Generally speaking, a batter will only hit a pitch once. That may sound obvious, but once in a while, a player seems to take it as a challenge. To celebrate the addition of James McCann -- the second player to make the list in 2021 -- here’s a look at some of the recent twice-hit pitches that (somehow) became base hits.
James McCann, Mets
July 19, 2021, at Reds
McCann made a wild win possible for the Mets when he entered the game in Cincinnati as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and smoked a go-ahead two-run homer, but what we're interested in is his 10th-inning single, which he got ahold of twice. He got his third RBI of the night out of it, too.
Wil Myers, Padres
April 12, 2021, at Pirates
Myers has made a number of improvements to his swing over the past few seasons, but it’s safe to say he didn’t have these results in mind as he was making them. Regardless, a run is a run, and he was probably still happy to provide the first-inning lead his odd twice-hit single gave the Padres.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays
Aug. 20, 2020, vs. Phillies
Given his dad’s gift for hitting bad pitches, maybe this one was to be expected. Instead of Vlad Sr.’s classic approach of recording hits on pitches that barely made it to home plate, on this occasion, Vlad Jr. went with hitting a pitch twice. (It was also probably a ball, for what it’s worth.)
Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox
Aug. 15, 2018, at Phillies
In championship seasons, things tend to break in your favor -- or at least they did for Benintendi in Philadelphia. This single didn’t start a rally, but it was yet another sign the 2018 Red Sox were on to something.
Manny Piña, Brewers
Aug. 1, 2018, at Dodgers
Piña collected three hits in this game against the Dodgers, but the most attention-grabbing of them was the second. With the score tied in the seventh, Piña managed to get his bat on a JT Chargois pitch in two places -- maybe a unique way to open an inning, but good enough.
Chris Carter, Brewers
June 15, 2016, at Giants
In his single season with the Brewers, Carter led the National League with 41 home runs. The ground ball that twisted through the Giants’ infield after it twice collided with his splintered bat, however, might have been his most unusual hit in Milwaukee.
Brandon Phillips, Reds
May 17, 2016, at Indians
The Reds were having a rough night in Cleveland, down 13-0 in the seventh inning, so naturally, things got a little bit weird. When Phillips twice made contact, he got the ball past Francisco Lindor, of all people. Cincinnati would ultimately lose anyway -- but Phillips did score, saving the club from a shutout.
Hunter Pence, Giants
Oct. 22, 2012, vs. Cardinals (NLCS Game 7)
The only postseason entry on this list is also the only instance of a batter hitting a ball three times -- a feat befitting the circumstances. The Giants had already come back from being down 3-1 in the series to force a pivotal Game 7 and had a modest 2-0 lead when Pence managed to get a broken-bat grounder through the infield for a bases-clearing double. Whether this was the catalyst for their World Series sweep of the Tigers is unclear.
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
June 25, 2011, at Yankees
Tulowitzki’s years in Colorado are remembered for his elite offensive production, but consider one of his stranger base hits: Facing CC Sabathia, he made weak contact on a pitch inside -- initially. But his follow through brought the barrel of his bat to the ball, and turned that would-be grounder into a line drive.