Washington Nationals: The year of Adam Eaton


Washington Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton continued his hot start, leading the way in the team’s 6-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

The Washington Nationals had a terrific 2017 season, but ultimately fell short in the postseason when the offense went idle. Trea Turner did not have a great series, bringing Adam Eaton‘s absence into focus.

Now, Eaton is back and better than ever.

The Nats’ spark plug continued his hot start on Sunday, going 2-for-5 with a homer, two runs scored, and two RBI. On the season, Eaton is batting .615 with two homers, seven runs scored, and five RBI. That’s not too shabby for only having played in three games.

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Through three games, the Nats have scored 21 runs. While this can be attributed to a tremendous all-around performance, Eaton deserves oodles of credit. After all, he has scored a third of the team’s runs.

Having Eaton back in the lineup makes the Nats considerably better, and Daniel Murphy is still recovering from offseason knee injury. It is crazy to think about, but this offense is still not at full strength.

In addition to Eaton’s phenomenal performance, Gio Gonzalez pitched well in his first start of the year. The Nats’ lefty held the Reds to one run over six innings.

In the past, Gonzalez has been a bit erratic at times. However, Gonzalez pounded the zone on Sunday, throwing 65 percent of his pitches for strikes. This led to seven strikeouts and, more notably, a Nats win.

Unfortunately, the bullpen was a little shaky behind Gonzalez.

Matt Grace entered the game in the seventh, quickly erasing the leadoff single allowed by Gonzalez. After Grace’s nightmare outing on Saturday, he turned in an impressive three-pitch frame on Sunday.

Sammy Solis, on the other hand, was not as impressive. He dominated on Saturday, but was not the same in his second consecutive appearance. He struggled to find the strike zone, loading the bases without recording an out.

In order to clean up Solis’ mess, Dave Martinez called upon Ryan Madson. Madson’s power sinker worked wonders, as he induced a double play and a weak fly-out to limit the damage.

Sean Doolittle relieved Madson in the ninth, but was roughed up a bit as well. Scott Schebler appeared to lean into an inside fastball, painfully reaching base. Then, Philip Gosselin took Doolittle deep to cut the Reds’ deficit to one.

Doolittle would shut the door after the homer, closing out a 6-5 Nats win and series sweep in Cincinnati.

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Now that the Nats have won their first three games of the year, they will travel to Atlanta to take on the Braves in a three-game set. SunTrust Park has proven to be a launching pad, so look for more offense from Eaton and the Nats.