I just wanted to stop by and discuss with the Pirates fan community a few important HBP related events going on with your team this season, because I find this to be a topic frequently ignored by most media outlets. And there's some really fun stuff going on with the Pirates this year.
First, as of this morning (June 27th), the Pirates franchise has been hit by a total of 4,993 pitches, dating back to 1887*. So your team is 7 plunks away from reaching 5000 HBPs. (That's regular season only). The Pirates will be the 2nd Major League franchise to reach the 5000 plunk mark, joining the Giants who have been hit 5,099 times since they began their existence. But, the Pirates will be the first franchise to get hit 5000 times playing in the same city. They didn't have to move across the country to keep getting hit by pitches like the Giants did. No, all 5000 of these plunks will be taken for Pittsburgh's team.
*-19th century baseball note: I'm not including the American Association years in this total, just the HBPs since they joined the National League
Next on the agenda: there have really really been a lot of HBPs in Pirates games this year. The Pirates have thrown 47 hit batters and been hit 48 times, for a total of 95 plunks in the Pirates first 78 games. The previous live ball era record for total HBPs for the first 78 games of a teams season was 85, by last year's Pirates. No other team since 1920 has reached 95 total plunks (thrown + received) before their 88th game of the season.
Since 1900, only two teams have been hit by pitches 100 times in a season - the 1997 Astros and the 2008 Indians. No team has hit 100 batters since 1900. The Pirates have a shot at doing both this year. Nobody has ever hit 100 batters and been hit 100 times in a season. Only two teams have even hit 80 batters and been hit 80 times in a season, and that hasn't happened since the 1898 St. Louis Browns got hit 84 times and hit 86 opposing batters.
In 40 games at PNC Park, there have been 60 total HBPs (28 landing on the home team, 32 on visitors). Since 1920, no park has had more than 94 HBPs recorded in a single season. The PNC Park record is 83, but if this year's pace keeps up that record will be broken by around July 23rd. PNC Park could see its 95th plunk of the season before the end of August.
Now lets talk about Charlie Morton - he has already hit 15 batters this year. In 2013 he hit 16 all season, and that was one away from the major league lead. He looks like a lock to be the first pitcher to crack the 20 plunk mark since 2004, when Bronson Arroyo and Carlos Zambrano both hit 20, and he appears to have a real shot at being the first 25 plunk pitcher since Jack Warhop in 1909. The last pitcher to hit 30 in a season was Chick Fraser in 1901. If Morton has 15 before the half way point of the season, I guess you can argue that 30 is in play, but it's pretty tough to believe. The Pirates haven't had a pitcher hit 20 batters since Jack Chesbro in 1902, and Pink Hawley holds the franchise single season record with 33 in 1895. Since the live ball era began (1920) no Pirate has hit more than 16 batters.
Finally, there's the trio of Neil Walker, Russell Martin and Starling Marte, who have been hit 30 times between them, and account for half of the top 6 HBP leaders in the majors. There has never been a major league team to have 3 different players reach 20 HBPs, but those three could all reach 20 this year. There have only be 7 times when two players on the same team reached 20 in the same year. Since 1900, only three teams have had 3 players with 15 plunks each in a season. None of them are likely to threaten Jason Kendall's team record of 31, but having 3 players threatening the 20 plunk mark in the same season is a remarkable accomplishment.