As Daniel Hudson starts for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday during Spring Training, we are reminded of how he said earlier this spring about how the pitching staff needs to protect Justin Upton, who was hit by pitches 19 times last season, which was eight times more that he had been hit in his career previous to 2011.
On Wednesday we were reminded of this, as Upton was hit by a pitch for the second consecutive game. Reliever David Hernandez later hit Padres outfielder Will Venable in the game, which prompted a warning from the home plate umpire.
After the game, Hernandez commented on the beanball.
"I I didn't realize that if I hit someone I was going to get a warning. I just know that 'J' (Justin Upton) got hit. For me, in the spring, I've been trying to work on getting the ball in to lefties. It's been a weakness for me," he explained.
That is the standard answer by pitchers everywhere.
He continued, after being asked if he felt he needed to react to Upton being hit:
"Not really, you just got to keep a running tally in your head. That's about it. You know as a pitcher, you definitely have to protect your guys, but i was just trying to go in. It got away and it hit him."
In other words, yeah, you have to keep track and make sure you hit as many guys as they hit of yours. I would translate the comment as this by Hernandez:
"They hit Upton, I tried to go inside, it got him, so no big deal. I didn't necessarily try to hit him, but he deserved it. So there's that."
Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to keep a running tally of the number of hitters the D-Backs staff hits and the number of Arizona hitters plunked. My guess is this year the number is pretty even.
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