Tuesday, June 10, 2014

When Adam Eaton gets on base, the Sox offense clicks

White Sox leadoff hitter Adam Eaton went 2 for 5 with a triple, a single, a run scored and an RBI on Monday as the South Siders defeated the Detroit Tigers, 6-5.

It was a good offensive game for Eaton, and not coincidentally, a good offensive game for the Sox. First baseman Jose Abreu rightfully continues to get headlines -- he hit his 18th home run of the season on Monday -- but you can make a strong case that Eaton is just as important to the Chicago offense.

Eaton has been in the starting lineup in 46 of the Sox' first 65 games. He has 14 multiple hit games. In those 14 contests, the Sox have posted a 9-5 record and have scored 103 runs. That will pencil out to an average of 7.4 runs per game.

By way of comparison, Eaton has gone hitless in 15 of his 46 starts. In those games, the Sox have gone 5-10 and scored just 43 runs. That's an average of 2.9 runs per game.

Think it's important to have your leadoff hitter getting on base consistently? You better believe it is.

Eaton has been starting to swing the bat a little bit better of late. He's 7 for 21 (.333) on his current five-game hitting streak. In the nine games prior to the streak, Eaton was in a 3-for-35 funk. That's an .086 batting average.

During Eaton's nine-game slump, the Sox scored just 27 runs, an average of 3.0 per game. In the past five games, the Sox have scored 19 runs. That's still not real good (3.8 per game), but 11 of those 19 runs came in the two games where Eaton had two hits.

There is a direct correlation between Eaton's production and the success of the White Sox offense. When he hits, the Sox score runs. When he doesn't hit, the Sox scuffle.

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