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Why does Carlos Quentin get hit by pitches so often?

April 12, 2013|By Bill Shaikin
  • Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin tosses his helmet after taking a called third strike to end the fourth inning against the Cincinnati Reds during a game last season.
Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin tosses his helmet after taking a called… (Lenny Ignelzi / Associated…)

Carlos Quentin gets hit by a lot of pitches. Just ask him.

That was part of his defense Thursday night after the Dodgers' Zack Greinke hit him near the left shoulder with a pitch. Quentin, the Padres' slugging outfielder, then charged the mound and threw Greinke to the ground, breaking his collarbone in the process.

Quentin said he never had charged the mound in his major league career. He blamed the incident on what he called a "history" with Greinke, who has hit Quentin three times.

"I've been hit by many pitches in my career," he said. "Some have been intentional. Some have not been. I've never reacted that way, ever."

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Quentin led the league in hit by pitches in 2011 and 2012. Ryan Vogelsong of the San Francisco Giants hit Quentin during a game last year, then criticized him afterwards.

"The guy hammers balls over the plate and then gets pissed when you throw them inside," Vogelsong told CSN Bay Area. "Doesn't make sense."

Dave Cameron of Fangraphs took a look at each one of the 95 pitches that has hit Quentin since 2008. Go read the post and the cool graphic that accompanies it, but the data certainly supports the theory that Quentin leans into home plate more than the average batter.

Quentin is 20 times more likely than the average major leaguer to be hit by a pitch within 6 inches of the corner, Cameron reported. And, of those 95 pitches that hit Quentin, four might well have been called strikes.


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