The St. Louis Cardinals scored just one run last night, and it went down in the scorebook as an unearned run, but good luck telling Stephen Piscotty that he didn’t earn that run.
As a matter of fact, he was part of one of the most unlikely sequences you’ll ever see:
First and foremost, hopefully Piscotty will be OK after taking a Javy Baez throw off the helmet. Thankfully for Piscotty, Baez was on his back foot and couldn’t get as much on the throw as he might normally. The Cardinals say the early prognosis is positive – Piscotty was diagnosed with a head contusion (bruise), and would be reevaluated today.
So, then, assuming Piscotty is all right, can we marvel at the freakishness of a batter/runner being hit three times in one trip around the bases? How many times do you see a runner hit by a throw on the bases even once? Maybe one time in 20 games?
The hit by pitch was the most likely part, and even that isn’t all that likely: Jake Arrieta hit just 6 batters last year out of 795 batters faced, or 0.75% of the batters he faced. A 1 in 133 shot. And that’s just to get hit by the pitch!
Throw in the fact that he was hit squarely while stealing second (you see bouncers bump a guy here and there, but you almost never see a runner hit flush), and it’s already crazy. And then he got hit AGAIN!
I won’t pretend to know the actual odds on those throws hitting a runner, but for fun, if we say all three throws had about that same 1 in 133 chance of hitting Piscotty, then the odds of him getting hit three times in a single trip around the bases is about 1 in 2.35 million. I actually think it’s even more unlikely than that, but, hey, we’re just having fun here and my supercomputer is in the shop.
It goes without saying that none of the throws were intended to hit Piscotty, but you’ll forgive him if he’s feeling pretty annoyed about that trip around the bases, especially since the Cardinals didn’t win the game.