Milledge unfazed by hit-by-pitches
Outfielder says he crowds the plate, and it's 'part of the game'
WASHINGTON -- On Thursday night, Dodgers reliever Ramon Troncoso hit Nationals outfielder Lastings Milledge on his right forearm with a pitch at Nationals Park. It marked the 13th time that Milledge was hit by a pitch this season. The total ranks second in the National League entering Friday's action.
At first, it looked like Milledge was going to be out of action because he was in such pain after getting hit, but he remained in the game and started Friday's game against the Braves. Milledge already wears armor on his right elbow, but doesn't plan to have any more protection.
"I don't want to go up there with a lot of stuff as it is," Milledge said.
The main reason Milledge is hit often is because he stands close to the plate, but he has no intention of moving farther back in the batter's box.
"It's part of the game. Nobody is going to run me out of there," Milledge said. "One of these times, it might catch me and put me out for a while, but when I come back, I'm going to be right there. I stand close to the plate. I take part of the plate away. The pitchers may not like it, but they have to deal with it."
Getting hit by a pitch has put Milledge out of action only once during his career, and that occurred during Spring Training in 2004, when he was a Minor Leaguer with the Mets. In fact, during his time in the Minors, Milledge was hit 34 times.
"I've always had a lot of hit-by-pitches," he said. "It has never been a big deal to me."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.