No matter what happens for the rest of Lonnie Chisenhall's career — and it stands to be a very good one — it's highly unlikely we'll ever see again anything like what he did Monday night.
Chisenhall put on a "once-in-a-lifetime" performance for the Cleveland Indians, going 5 for 5 with three home runs and nine RBIs — the first major leaguer ever to do so — in a 17-7 thrashing of the Texas Rangers. Only three other players, and none since Fred Lynn in 1975, have ever collected at least that many hits, home runs and RBIs in a single game. Chisenhall is the only one ever to go a perfect 5 for 5 at the plate. RBIs became an official statistic in 1920.
Chisenhall hit a two-run homer in the second, another in the fourth and a three-run shot in the eighth in his final at-bat. He also had an RBI single in the first and an RBI double in the sixth.
The others with five hits, three homers and nine RBIs, according to STATS: Gil Hodges in 1950 and Walker Cooper for the Reds in 1949.
Chisenhall's tongue-in-cheek nickname of "Lonnie Baseball" — it rhymes with Don Mattingly's "Donnie Baseball" — was given to him by MLB.com reporter Jordan Bastian. Chisenhall earned it for real against the Rangers.
Lonnie Baseball: "It's a rare feat. I'm happy to have accomplished it. I know a day like today is kind of a once-in-a-lifetime thing."— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) June 10, 2014
A performance like this might be awesomely fluky, but it hasn't come out of nowhere. Chisenhall, 25, isn't familiar to a lot of fans, but he's been developing as one of Cleveland's top young players the past few seasons. After his second five-hit game of the 2014 season, he's batting .385/.429/.615 with seven home runs. He's 17 plate appearances shy of qualifying for the batting leaders but, even if he went 0 for 17, he'd still lead the league in batting average at .348.
How else was his game historic?
• Chisenhall's was the first nine-RBI game in the majors since Carlos Delgado in 2008.
• His was the first three-homer, nine-RBI game since A-Rod in 2005.
• The Indians had only one other nine RBI game in their history, by Chris James in 1991.
It's too much to say that this is a sign of things to come. But could he be an All-Star? Sure. Could he be the best hitter at his position in the majors someday? Even right now, except for Josh Donaldson? Yep. He's Lonnie Baseball, baby! The sky's the limit.
More MLB coverage at Yahoo Sports:
- - - - - - -