Saturday, May 24, 2008

Don't Blame Eaton For This One

It's easy to blame Adam Eaton for last night's loss, but that wouldn't tell the whole story by a long shot. Eaton pitched well enough to win but Ryan Howard's failure to come up with a very catchable ground ball in the bottom of the seventh cost them a run and Ryan Madson, who is just as likely to pour gasoline on a fire as to put it out, surrendered the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Madson has the most deceiving 4.38 ERA in the game today.

By today's lowered standards for "quality" starts, Eaton certainly delivered one, going seven innings while allowing eight hits and three earned runs. The only Astro to give him real trouble was rightfielder Hunter Pence who belted two home runs off him. Otherwise, Eaton deserved better.

The play Howard blew can be directly attributed to the big first baseman's lack of nimbleness in the field. He dived to his right for the ball hit on the ground by ex-Phillie Michael Bourn but did not get his glove down. The ball rolled right under it. Oh, and Howard's vaunted emergence from his slump hit a bit of a speed bump as he stranded five runners while going hitless on the night.

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