Despite being about as average as can be overall, the Indians of course had some big highlights and big lowlights during the first half of the season. As the second half gets underway, I'm focusing on the good stuff. Yesterday I began a countdown of the Tribe's top hitting performances of the season so far.
Today I'm wrapping up that countdown with the top five:
5) George Kottaras (May 4, 4-3 loss vs. White Sox) - 2 for 3, 1 BB, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .235 WPA
Kottaras was making his Indians debut, and boy did he do it right, becoming the first player in franchise history to homer in each of his first two plate appearances with the team.
4) David Murphy (May 14, 15-4 win vs. Blue Jays) - 5 for 6, 3 2B, 2 R, 5 RBI, .199 WPA
Murphy singled in a run in the 2nd, doubled and scored in the 4th, singled in a run and then scored in the 7th, doubled in two runs in the 8th, then doubled in two more and scored again in the 9th. Chisenhall also had five hits in this one, making it the first time Tribe teammates had five hits in the same game since July 10, 1932.
3) Carlos Santana (June 24, 9-8 loss vs. Diamondbacks) - 4 for 5, 2 BB, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .642 WPA
Santana walked and scored in the 2nd, singled in the 3rd, singled in the 5th, doubled in the 7th, walked in the 9th, and then put the Tribe ahead in the 11th with a two-run homer. He became only the second Indian in the last six years to reach base safely six times in a game.
2) Michael Brantley (June 9, 17-7 win vs. Rangers) - 3 for 3, 2 BB, 1 HR, 5 R, 1 RBI, .064 WPA
Brantley walked and scored a run in the 1st, walked again and scored another run in the 2nd, hit a home run in the 4th, singled and scored a run in the 6th, then singled again and scored another run in the 8th. Brantley tied a franchise record by scoring five runs, becoming the first to do it since Joe Carter in 1986.
As it turns out though, while Brantley's game was incredible, it wasn't even the top performance that evening in Texas...
1) Lonnie Chisenhall (June 9, 17-7 win vs. Rangers) - 5 H, 1 2B, 3 HR, 3 R, 9 RBI, .165 WPA
Chisenhall singled in a run in the 1st, hit a two-run homer in the 2nd, hit another two-run homer in the 4th, doubled in a run in the 6th, and then capped his night with a three-run homer in the 8th. Lonnie became the first Indian to hit 3 home runs in a game since Shin-Soo Choo in 2010, and he tied the franchise record for most RBI in a game, with 9. It was the first time in MLB history that a player went 5 for 5 with 3+ home runs and 9+ RBI. It's not just an easy choice as the Tribe' top performance of the season, it's a legitimate contender for the title of top hitting performance in franchise history.
There you have it, the very best performances by Indians hitters so far this season. I'm pretty sure the top two or three aren't going to be displaced, but hopefully the second half does a lot to change the rest of the list!