While watching the O's Thursday game highlights on "Baseball Tonight," I heard it said of Adam Eaton's performance, "We haven't seem him pitch like that since 2007." (I believe Buster Olney made the comment, but I'm not certain.)
Given that the end of the Roar from 34 workweek is traditionally dedicated to Flashback Fridays, I revisited Eaton's performance from two years ago to see what it was in 2007 that resembled his impressive effort against the White Sox - 7.1 innings, 6 hits, 2 ER, 9 strikeouts, and 0 walks. Hopefully, for his own sake, the announcer was talking about parts of 2007 - small parts, in fact - and not the whole.
Eaton finished the 2007 season with a 10-10 record, a 6.29 ERA (the worst of his major league career), and a 1.37 strikeout-to-walk ratio (the second-worst of his major league career), numbers which made the ESPN remark seem more than a little curious.
Perhaps then the comment was meant to reference specific outings that season by Eaton - again, parts rather than the whole - in which case the speaker has an incredible baseball memory.
Eaton pitched into the seventh inning four times in 30 starts during the 2007 season. The last of those seven-inning starts occured on June 11 against ... the Chicago White Sox. Eaton's line for the game: 7 IP, 4 hits, O ER, 5 strikeouts, and 3 walks. Same team, similar numbers ... Genius!
"We haven't seem him pitch like that since 2007." Bumbling or brains? You decide.
Extra Innings: Speaking of Baseball Tonight, ESPN researcher Mark Simon has compiled Mark Teixeira's numbers by ballpark in preparation for this weekend's Red Sox - Yankees series. Teixeira's .194 average at Fenway is his worst by ballpark. O's fans will be happy to know that his .253 average at Camden Yards is his fourth-worst.
So take heart, Tex. Maybe those fans at Camden Yards were simply booing your inability to perform in front of the "home" crowd.