On April 13, as the Phillies were thoroughly trounced by the New York Mets, Johan Camargo was one of the few bright spots. Camargo went 2-for-4 while playing solid defense in his first career start at first base.
His biggest moment that day, however, was taken away from him.
In the bottom of the 6th, Camargo came to the plate with runners on first and second. He laced an 85 MPH slider from Sean Reid-Foley down the left-field line for what appeared to be a two-run double. It seemed like the start of a possible comeback for the Phillies, who were down 8-1 with no outs in the 6th.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be, and after a Mets challenge, umpire crew chief Marvin Hudson announced the ball was foul. The runners went back to their bases and Camargo returned to the plate with a 1-2 count.
A few pitches later, Camargo made strong contact again. This time, he pulled the ball to the other side of the field and it went right through the gap between the first and second basemen.
It wasn’t quite as impressive or exciting as a two-run double, but Camargo advanced the runners and got on base. Those two runners he thought he had driven in would go on to score anyway, on two consecutive RBI groundouts from Bryson Stott and Matt Vierling.
So why am I writing about a foul ball hit by a utility infielder in a bad loss from last week? Excellent question.
During the game, friend of the blog and writer for Inside The Phillies Alex Carr tweeted out that Camargo “just got two hits in one at-bat.”
Johan Camargo just got two hits in one at-bat.— Alex Carr (@AlexCarrMLB) April 13, 2022
Not really, but that was a pretty weird/cool/disappointing(?) turn of events.
As Alex acknowledges, Camargo didn’t actually get two hits in one at-bat, but he did come as close as one can to doing so.
That got me thinking — how often does something like this happen? How often does a player get “two hits” in one at-bat? Was this a noteworthy and rare occurrence?
As it turns out, yeah. It’s pretty darn rare.
Baseball Savant keeps a database of instant replay reviews, which is a fun and useful tool. Using this resource, I was able to compile a list of every time that another team has challenged the Phillies with instant replay going back to 2014 (when the current replay review format was introduced).
Unfortunately, Baseball Savant only has complete records through the end of the 2019 season. Thus, for the 2020 and 2021 season I relied on data from Retrosheet instead. The records on Retrosheet aren’t quite as detailed and aren’t nearly as easy to sort through, but they still contained all the information I needed.
Using these resources, I found that there has never before been an instance in which a Phillies player was originally awarded a hit, the opposing team challenged the call on the field, the call was overturned, and the Phillies player returned to the plate only to record a genuine hit that same at-bat.
In other words, Johan Camargo is the first player in Phillies history to record two hits in one at-bat. Sure, he didn’t technically get two hits. But if you were watching the live box score during the game, you would have seen Camargo assigned a double, that double taken away, and then Camargo assigned a single in that same at-bat. Sounds like two different hits to me!
Not only was this the first time such an event has occurred in Phillies history, but this kind of thing is so rare that it hardly ever even comes close to happening. For example, in 2019, the Phillies were involved in 105 challenges. Just 40 of those challenges were against them (i.e. the opposing team made the challenge). Of those 40 times the Phillies were challenged, the call was overturned just 14 times. In the case of those 14 overturned calls, the Phillies were the batting team just 7 times.
So, in an entire 162-game season, the opposing team made a successful challenge while the Phillies were at bat just 7 times. All 7 of those overturned calls were on force plays or tag outs. In none of those cases was the Phillies batter able to return to the plate.
In 2018, the Phillies were challenged 47 times. In 25 of those instances, the call on the field was overturned. 14 of those overturned calls came while the Phillies were at bat. In only one of those instances was the Phillies player able to return to the plate — César Hernández on a reversed hit-by-pitch call. Hernandez flew out to end the at-bat.
However, despite how rare an event like this is, the Phillies have come close to achieving this feat a couple of times.
In July 2017, pinch hitter Brock Stassi found himself in a position to record two hits in one at-bat. The Phillies were playing the San Diego Padres, and they were leading by four in the 5th inning. Stassi came to the plate and looped the ball down the right field line. This one wasn’t as close a call as Camargo’s was — it’s pretty easy to tell it was foul even without slow motion — but nevertheless, it was originally ruled fair and Stassi made it safely to second.
Unfortunately, the Padres challenged, the call was overturned, and Stassi returned to the plate and struck out to end the at-bat.
A similar, yet also very different, occurrence took place in May 2016. Third baseman Maikel Franco was, seemingly, beaned by Atlanta Braves starter Williams Pérez. However, the call was overturned when replay showed that the ball bounced off Franco’s bat, not his hand.
Franco was ultimately walked in that plate appearance. So while he didn’t record a single hit, he did reach base two times in one plate appearance. That’s gotta be pretty rare too.
Side note: I highly recommend watching the video for this one. It shows Franco flying to ground in slow motion from numerous angles and it’s incredibly dramatic. Knowing that Franco wasn’t actually hit and he was 100% fine afterwards, it makes for very entertaining viewing.
One last time the Phillies came close to recording two hits in one at-bat came just last year against the Mets, when Rhys Hoskins hit what looked like a game-tying home run in the bottom of the 9th inning. Sadly, as I’m sure I don’t need to remind you, the call was overturned and Hoskins was awarded a double instead.
Here is the ball that Rhys Hoskins hit. Initially ruled a home run. Overturned into a double. pic.twitter.com/M1yU0VTv6T— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) May 3, 2021
It’s not really the same thing as what happened to Camargo, since Hoskins only hit the ball one time in that at-bat. Still, Hoskins did record two different types of hit in one at-bat, so I’d say it’s pretty close. Almost as close as that ball was to being a home run. (I’m still not over it.)
So, long story short, John Camargo has the unique distinction of being the first Phillies hitter to ever record two hits in the same at-bat.
Maybe there’s a baseball historian out there who could tell us about one time in 1898 when a Phillies player smacked an extra-base hit into the gap in right-center, but as he was rounding first a pig ran onto the field and ate the ball and they had no choice but to start the at-bat over again the next day when they could get a new baseball. It’s possible.
Regardless, Johan Camargo is the first Phillies player to be awarded a hit, have that hit taken away after a replay review, and then record a legitimate hit in the same at-bat. It might not be a “real” statistic, but I think it’s a pretty cool outcome all the same.