of) that double-digit-pitch batter-pitcher matchups would be the absolute best thing about baseball. So each Friday, I’m going to highlight the most extended sequence of the seven-day period from the previous Thursday-Wednesday. If there’s a tie, I’ll pick the most interesting plate appearance.