Lonnie Chisenhall had himself a night to remember on Monday. The Cleveland Indians third baseman registered five hits, three home runs and nine runs batted in against the Texas Rangers, per Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Three homers, nine RBIs for Lonnie Chisenhall. #Rangers down 17-6 in eighth.— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) June 10, 2014
He capped off his historic performance with a home run in the top of the eighth to make it a 17-6 game in favor of the Indians. The Tribe would end up winning 17-7.
After the game Chisenhall talked about his incredible night with Jordan Bastian of MLB.com:
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
According to ESPN Stats and Info, Chisenhall is the first batter with a stat line this gaudy since Fred Lynn in 1975:
Lonnie Chisenhall: 5 hits, 3 HR, 9 RBI-- first player to do all 3 of those in same game since Fred Lynn, 1975 Red Sox— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 10, 2014
The nine RBI tied a team record, per Let's Go Tribe:
Lonnie Chisenhall has tied an #Indians franchise record with 9 RBI tonight (Chris James, 1991).— Let's Go Tribe (@LetsGoTribe) June 10, 2014
Chisenhall is also single-handedly outperforming the entire Tampa Bay Rays offense, per Deadspin's Timothy Burke:
Lonnie Chisenhall has nine RBI tonight. The Tampa Bay Rays have eight RBI combined over their past four games.— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) June 10, 2014
In fact the only times this season the Rays as a team did what Lonnie Chisenhall has tonight were on April 18 & April 19.— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) June 10, 2014
The 25-year-old has been Cleveland's best hitter all season. After Monday night, he boosted his average to .385, with his slugging percentage rising to .615. He also has seven home runs and 32 RBI.
Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan thinks Chisenhall is a prime example of why it's never a good idea to throw in the towel on promising prospects:
Here is why teams stick with prospects: Lonnie Chisenhall 5 3 5 9 with 3 HR. Season line: .385/.429/.615. Took 4 seasons to figure it out.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 10, 2014
Zack Meisel of The Plain Dealer wonders if Chisenhall might sneak into the All-Star Game:
Is "Lonnie Chisenhall: 2014 All-Star" that far-fetched of an idea?— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) June 10, 2014
Sooner or later, the third baseman will fall back down to earth. He can't keep up this kind of production for much longer.
However, Chisenhall has taken massive steps in his development this season. Fans have seen flashes of promise in years past, but this is the first in which he's put it all together at the plate.
If Cleveland is to remain in the hunt for the American League Central, then it will need Chisenhall to continue being the offensive tone-setter.