Adam Eaton didn’t even want to entertain talk of what the Washington Nationals will need to do over the new month to make it to the postseason after their 12-19 start, but with 29 to go, they’ll have to figure something out and start winning some series soon.
Eaton was asked what gave him confidence that the defending World Series champs had it in them to turn this thing around?
“Yeah, I don’t — I think you just come ready to play every single day,” Eaton said. Or maybe win each day’s game. Win each day. Win your day every day. Or something catchier.
How important is this week’s four-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies in Citizens Bank Park?
“Yeah, I don’t think — I’m not really aware of the standings or anything like that or where our record is, like I said, just come ready to play every single day, and good things can happen,” Eaton said.
It’s, of course, not as easy as saying that the 2019 Nationals came back from a 19-31 start to the season and ended up winning it all, so they can do it again, or talking about the unpaved roads that eventually get you to a scenic destination, but it’s not that simple, though Sean Doolittle’s take on it was that there are some similarities between this and last year’s teams and where they find themselves.
“I think it’s pretty similar,” Doolittle said on Sunday. “We have a lot of the core leaders and veterans back from last year, and I think — this team never panicked, we never panicked last year even when we were 19-31, and all that stuff in May, and as rough as things are right now, guys aren’t panicking. Guys are continuing to come every day, committed to their routines and ready to work every single day. So, I think guys have handled all of the challenges of this season, the unique circumstances that we’re dealing with, I think the guys have handled them in a really professional way, and continue to go about their business. We haven’t gotten the results as consistently as we would have liked so far this year.
“We have a huge opportunity this series coming up against the Phillies and then Atlanta after that, but we’ve got to take care of business in Philly. Because that’s one of the things about this year, when you’re playing your division rivals so many times in September you have a chance to make up some ground, so we’ve got to bounce back from this and be ready to go tomorrow night.”