Saturday, April 5, 2008

Offense Unable to Back Eaton

Everyone was wondering what kind of Adam Eaton the Phillies were going to get this year. At first it didn't look promising; his first pitch of the game didn't even reach the catcher and the result was issuing a walk to Corey Patterson, who would eventually score that inning. But after that, minus a few mishaps here and there, Eaton was quite good. He wound up throwing 95 pitches in 7 2/3 innings and allowed only three runs. He left the game only after giving up a homer to Patterson that tied the game. Chad Durbin let the winning run by in the ninth and the Phillies lost 4-3.

Mostly what happened is that Aaron Harang, one of the most underrated pitchers in the National League, quieted the offense. There was a spark of hope when Ryan Howard hit his first homer of the season, but no one else was able to get the offense started, as only Chase Utley had more than one hit on the day. The lineup was often caught with the bottom of the lineup leading off the inning, and despite Eaton being a fairly decent hitting pitcher, it complicates matters when Jimmy Rollins or Shane Victorino is at bat with two outs.

But Eaton even backed his solid pitching effort by saving a few hits on some great fielding plays. He can't be expected to go for that long in every start, but he has the potential to be solid in every outing. That's how Kyle Kendrick solidified his spot in the rotation last year. All Eaton had on his side was his contract. Who knows - maybe this year he'll show he deserved it.

1 comment:

Brian Raab said...

For whatever reason the Phillies have not backed up good pitching performances thus far. The best outings they've gotten were the season debuts of Hamels and Eaton, but both resulted in losses.

Losing by one run after Eaton went 7 2/3 is very frustrating, but with the Phillies' #5 starter going against Aaron Harang, it would've been pretty surprising for them to win.