The Campana Show … Cubs Win Sixth in a Row – Cubs 4 Reds 3

Game One Hundred Thirteen – Cubs 4 Reds 3
WP – Ryan Dempster (9-8) LP – Mike Leake (9-7) Save – Carlos Marmol (24)

wflag.jpgQ’s Cubs posted their sixth straight win Friday afternoon against the Reds on Tony Campana Day at Wrigley Field.

Tony Campana, the Cincinnati native, energized the Cubs at the plate, on the bases and in the field. “The Spider Monkey“, a nickname given to Campana by Bobby Dernier hit his first big league homer as a part of a 3-for-5 (double, two RBI and a run scored) afternoon … but the ball never left the park.

With Starlin Castro at first in the opening inning, Campana hit a smash down the left line that kicked off the side wall past Yonder Alonso. The ball ended up at the base of the wall. Campana circled the bases and crossed the plate (standing) with a two-run inside the park home run.

Campana became the first Cub to hit an inside the parker since 2008. Geovany Soto rounded the bases in Houston on May 19. Prior to Friday, the last Cub to hit an inside the park home run at Wrigley was Sammy Sosa on October 19, 2001 (Pirates). Campana is the first player since Emilio Bonifacio of the Marlins (April 2009) to have his first big league homer be an inside the park home run and he is the first Chicago Cub to accomplish the feat.

Tony Campana also made a game changing catch in the seventh when he raced back and crashed into the ivy and took away an extra basehit from Brandon Phillips … with the tying run on first base.

To say Friday is a day that Tony Campana will never forget would be an understatement.

Starlin Castro recorded the 19th three-hit game of his season, and the fourth in the last five games. Castro finished the game 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored and continues to just pound the baseball hitting out of the leadoff spot. Castro has hit safely in his last six games.

The other ‘kid’ that helped lead the Cubs to their sixth straight was Tyler Colvin (1-for-3 with a home run and a walk). Colvin hit another monster shot, his fourth of the season in the second inning. Colvin entered Friday 3-for-9 against Mike Leake, with all three hits being longballs. Colvin collected his fourth hit off the Reds’ right-hander Friday … and it left the park.

Carlos Pena (0-for-2 with a walk, a sac fly and a RBI) gave the Cubs a little breathing room with a sac fly to left in the seventh. Pena just missed an opposite field grand slam.

Ryan Dempster had a rough afternoon and did just enough to put his team in position to win the game. Dempster labored through 110 pitches (62 for strikes) in six innings. Dempster allowed only two runs on four hits but tied a season-high with six walks to go along with just five strikeouts. The Reds second run off Dempster scored on a wild pitch.

Sean Marshall wiggled his way in and out of a jam in the seventh. Kerry Wood’s day started by giving up a solo homer to Ramon Hernandez and a double to Yonder Alonso but it ended with three strikeouts.

Carlos Marmol picked up his third save in as many days with a shaky, but effective ninth.

With Friday’s victory, the Cubs improved to 48-65 on the season, 17 games below .500 …

The Cubs finally beat Mike Leake … and it took a big day from an unlikely source to do so. Tony Campana got a rare start to give Marlon Byrd a breathier and the Cubs fifth outfielder made the most of his opportunity.

Q’s squad had plenty of chances to blow the game wide open on Friday. The Cubs managed nine hits but worked six free passes. The Cubs finished Friday 1-for-9 with RISP, 10 left on base.

Ryan Dempster loaded the bases in the first inning (walk on the 11th pitch of the at bat to Paul Janish, single to right by Brandon Phillips and a walk to Jay Bruce) before getting out the jam. Dempster struck out Ramon Hernandez swinging on the 29th pitch of the inning (17 for strikes).

Starlin Castro led off the first with a single to center. Tony Campana then electrified Wrigley and gave his team a 2-0 lead. Campana smoked a 2-0 pitch down the left field line. Yonder Alonso got to close to the sidewall. The ball kicked off and past him toward the vines … at that point it was off to the races for Tony Campana.

Campana scored standing with the first homer of his big league career and the Cubs had a 2-0 lead.

Aramis Ramirez followed with a double but Pena (strikeout), Byrd (flyout) and Soriano (flyout) could not advance Ramirez.

Ryan Dempster rebounded from a long first inning with a seven-pitch second inning. The Reds did nothing against Dempster in the second.

Tyler Colvin led off the bottom of the second with his fourth homer of the season. Colvin ripped a 1-2 pitch through the wind and about halfway up into the bleachers in right. Leake retired Hill, Dempster and Castro in order to end the second.

Dempster worked around a two-out walk to Joey Votto in the third without allowing a run … and the Cubs did nothing against Mike Leake in the home half of the third.

The Reds finally got on the board in the fourth. Yonder Alonso reached on a two-out single to right. Dempster walked Todd Frazier on four pitches. Mike Leake stepped in and helped his own cause. Leake blooped a single into center that Campana dove and caught … but when he hit the ground, the ball popped out. Alonso scored … 3-1 Cubs. After a wild pitch allowed Frazier to score and Leake to advance to second, Dempster retired Drew Stubbs on a flyout to right to end the inning.

Other than a two-out walk by Koyie Hill in the bottom of the fourth, Leake settled in after the fourth and did not allow the Cubs to put much together until the sixth.

The Reds could not take advantage of what Ryan Dempster was giving them on Friday. Brandon Phillips reached on a two-out single in the fifth but Dempster retired Jay Bruce on a groundout to second. In the top of the sixth, Dempster issued back-to-back two-out walks to Todd Frazier and Mike Leake. Dempster reached back and ended his afternoon by striking out Drew Stubbs on three pitches (called third) to end the inning.

The Cubs wasted a huge opportunity in the bottom of the sixth. Carlos Pena walked to start the inning and advanced to third on a double to right by Blake DeWitt. Alfonso Soriano grounded out to third for the first out.

Leake intentionally walked Tyler Colvin to load the bases. Koyie Hill looked at strike three and Reed Johnson hit for Dempster and struck out swinging to end the inning.

Sean Marshall took over in the seventh and issued a one-out walk to Joey Votto. Brandon Phillips crushed Marshall’s first pitch. Tony Campana got on his horse and raced back towards the wall. Campana caught the ball as he crashed into the ivy. Votto had rounded second and had to retreat. Campana missed the cutoff man or they would have doubled Votto off first. Marshall struck out Bruce swinging to end the inning.

Starlin Castro walked to start the seventh against Jose Arredondo. Tony Campana followed with a double. After Aramis Ramirez was intentionally walked, Dusty Baker brought in lefty Bill Bray to face Carlos Pena.

Pena lifted a 2-1 pitch to the wall in left. Alonso made a nice catch with his back against the ivy. Castro tagged and scored … 4-2 Cubs. Quade went to his bench and sent up Jeff Baker to hit for Blake DeWitt. Dusty countered with Logan Ondrusek. Campana not tagging on the deep fly to left, cost the Cubs a run. Baker flied out to right for the second out of the inning. With runners on first and second with two outs, Soriano tapped back to the mound to end the inning.

Kerry Wood replaced Marshall in the eighth and gave up a solo homer to Ramon Hernandez … and just like that it was 4-3 Cubs. Alonso followed with a double to left. Dusty sent Chris Heisey into run.

With the tying run in scoring position, Kerry Wood struck out the next three batters he faced to end the inning … Frazier (looking), Fred Lewis (swinging) and Stubbs (swinging).

After Darwin Barney worked a two-out walk against Aroldis Chapman in the eighth, Castro recorded his third hit of the game, a single to center … the first hit off Chapman in 10 1/3 innings. Campana singled to left on a 3-2 pitch but Frazier threw out Barney at the plate to end the inning.

Carlos Marmol hit Paul Janish with his first pitch. Marmol struck out Votto and retired Phillips on a pop out to shallow right. Marmol walked Bruce to put the tying run in scoring position … but Ramon Hernandez grounded out to second to end the game.

It’s too bad the Cubs waited until August to start playing like a big league ballclub …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Carlos Zambrano against Johnny Cueto in game two on Saturday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again." – Bob Feller

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  • Skeldor

    This is pretty sad but a 6 game win streak and still 15 games out lol

    • KevininSandiego33

      I reallyb hope no one is buying into this streak. We have lucked out and ran into 2 teams that a going through a bad steak.

      • paulcatanese

        Buying into it and believing it are two different things. I buy into it cause I like to see the kids do well and everytime they contribute to a win is a plus for them,the Cubs to go that way. If it were only the vets doing this I could care less. Believing it is another story, as I think any Cub fan who looks at reality would know better and realize that they are going nowere, I know you do by youre post.

  • jw

    Hey Hey Holy Mackeral no doubt about it!…

  • Brentcarmona

    nick struck for call up!

  • Ripsnorter1

    I saw the replay on ESPN. Campana’s “HR” barely made the OF grass on the fly. This guy is powerless….he’s the Eddie Gaedel of 2011.

    • paulcatanese

      Don’t know how to answer that one Rip.

    • Tony_Hall

      This is what Campana needed, though, that if you play him in to close, he can get it by a player, and if he does, it is a triple or a inside the park HR.  This should move the OF back a little, and give him room to hit his deep fly balls over the infield.  If he can do that, with his speed, he could have a nice career as a 4th/5th OF.  

      • Brp921

        I’m not giving up on him as a solid leadoff hitter yet. If he can keep keep his batting average around .280 and learn to get some bases on balls to keep his OBP up he could be a great guy at the top of the order. If he can do that , with his speed the sky is the limit. I would like to see him get some consistent playing time the rest of this year and next to see if he can develope into that. Only time will tell if he has it in him.

      • Patrick_Schaefer

        He may be viewed as a 4th/5th OF but I would rather have the Cubs playing him everyday over Soriano. I love the idea of Campana, Castro and Jackson at the the top of the lineup. Speed, speed, and more speed, the Cubs have been over reliant on the longball for too many years with little to no team speed. The ability to manufacture runs is huge. Just think of how many one run games the Cubs have lost the last couple years.

        • Tony_Hall

          Patrick – I’m sure you know, I wouldn’t even play Soriano if I was the manager, especially at this point in the season, so I would be all for Campana playing over Soriano.  I would like to see Colvin, Campana, and Jackson play the rest of the year in the OF.  

    • paulcatanese

      While I agree that Campana is not a fence buster by any means Rip, I do know that inside the park home runs are rare and include luck, a misplay by an outfielder, and more so. speed. Campana had all three going for him. He may never hit one out of the ballpark, but it counted the same. He may never even start another game, but he still gives it his all. The point is Rip, that he had a moment in the sun, and I for one would not take that away from him. I look at him for what he is, a good kid, hustles, and takes what baseball gives him, never assuming he is owed anything but a chance to play once in a while. I was disappointed in youre analysis Rip, I know you are better than that.

  • Agustin

    Two more wins and we’re back in the thick of things!

  • paulcatanese

    Great game by the “kids”, like to see more of it,win or lose. They are the future.They overcame the adversity of the vets today.

  • Ripken Boy

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we traded Byrd for a prospect or two and we got a chance to see if Campana can play CF and lead off everyday. If the Cubs ever decided to go with younger players vs. patching teams together with high priced, overly hyped veterans they may actually be able to build a team that might win something.

    • paulcatanese

      Yes it would be nice to see that come about. Unfortunatly with the present management that dosent seem to be in the future as I dont believe they will go the way of youth. The Astros are doing just that right now, youth. Ricketts will have a close eye on what takes place there regarding fan support and understanding.  The public will find out soon what direction he chooses. I for one would like to see the younger players I’m tired of all the millionares parading around the dugout not really caring if they win or lose. Energy and hustle should be the rule of the day as was evidenced in todays game and I would be happy with the results of efforts like that, giving it all by the kids.

    • hoosier1234

      It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the Cubs with young guys who could even build a team.  I say that this years’ flop should make management go with ’em.  What’s to lose?  This team is going to end up next-to-last in the division and the young guys couldn’t do a whole lot worse.

    • Tony_Hall

      Brett Jackson, will be the next starter in CF, not Campana.  Campana is a 4th/5th OF at best. 

      • paulcatanese

        I’m sure he will, if the kid ever gets the opportunity. I will be disappointed if he is not given the chance. I for one would like to see competition entirely among the kids and go with it, total youth. Others have had their day in the sun, time to move on.

  • Tony_Hall

    Got to love a 6 game winning streak, no matter what, it is nice to see the Cubs Win!

    Young guys
    Campana 2 RBI’s – Colvin 1 RBI – 3 of the 4

    Castro 2 runs – Campana 1 run – Colvin 1 run – ALL 4 runs

    Campana 3 hits – Castro 3 hits – Colvin 1 hit – 7 out of 9 hits

    I’m just sayin…

    • paulcatanese

      Exactly my point, what I’m saying also,,,,Young Guys, period.

  • diehardcubfan

    Campana despite his heroics yesterday will likely ride the pine today.  As for the youth movement that is not happening anytime soon given the lack of trade activity before the deadline.   

    I believe the Cubs will keep everyone on the current roster through the end of the season at least and likely into ST.  My opinion is that unless Jackson, Flaherty and DJh have monster ST they will not be on the opening roster next year and will start at Iowa.

    For those of you who may have not noticed Carlos Pena and Soriano have both not been that effective offensively in the 2nd half in particular.  After a strong May and June Pena has had only 8 RBIs and a .682 OPS for Jul but has started a little stronger for August.  Not to mention the fact that he only has a .178 batting average with RISP for the year.  This is likely the reason the Cubs may have not pulled the trigger on a trade given the poor Jul so maybe he can have a solid August and the Cubs could deal him this month.  At this pace though he will not even equal 2010 84 RBIs.  Again though JH will probably bring him back but he is not worth over 10 million. 

    As for Soriano yes he has driven in 17 runs over the past 30 games but he is hitting only about .150 and his OPS is only about .549.  Not very scary.  As for batting average for the year with RISP it is not a horrible .233 with a .701 OPS but still at 19 million a year not worth it. 

    The numbers just boggle the mind.

    Now here is a lineup to consider if the Cubs could get rid of Pena and Soriano.

    Campana – CF (Likely will not happen though as he is not viewed as a regular)
    Jackson – RF
    Castro – SS
    ARAM – 3B
    Fielder – 1B
    Clevenger – C
    Colvin – RF
    DJ – 2B


    Flaherty (If Colvin struggles Flaherty plays)
    The “Untouchables” in Johnson, Baker and DeWitt
    Castillo (Quade doghouse)

    Soto and Barney would be used as trade bait in this scenario unless the Cubs get rid of DeWitt.  This team would have much more speed and athleticism. 

    Starting rotation and bullpen to me have a lot of questions especially if Carpenter’s injury is more severe than thought. 

    Dempster, Big Z, Garza, Marmol, Marshall will be here next year no matter what.  Others we will have to see.

    • paulcatanese

      Any youth movement by the Cub managerial staff is not in their mentality even though they keep losing to teams that display athleticism against them. They will continue to live and die by the long ball. Thats not far fetched if they were to obtain a Fielder to compliment Aram but I dont see that happening unless they were to clean house of owed money. Then there is the thing that Fielder has to accept coming to the Cubs,which could very well be denied by Fielder.As you are,I am in favor of the youth movement and keep hoping that would happen, getting tired of “wait till next year” but would endure that if honest movement forward were to happen with youth.