Lonnie Chisenhall And The Greatest Offensive Games In MLB History
Fantasy owners who gave Lonnie Chisenhall a Monday spot start yesterday have spent the morning patting themselves on the back . That’s because the Indians third baseman went nuts during his teams 17-7 victory over the Texas Rangers, finishing 5 for 5 with 3 home runs, a double and nine RBIs.
Over the last few weeks Chisenhall has put himself on the radar with his unexpectedly good offense, and now leads the American League with his .385 batting average. While the 25-year old’s “once in a lifetime” day on Monday ranks among the best in Major League history, it doesn’t quite crack the top ten. (We’d put him right at 11.) Those incredible games are listed below, with stats expressed box score style (ABs/Runs/Hits/RBIs.)
10. Willie Mays Giants 5/4/4/8, 4 HRs, April 30 1961 vs. Braves
The Hall of Famer had the best game of his career in the Giants 14-4 win over the Braves. His rival for sixties offensive supremacy Hank Aaron also had himself a day, slugging two homers and driving in all four of the Braves runs.
9. Mike Schmidt Phillies 6/4/5/8, 4 HRs, April 17,1976 vs. Cubs
With Steve Carlton and Rick Reuschel on the mound, this one looked to be a pitchers duel. But the Wrigley wind can humble even the sharpest ace, and played a role in Schmidt’s historic game. After a fly out and a single, Schmidt slammed four straight home runs, including a two run shot in the top of the tenth which clinched a 18-16 victory and one of the wildest game’s in MLB history.
8. Fred Lynn Red Sox 6/4/5/10, 3 HRs, 1 3B June 18, 1975 vs. Detroit
In 1975 Fred Lynn would become the first player to win both Rookie of the Year and MVP in the same year. Along the way he had one of the finest games in MLB history, smashing three dingers and driving in ten in the Red Sox 15-1 romp of the Tigers. His one out on his incredible day was a hard line drive to the second baseman.
7. Jim Bottomley Cardinals 6/3/6/12, 2 HRs, 1 2b September 16, 1924 vs. Brooklyn
Hall of Famer Jim Bottomley had himself a pretty good month in day, driving in 12 of the 17 runs St. Louis scored in their 17-3 stomping of the Brooklyn Robins.
6. Joe Adcock Braves 5/5/5/7, 4 HRs, 1 2b vs. Brooklyn
The Braves first baseman posted a second-best-ever 18 total bases in Milwaukee’s 15-7 win over the Dodgers. Hall of famer Eddie Matthews also hit two homers in the game.
5. Tony Lazzeri Yankees, 5/5/4/11, 3 HRs, 1 3B, 1BB May 24, 1936 vs. As
Lazzeri was batting eighth when he set the American League record for RBIs in a game during the Bronx Bombers 25-2 destruction of the As. Lazzeri had actually given his manager a pretty good reason to move him up in the lineup the day before, slugging three homers and driving in five in a double header. He would only have 14 homers for the year.
4. Josh Hamilton Rangers 5/4/5/8, 4 HRs, 1 2B May 8, 2012 vs. Orioles
When Hamilton is hot, he’s hot. And the Rangers slugger was smoldering in the Rangers 10-3 victory over Baltimore. Each of his four home runs was two run shot — Elvis Andrus was on on first base each time. His double was a drive to the right field gap in his third at-bat. Hamilton initially thought he had put that one out too, but it turned to out there was a bit too much top spin for it to leave the yard.
3. Gil Hodges Dodgers 6/5/5/9, 4 HRs vs. Braves Autust 31, 1950
The Dodgers were in the midst of a pennant race when Hodges went off, slamming his first homer against Hall of Famer Warren Spahn and then adding three more. The slugger had been in a 13 game homer-less drought, but ended it in a big way.
2. Mark Whiten Cardinals, 5/4/4/12, 4 HRs, September 7, 1993 vs. Reds
“Hard Hittin'” Mark Whiten lived up to his name in St. Louis 15-2 win over Cincinnati. The center fielder blasted four dingers and tied a major league record with 12 RBIs. It was the second game of a doubleheader, and Whiten had already had an RBI in the first, making him all-time leader in runs driven in for a calender day.
1. Shawn Green Dodgers 6/6/6/7, 4 HRs, 1 2B, May 23, 2002 vs. Brewers
Green, who had got off to a slow start in 2002, went nuts in LA’s 16-3 win over Milwaukee, setting a major league record with 19 total bases. He got his chance to tie the Major League record for homers in a game thanks to Adrian Beltre, who smashed a dinger with two outs in the top of the ninth, bringing Green to the plate.