Anthony Rendon did something pretty awesome yesterday when he went 6-for-6 with three home runs, 10 runs batted in, and helped his team obliterate a battered New York Mets squad. It was great, and we should all applaud him for it. But this is a Cleveland Indians blog and I need to cash in on those Anthony Rendon Google searches, so now seems appropriate to remember that time Lonnie Chisenhall did almost the same thing.
First, for some context, a quick look at Rendon’s historic day. The 26-year-old third baseman was one of many Washington Nationals batters to smack around Mets pitching on Sunday. The damage to Mets pitchers, and their ego, probably doesn’t even need an MRI to be discovered. Rendon’s 10 RBI were not even half of his team’s total, as they tallied 23 runs in the league’s highest-scoring game of the season.
During and shortly after the game, Twitter was flooded with ways that Rendon boosted his numbers with one outstanding game — numbers this season, and even his career average received a boost.
Anthony Rendon's *career* batting average...— Devan Fink (@DevanFink) April 30, 2017
Before today: .272
Rendon’s hits weren’t little bloopers, either. His exit velocities, plus their results, were as follows:
- 3rd inning: 107 MPH, Home run
- 4th inning: 99.5 MPH, Home run
- 5th inning: 102.2 MPH, Double
- 7th inning: 88.1 MPH, Single
- 8th inning: 102.6 MPH, Home run
With the exception of that one puny single, those balls were all absolutely crushed.
Enough of that, let’s talk Lonald
Chisenhall’s big day came before all these fancy Statcast do-dads that confuse half-assed TV analysts were made public, way back on June 9, 2014. But you can still see how great of a night it was with the ‘ole eye test. Every Long Lon Donger was beautiful in its own way:
Chisenhall did not have the luxury of a sixth at-bat like Rendon. Instead, he went 5-for-5 with three home runs and nine runs batted in. Rendon set an MLB record with his six hits, three home runs, and 10 runs batted in, but with another at-bat, who knows what Lonnie does with it. He was hitting absolutely everything that day.
The lack of at-bats brings about another point: Lonnie was on a worse team. The 2014 Tribe certainly weren’t awful — they finished 85-77, third in the AL Central and a lot of the core that made a run to the World Series in 2016 was there — but there are no Bryce Harpers on the Indians in 2014 (their own Bryce Harper wouldn’t debut until next season :fire-emoji:). Plus, the team Lonnie was facing wasn’t the burning garbage can on a burning train running off the tracks into a burning volcano that is the 2017 New York Mets.
This was also the season where fans were getting a bit disillusioned with the former first-round pick. Lonnie was coming off a rough trio of seasons and he wasn’t even on the Opening Day roster. He needed a series of great games to keep his job, and this one of them. After that historic game, Lonnie stayed hot with two-straight two-hit games, then went ice cold for a week. Now let’s wait and see what Anthony Rendon does.