I know this post will be unpopular from the onset.
Tony Campana, with his blazing speed and boyish good looks, has won over throngs of Cubs fans, but that doesn’t make him an everyday player.
There’s no denying the kid’s been off to a hot start since joining the Cubs to replace Marlon Byrd.
He has five hits, four stolen bases and two sacrifices, enough for Dale Sveum to move him to the two-hole in favor of Darwin Barney. (Interesting because Barney is batting .304, 9 RS & 7 RBI from two-hole).
Campana, however, still appears overmatched at the plate. He’s struck out in nearly half his at-bats, often looking desperate to make contact.
Opposing pitchers have figured out his shtick, too. They pound the strike zone with hooks knowing the slap-hitter will flail wildly, which helps explain Campana’s lone walk and zero extra base hits.
Supporters of Campana point to the fact he’s only 25-years-old, a career .303 hitter in the minor leagues and plays a good center field. If Sveum would only give him a chance…
But I’ll remind you the same was said about Felix Pie four years ago, who had striking similarities to Campana’s game: singles hitter, fast, decent fielder and far too often overmatched offensively.
So what if the Cubs stole one Tuesday night. Back-to-back walkoffs against the Cardinals, I’ll take it.
The Cubs not only earned its first series win in 2012, but also ended St. Louis’ streak of 13-consecutive series wins dating back to last year, including the postseason.
However, Chicago got two very questionable calls from the umpiring crew to go in their favor: DeJesus’ slide home in the first inning and Campana’s steal in the 10th.
Had the umps made even one of the two calls correctly were probably left sulking over another Cubs loss and yet another solid start by Samardzija wasted due to a lack of run support. Water under the bridge this time…
How about Soriano hitting a low & away slider hard enough to drive in the game-winning run. Everyone watching knew what pitch was coming, but who knew Sori could actually hit it?
Bryan LaHair has put together two terrific at-bats in crucial situations the past two games: a 12-pitch walk on Monday and a game-tying home run Tuesday, which also marks his first hit against a left-hander this season.
I love this guy’s moxie. LaHair’s proving he’s not just a Triple-A phenom, but a true threat at the major league level. Now it’s just a matter of seeing if he can hit consistently for a full season.