Going into last night’s series opener in PNC Park, Adam Eaton was 19 for 53 (.358/.452/.679) with four doubles, two triples, three home runs, and seven walks in 64 plate appearances in the month of August, and he went 1 for 4 with a solo home run, walk, and two runs scored in the 13-0 win for the Washington Nationals over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.
Eaton’s now scored at least a run in 15 of his last 17 games, with 24 runs total in that stretch, and overall on the season in 2019, he’s reached base in 101 of the 118 games he’s played.
So, what’s working for the 30-year-old outfielder, who’s one of the Nationals’ catalysts atop the lineup, along with Trea Turner.
“He’s being a little bit more patient,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez said after the Nationals’ seventh win in the last 10 games, “but aggressive in the strike zone, not chasing balls, per se, and laying off the high fastballs, and when he can lay off the high fastballs, he’s a really good low ball hitter, and he’s been doing that, and like I’ve said, with him and Trea up at the top right now they get things going, and the middle of our lineup has been really good, so I hope he continues to swing like that for the remainder of the season, but he’s been really good.”
Eaton got everything started last night, with his home run in the second at bat of the game accounting for the first of 15 hits and 13 runs scored overall. Martinez, who is stressing the importance of scoring first every day, said it was the perfect way to start the series with the Pirates.
“When you come out — and I put a lot of emphasis on scoring first — and we’re on the road and we come out and score in the first inning like that, that’s big,” the second-year skipper told reporters. “It kind of settles everybody down, here we go, and you could tell they start having fun and loosening up a little bit, so it’s huge.”
Eaton and the rest of the Nationals are loose and enjoying themselves, and his was the first of four dugout celebrations for the visiting team in last night’s win, as the dance parties got going in PNC Park.
“It’s been, like I said, they’ve been really good,” Martinez continued, explaining that he’s fine with the celebrations as long as it’s done respectfully, and out of sight (sort of) in whatever dugout they’re in at the time.
“You see the unity in all of them, and it’s been a lot of fun, and like I’ve said, the only thing I ask is we do it in the dugout, we don’t show other teams up, but I want them to be loose, I want them to be themselves, and they’ve been doing that.”
Now, just do it again...
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR GAME 2 OF 4 IN PNC PARK:
Adam Eaton leads all NL position players in fWAR since August 7.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 20, 2019
That’s our right fielder.@AdamSpankyEaton // #OnePursuit pic.twitter.com/jlgBNu1mtJ