His last three starts have been far better.
Eaton tossed six scoreless innings Sunday to lift the Phillies to a victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. That's three straight quality starts for Eaton, a right-hander who signed a three-year, $24.5 million free-agent contract with the Phillies last November.
So, what's the difference that has yielded such better results?
Eaton said he's been better able to finish off hitters after he gets ahead in the count. During his initial starts, he was giving up hits on full-count and two-strike pitches. He also is feeling more comfortable on the mound after making a mechanical adjustment in the final days of spring training and moving over to the third-base side of the rubber.
"You have to make the pitch a little less on the plate," Eaton said. "(Sunday) wasn't indicative of the last couple of starts, in which I was able to keep the ball down more. It was a little more up, but it had some movement and I was able to jam guys and keep it off the barrel. Early in the year, I wasn't able to make those pitches. I was a little more over the middle with less movement."
Eaton's emergence is important for a starting rotation that already lost its ace.
Until five weeks ago, Brett Myers was a starter, trained to throw at least 100 pitches every five days.
So Myers couldn't understand the uproar last week over his three straight relief appearances and four outings in five days. He never suffered an injury as a starter, so why all of a sudden would his right arm break down now that he's the Phillies' closer?
"I'm a little sick of answering those questions," Myers said Sunday. "I can do it. My arm bounces back. It's fine."
But that doesn't mean manager Charlie Manuel won't be judicious about using him.
In nine appearances since becoming the closer May 3, Myers has pitched more than one inning four times and entered in a non-save situation twice. But he's been asked to get more than four outs only twice, and he's thrown 30 or more pitches only twice.
"I feel like he definitely can go two, maybe three, innings," Manuel said, "and one of the reasons he can do that is because he was a starter. But as the season goes along, I definitely don't want him to get tired.
"When he's had rest, or when we have a day off the next day, that's when I'd like him to pitch two innings. But I see him as more of a four-out guy than a two-inning guy."
Manuel asked Myers to get four outs Sunday in the series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays after setup man Geoff Geary served up three solo homers that sliced a 5-0 lead to 5-3 in the eighth inning. Myers, who didn't pitch the previous night in a 13-2 blowout loss, threw 24 pitches, including several 95- and 96-mph fastballs, to secure a two-run victory.
With the Phillies off Monday, Myers will be available to pitch Tuesday at Florida.
"It's all about how you take care of your arm," Myers said. "Thank God, I haven't had any problems with it. My arm actually hurts whenever they give me a day off. It's like, 'shouldn't I be doing something today?'"
News and Notes from Philly
The Numbers Game: 20 - Outfield assists for the Phillies through 43 games, the most in the majors.