WASHINGTON -- Anthony Rendon couldn't remember having this kind of day at any level of his baseball career. But his record-setting performance helped pave the way for the Nationals' offensive outburst in a 23-5 victory against the Mets on Sunday afternoon.
Rendon went 6-for-6 with three home runs and 10 RBIs, setting a new Nationals franchise record for most RBIs in a single game and shattering his career high of four. Only two players in MLB history have ever had six hits and driven in 10 runs in game, Rendon and Walker Cooper, who did it for the Reds in 1949, although Cooper went 6-for-7.
"High school, I had three home runs, but that's high school," Rendon said. "Not the RBIs, I don't think."
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On one afternoon, Rendon exceeded his production this season. He entered the game without a homer on the season and with just five RBIs in his first 95 plate appearances.
Then, in the first inning he knocked in a pair with a two-run single off Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard. Rendon hit a solo homer in the third inning and a three-run homer in the fourth, both off left-hander Sean Gilmartin, to notch his first career multi-homer game. Then in the fifth, Rendon just missed a grand slam off right-hander Noel Salas as the ball traveled 388 feet but bounced off the wall in right-center field.
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The double gave Rendon nine RBIs on the day, breaking the Nationals' franchise record for RBIs in a game after four players had recorded eight. Rendon realized he must be in the midst of something special, which was only confirmed when Stephen Drew approached him on the bench.
"I think he told me, 'That's a record! I'm glad I was here to watch it,'" Rendon said. "That's when I knew for sure."
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Rendon singled again in the seventh, but Daniel Murphy was unable to score from second on the play. But Rendon delivered the exclamation point for his day in the eighth with a solo homer off Mets third-string catcher Kevin Plawecki to drive in his 10th run of the day. Each of Rendon's homers and his double were "barrels," according to Statcast™, and since 2015 only five other players have recorded four barrels in one game: Steven Souza Jr., Yoenis Cespedes, Matt Carpenter, Freddie Freeman and Tony Cruz.
Some of the players around the Majors who began the day with fewer RBIs than Rendon collected on Sunday include Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays, Carlos Beltran of the Astros, Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies and Eric Hosmer of the Royals. Rendon became the 13th player in MLB history with 10 RBIs in a single game and first since Garrett Anderson in 2007. The Major League record for RBIs in a single game is 12, achieved by Jim Bottomley in 1924 and Mark Whiten in '93.
After the game, six cans of beer had been placed on the floor by Rendon's locker -- one for each hit. In his locker sat the ball from his ninth RBI and the ball from his homer from the eighth inning, which had been marked with his final statline.
"That was ridiculous," right-hander Joe Ross said. "I was pretty impressed when Trea [Turner] hit for the cycle the other day. I mean [Rendon] had six hits and three homers. I don't think he'll ever do that again. I mean, it's pretty ridiculous."