WASHINGTON, D.C.: Washington Nationals’ left fielder Adam Eaton entered play today 9 for 21 early this season with two doubles, two homers, two walks, and eight runs scored in five games, and picked up where he left off.
Leading off the bottom of the first inning in the home opener in Nationals Park, Eaton hit a line drive double to center field off New York Mets’ righty Jacob deGrom, and scored on a single to right field by Anthony Rendon when Jay Bruce misplayed the ground ball on the outfield grass.
Eaton walked the second time up, and came around again on an aggressive send by Nats’ third base coach Bobby Henley on a double by Anthony Rendon, scoring ahead of the throw in in spite of the fact that he stumbled going into his slide and rolled awkwardly over the plate.
Eaton was all smiles once he came to a stop and picked himself up, but two innings later he was lifted from the game, raising some concerns.
Following the Nationals’ 8-2 loss to the Mets, Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez addressed those concerns, telling reporters the outfielder was fine, though he went for X-rays on his left ankle, the same ankle he injured when he stumbled at first base running out a ground ball last April and suffered a full thickness ACL tear, a meniscus tear, and high ankle sprain that ended his first season in the nation’s capital.
“He tweaked his ankle on the slide home, so precautionary,” Martinez explained after the loss. “He went and got seen, took X-rays, everything is negative. He said he feels fine.”
“He caught his spike or toe when he slid at home,” the first-year skipper continued, “and he said it felt weird, so we know it’s the left one [that] he hurt last year, so I just said, ‘Hey, let’s not chance it, just go get it looked at.”
Martinez was asked for his thoughts on Henley’s send in that instance. A better throw home might have caught Eaton at the plate, but the Nats’ manager said he had no issues with the decision to send the runner home.
“At that point, Adam is not going to slow down. You know how he is. He’s rip-raring to go,” Martinez said.
“So he said he felt great and at that point in the game, Bobby [Henley] sent him. He tells Bobby every day how he feels and he said he felt fine.”
Eaton told reporters after the game that trainers told him it’s a day or two-type of an issue rather than anything that will cost him time long-term:
Eaton said some scar tissue moved around and was hitting a nerve. Strength is all good. Said trainers told him it’s a day or two thing, not a DL thing, and fortunately they have a day or two.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) April 5, 2018
”I’ve made that slide [in the third] a million times,” Eaton told reporters.
“I think my pride was hurt more than anything else, but anything for a run, I’m glad we can get across there,” he added.
“We taped it and then we went back out and it felt better. But this is the big leagues and you got to be able to run and do a lot of things at a high level.
“Like I said, it was just a precautionary thing, I’m sure they could have done again another tape job, but again, this is Day 7, so we just want to be careful with it.”