The Phillies are doing something that I never anticipated. They are making me sympathetic to the plight of Adam Eaton. After becoming the fifth starter by default (and because the Phils can ill afford swallow his massive contract), Eaton has been arguably their second best starter this season behind the stellar Cole Hamels, a dubious distinction on this staff, given.
However, Eaton has kept the team in all three of his starts and lasted six innings tonight, leaving with the Phils trailing 3-0 only to see them pull out a victory with a 4-run ninth. And how did the Phils expect to win with the anemic Carlos Ruiz batting second? I have to say that Charlie "I Need a Friggin'" Manuel has come up with some ugly lineups (Geoff Jenkins leading off anyone?) but that might be the worst: placing your worst hitter in the spot that many argue (and studies indicate) is the spot for your best hitter. You might notice that the Phils were scoreless until the 0-for-3 Ruiz was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the ninth, recently minted new Phil, Chris Snelling, who promptly homered to start the four-run rally.
But I digress. Eaton's had a respectable 4.12 ERA and though his first two starts were losses, they both came with 4-3 scores and in both cases the losing run was allowed by the bullpen after Eaton's departure. Hey, Walter Johnson he aint, but this isn't exactly the 1971 Orioles rotation either.
So Eaton's disappointment got me to thinking., which is a rarity, believe me: what is the record for most starts without a decision. Eaton is at three. Is that a lot or does it just seem to be?
Well, the answer is that it is quite a bit but it's not the "record". That distinction belongs to Chris Brock, 6 in his rookie year in Atlanta. However, there are just seven men who have accomplished the feat with at least as many starts and innings pitched (3 and 19-2/3, respectively) as Eaton:
Unfortunately, Eaton will not be stopped when he breaks the "record". He will most probably put in a full season given the dearth of talent on this staff, and somewhere along the line he will win and loss a game or two, and given his career performance, there will be more losses. Even so, he may still end up their second best starter.