You cannot stop Tony Campana. It can’t be done. He’s terrible at getting on base, and I suspect that once this hot start wears off, he’ll continue to be so. But right now, he is a raging speed demon and there’s literally nothing you can do about it. He scored two of the Cubs’ runs in today’s 5-1 victory over Philadelphia.
Today was the second Stats Sunday broadcast, and Len and Bob were discussing BABIP. Which made it fascinating that the only hit the Cubs gave up over the first EIGHT WHOLE INNINGS was a lucky bloop single by the very first Phillies hitter, Jimmy Rollins.
Thereafter, Matt Garza was perfect, setting down 19 – not a typo – batters in a row, before walking Juan Pierre in the seventh. Rollins was even erased on a gorgeous throw to second by Welington Castillo, so Garza actually faced the minimum during that stretch, while striking out 10. After the walk, he finished out the inning cleanly and was lifted for Rafael Dolis, who was also perfect.
Notably not perfect was Carlos Marmol, who pitched the ninth and gave up one hit and 3 – also, unfortunately, not a typo – walks, one of which forced in a run. But after taking another couple of years off my life, he managed to finish out the game without any further damage. I’m pretty sure this roller coaster is just going to be our lives for the next couple of years, folks.
The bats, for their part, did exactly what they were supposed to do today. It felt really good to see everything fall into place.
The first run belonged to Bryan LaHair, who had a great day, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. Driving him in from the cleanup spot was Jeff Baker, who started in right and collected his own pair of hits.
The Tony Campana Show was exactly what you’d expect: singles, stolen bases, going first-to-third on a groundout, and one really cool slide beneath a tag on a play at the plate. Starlin Castro drove him in both times, despite not collecting a hit today.
Super Joe Mather even chipped in, cranking a solo home run that caught Len Kasper by surprise in the fourth inning. It was the first homer by a Cubs outfielder this season. Let’s… uh, let’s hope it’s not the last.
Snark and Carlos Marmol aside, today’s game was truly fun to watch. This team may be brutal much of the time, but when the hits come together the right way and the pitching is hot, we’re still going to see a few gems this season. This game was one of them.
Samardzija’s turn in the rotation will be skipped – he starts on Tuesday in Cincy, meaning we get Chris Volstad facing Vance “The Vanimal” Worley tomorrow evening. The game will be on CSN at 6:05 CT.