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Eaton Pitches Well, Loses

Adam Eaton had one of his best starts with the Phillies, and still lost last night to the Houston Astros.

It's the $24.5 million mystery.

For most of his Phillies career, Adam Eaton has been a major disappointment. He pitched so poorly last year that Charlie Manuel kept him from the postseason roster. In 40 starts with the Phillies since he signed a three-year contract Nov. 30, 2006, Eaton is 10-13 with a 6.22 ERA. He is 0-3 with a 5.37 ERA after 10 starts this season. Yep, he's winelss after 10 starts. The Elias Sports Bureau said the franchise record for most starts without a win to start a season is 16, when Ken Reynolds went from May 29 to Aug. 25, 1972, without a win. The Phillies hope Eaton picks up at least one before he ties Reynolds' mark for futility.

But Eaton allowed three runs in seven innings in last night's 4-3 loss to the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

It was just his sixth start with the Phillies in which he pitched seven or more innings.

"This is much more of who I am," Eaton said. "I was able to throw all my pitches for strikes and get ahead of guys. I was able to get out there and minimize my pitch counts early in the game. Consistency of delivery obviously is going to be a huge factor in that, and tonight I felt comfortable."

But until Eaton has a good solid couple months of starts like that, you really can't expect it.

He has about 50 more starts wtih the Phillies before his contract expires, assuming he remains in the rotation (which isn't a guarantee with pitchers like Carlos Carrasco, Antonio Bastardo and J.A. Happ throwing well in the minors). That's sobering news if Eaton is the Eaton with the 6.22 ERA after his first 40 starts with the Phillies, and not the one who Manuel thought pitched the best he had seen last night.


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