The Cubs broke through against Roy Halladay about as well as any team can reasonably hope to, scoring thrice in six innings. It could have been more, though, if not for an incomprehensible running misadventure by Alfonso Soriano. While on third with one out (running second, first base open), Darwin Barney tapped on to the mound. Halladay looked Soriano back, but he never really went back to third. Halladay still threw to first, even though Soriano was toast. Then, inexplicably, Soriano started to run home, changed his mind, but instead of running back to third, he kind of jogged home … where the ball was waiting for him, having been easily tossed there by the first baseman. It was the kind of thing that you wouldn’t believe if you saw it in a middle school game. I have no explanation, save for the possibility that Ian Stewart, who was on second, broke for third when Soriano inexplicably broke-ish for home. Even if that’s the case, Soriano has no real explanation for (1) breaking for home in the first place, and (2) not committing to it when he sort-of-broke-for-home the second time.

The Cubs tacked on a couple additional runs late, and Tony Campana was a terror on the bases, but the primary story was the starting pitching.

  • Brady

    Loved all the groundballs Mahalom enduced. Was comforting to watch.

    • JedClampettHoyer

      Theo Epstein is a Richard, a Rick, a Rich, a DICK

      • Richard Nose

        I don’t get it.

        • Brady

          Yea I am clueless as well

          • JustSwain

            Maybe its another Ben Kersplansky fan.

  • Zogie

    Dejesus 1-5 1K RBI, DeJesus had a few bad ABs today, but nothing to worry about. He came through with a 2 out RBI to add on. Campana 2-5, 1 SB. He caused complete chaos when he got on base and I believe he was the one to rattle Halladay early. Castro 2-4 2B, RBi. He had a good day at the plate today and played some great defense. LaHair 1-3, BB 2K. LaHair continues to produce and strikeout a lot, but luckily he comes through when needed. Try to lay off a few of those breaking balls down. Soriano 1-4 RBI 1K. A typical day for Soriano. He did get an RBI, but he continues having problems with breaking balls low and away. Stewart 1-4 2B RBI. He came through big to expand the lead for Maholm in the 6th inning. He also had a couple of great defensive plays. Barney had a tough time at the plate today going 0-4. Like I said before he is an every other game hitter. He should have a couple hits tomorrow. Soto 0-2, 2BB. Soto looked good today getting on base twice. OBP goes up but AVE goes down. Johnson came through in the 9th with an RBI Triple. The pitching was excellent for the Cubs tonight. Maholm made 1 mistake on a high fastball to Ty Wigginton who crushes pitches up. Other than that, the bullpen came through with a scoreless 2.2 Innings. Lastly, my shout out goes to the super-fast Tony Campana. Paul Maholm does desire some love as well.

    • Angie

      Not calling it “advanced?” I like that 😉

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    Sveum is looking like a genius for batting Campana second.  I don’t believe for a second that Campana is going to finish the season batting nearly .400, but it’s nice while it lasts.

    • Mrp

      Campana is apparently our version Nyjer Morgan.

      • N8theGr8

        Nyjer Morgan could be Tony Campana’s evil twin brother.

      • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

        Except Campana isn’t a douche?

  • Rob

    Campana needs to play everyday. Literally is the fastest guy in mlb

    • ferrets_bueller

      He might be the quickest, but in a straight sprint, I dont think anyone is faster than Bourjos.

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        If we include the minors, Billy Hamilton is without a doubt the fastest.

  • MichiganGoat

    Great win and except for the Sori stupidity it appears the Cubs are starting to run the bases better (although I didn’t see the game) they are stealing, moving runners, and taking advantage of opportunities better than Quade last year (yes that isn’t hard to do, but trying to find the positives). Anyone else seeing better base running and situational hitting. Oh and nice to see Stewart have a quality AB and RBI.

    • calicubsfan007

      Hey, first time posting, longtime reader. I was surprised with the shellacking the Cubs put on Phily. But I have to say that I have made a basrunning mistake like Soriano’s when I played. God, it is humiliating.

      • JustSwain

        I once got bluffed out of a double because the second basemen gave me the stop sign. I made Soriano look like a base running genius on that one.

  • JungleDrew

    I was at the bar telling my friends that Campana had a infield doble a couple weeks ago in triple A, and they figured it was on an error or something… Then they saw him beat out a single when the ball was hit to the first baseman tonight… One of my friends is a cardinals fan (ok he’s really more of an acquaintance) and he is now a Tony Campana fan… If Campana keeps getting on base I think he really is a legit center fielder. Could you imagine if he was playing in a deep park like Petco? He would probably set a record on in the park home runs… I love this kid

    • drew

      So you actually foresee him scorching multiple screamers PAST outfielders? I’d take it, but I dont think thats ever happening.

  • cubs1967

    half-jokingly; i think campana will keep lahair a Cub; when bjax is ready to come up put him in RF, keep campy in CF, move lahair to LF with rizzo at 1st. campy can cover CF and most of LF for lahair so who cares if he brings back memories of dave kingman in LF or even mike vail; it’s all good.

    • JustSwain

      Campana has looked horrible so far this year in center. It doesn’t matter how fast you are if you run the wrong way for the first three steps. He is getting really bad reads off the bat, and his routes have not been particularly good. If he keeps playing like this we are going to need to put B-jax in left to help cover the balls he can’t get to. I haven’t seen him play much in the minors, so I’d be interested in finding out how he did down there, I’ve only seen a small sample size. If he keeps stealing 2 bases every time he gets on, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, and hope he improves.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        I’d rather see Campana in left than center.  Both his reads and his arm make me nervous in center.

        • JustSwain

          Thats about what I thought. Usually being able to read a fly ball off the bat is something you either have or you don’t (at this point in his career anyway), and his arm certainly isn’t going to get any stronger. For a guy who has over 300 games spanning four seasons in the outfield, he has pretty bad outfield instincts.

        • ferrets_bueller

          If Campana and Jackson are in the same OF….Campana is in LF, Jackson in CF.

          Campana is a HORRIBLE CF. Theres really only one position he can somewhat play, and its LF.

      • Spencer

        what?? I dont agree with this at all.

  • Cubs Dude

    Man, I was hard on Maholm early on when he looked terrible. But that guy looks to have turned it around quick! Good for him and the Cubs.

  • florida Al

    in yer best borat voice….wawaweewa!!

    • Richard Nose


  • Fuzzy Cheeks

    Gotta love what Campana did on the bases today. He’s fun to watch. Also give it up to Cubbies hitters for not backing down after Halladay shut them down for three innings. Loved it! I live in Philly and got to go to my first Cubbies game in 3 years..

    • Stan

      You were there?! I was there! Section 117 hated me! It was amazing! I got all of them mad!

      • Fuzzy cheeks

        Haha. I was on section 415 and got booed by a group of fitted cap wearing bros every time I stood up. Lucky for me a guy wearing a cowboys shirt was on front of me so he really took the brunt of the heckling.

  • Rob

    I was watching the game on MLB Gameday. When Castro got that RBI single, my first thought was, “That must be a Gameday error.” The graphic showed a ball in the dirt. Then the highlight video showed up. He’ll probably never have the same kind of power, but the more I see of Castro, the more I’m reminded of Vladimir Guerrero’s ability to hit any pitch.

  • Cecil

    I believe Halladay is now 1-5 career v Cubs. So we’re awesome.

  • Jay Anderson Jr

    I recall saying Castro could steal 30 bases and was basicly was told I was crazy. Well, he has 8 through 20 games. That has him on pace for 64. Not saying he’ll get it, but 50 is a real possibility. If this keeps up, we may need to move him to leadoff. If he develops more pop, he gives us a ricky henderson type of player who can leadoff with a homerun. Campana stays at 2 if he continues hitting well. We may be looking at 100-120 bases in the leadoff spot. If Jackson pans out, we play him at 3 and he may give us 20-30 more himself. That’s possibly 150 stolen bases at the top of the order. If we can somehow keep Lahair and put him in left, call up Rizzo and Clevenger devolops some pop at the catcher position, your looking at possibly over a hundred homeruns from the 3-6. If Stewart develops develops his bat he can give us 20 at the seven spot, if not, we can play Lake there or play Vitters there and get close to that production. If Barney continues out, you bat him 8th an he can cause slight commotion onthe bases in front of the pitcher, get Sacrificed over, and be there for Castro to drive in. That’s a pretty formible lineup.

    That would be quite a few Homeruns in the lineup.

    And also quite a few Stolen Bases
    7)0-15 depends who playing 3rd between Stewart, Lake and Vitters

    That’s close to 150 HRs and 150 SBs. Now that pro ly the ceiling and more of a possibly then a certainty

    • JustSwain

      Those are some pretty optimistic projections, are you sure you aren’t using your heart more than your head?

      • Jay Anderson Jr

        Obviously they won’t all reach their ceilings. Its more of each can do this but it not a certainty. Obviously I’m using my heart, but these are each reachable goals if every player pans out. But hey we are the Cubs, when does anything ever pan out.

        • Brady

          Also he was so close to being safe at 3rd today. Just overslid the bag by a tiny bit.

      • Jay Anderson Jr

        also. I meant Castillo developingnpop, not Clevenger.

    • Jay Anderson Jr

      Also, this does a lot of things. It allows us to take some of the other minor league position players we have and package them in a trade that will bring us some better starting pitchers. We can devolop the bullpen in house as we have a couple decent possibilities. For starting pitching, we can Bring up McNutt, Keep Garza and try to trade those other guys for an established starter or 2. Add in a signing here and there, like maybe Cole Hamels(I think hes a free agent) and the Cubs can be decent by next year and a contender by 2013.


      • JustSwain

        Hamels is an FA next year, and the Cubs will have the payroll to make an offer to him, so that part isn’t dreaming (nor is it certain), but this rotation doesn’t need a rebuild just a tweaking. I was more talking about those homer and steal numbers being very optimistic, and in certain cases you are assuming players will improve when they are called up (20 Hrs for Bjax). Also I still don’t think Lahair and Rizzo play on the same team, but dream away. For me, the dream rests in the fact that this team has less than 50 mil committed to payroll for next year, and I expect the payroll to increase.

      • JustSwain

        Heres an article to give you some hope Mr. Anderson http://www.suntimes.com/sports/12181010-419/cubs-may-go-cole-hamels-mining.html

    • Jay Anderson Jr

      Also, if Lahair can’t play left, you move Campana there and bring Szczar to play vented. Just another possibility.

  • N8theGr8

    Brett, as to your Enhanced Box Score Question: I would trade Maholm for Halladay any day…just not today.

  • oso

    I love Campana hitting ahead of Castro. With his speed and Castro’s contact ability they can do some serious damage. With another power hitter in the lineup behind them we might see some runs. Really BJax is well designed for the 3 hole, add his speed to Campana and Castro plus Rizzo hitting fifth, LaHair hitting fourth and presto we have an offense.

    (No Brett I will not give up on LaHair and Rizzo hitting in the same lineup, it’s way to fun to think about)

    • Spencer

      THIS. all of this.

  • mark

    I got a kick out of Campana sliding across the plate–I think the batted ball had barely got to the outfielder by that time. Tony was a blur on the bases.

    Very efficient two innings by Dolis.

  • mark

    Yow! Just watched Stewart’s barehanded pickup and great throw to first.

  • Andy

    Castillo called up??

    • Mrp

      That’s what Enrique Rojas of ESPN just tweeted anyway. We’ll see I guess. Maybe Soto is getting moved quickly?

      • Andy

        I hope they arent in the business of selling low on every tradeable chip the Cubs have.

        • Njriv

          If this is a trade in the making, I wonder why the Cubs aren’t waiting until the trade deadline when teams are desperate and giving more than they have to, especially someone like Soto who can use the time to enhance his value.

        • Mrp

          Could also be that Soto or Clev is hurt or maybe this guy just doesn’t know what he is talking about. Let’s hope nobody is injured though, that would suck.

          • Njriv

            Goldstein says the same, about Castillo being brought up.

    • Spencer

      Twitter BLEW UP when this happened, thinking it was a Soto trade. Unfortunately it looks like Clevenger is going to the DL.

  • Njriv

    Marlon Byrd Update: Today Byrd went 2-5 with 1 RBI, he only saw 9 pitches the lowest amount from a Red Sox starter. Byrd is now hitting .318 since joining the Red Sox.

  • Rob

    Goldstein says on Twitter that the Cubs called up Castillo. Maybe Clevenger’s hurt? Or, hell, maybe somebody bought low on Soto.

    • http://Cubbie4life.weebly.com Tonycampanathebasethief

      I hope soto is gone I really want Castillo to get a chance

  • Njriv

    If there is a deal in place for Soto, they should find some way to get rid of DeWitt, Cardenas is killing it in Iowa.

    • Cheryl

      Brett at one time this past week said Tampa Bay was looking for a catcher. Any news there? But according to the Tribune it involves Clevinger being put on the DL and the cubs not wanting to take any chances when he experienced some tightness.

  • JK

    Once sunk cost players Soriano, Soto, and Marmol are gone, we can enjoy proactive tasting of the future instead of reactive hedging on raising the value of said sunk cost players. Trading Byrd and giving a chance to Campana (major game changing speed) is a legit example of the way for the Cubs to succeed. I understand hedging trade value and trying to give playing time to boost a player’s value, but my vote is for recognizing when to pull the trigger. What a Soriano, a Soto, or a Marmol is going to bring in return on a trade is not worth the lingering opportunity cost of sitting players who can make a potential difference in the future Cubs lineup. Campana deserves a legit chance as an every day center fielder – period. Clevenger deserves a legit chance as an every day catcher – period (trade Soto or use him as a backup – I don’t care which is done, but do it now). I say give Russell the closer job and forego perpetuating the Marmol experience (trade Marmol or use him in spot relief – I don’t care which is done, but do it now). Soriano, Soto, and Marmol are dying. We can get busy living…or get busy dying. I prefer the former over the latter.

  • MaxM1908

    John Arguello, who is one of the guys who runs Cubs Den, suggested the call-up may be related to Soto’s spring training groin injury and the fact that he booked it around the bases in the ninth tonight. I think that seems as plausible as any explanation. Perhaps Soto will be moved to the DL by tomorrow. If it’s a trade, I think I will be disappointed. First, I think Soto is about to wake up his bat, and Second, I’d really hate to see us trade another player at their basement value.

  • JustSwain

    I’m leaning heavily towards this being an injury call up. Usually teams want a veteran to help a rookie catcher learn the hitters he’s going to face in the league, and the pitchers on his team. If it is a Soto trade, they either have massive faith in Clevenger’s ability to call a game, or they have a total lack of faith in Soto’s mentoring abilities. That being said, I think Soto has significant trade value despite the slow start. Teams will often look past that and hope that a new environment gives the player a chance to repeat his past success. It worked out well for Boston…

  • Ogyu

    Clevenger to the DL. Castillo replaces him.

    • JustSwain

      Is that a guess or do you know something?

    • Spencer
  • JustSwain

    Nevermind looks like I’m wrong. (About Soto going to the DL)

  • Spencer

    I really think Dolis ought to be considered for closer. He’s got really good stuff, and his struggles this year have honestly been when he’s been put in bad situations by Sveum (like in Miami).

    Also, I’m confused about what you think Soriano should’ve done on that play. When Halladay had the ball and was throwing to first, Soriano was halfway between third and home, and Stewart was more than halfway between 2nd and 3rd. Soriano could not have gone back to third, but I guess he could have committed to running to home, even though Halladay messed up in the first place by not getting Soriano in a run down. Both runners were going on contact because the infield was in, so that’s why he was running in the first place.

    Watch it here: http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_04_27_chnmlb_phimlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=chc#gid=2012_04_27_chnmlb_phimlb_1&mode=video

    • JustSwain

      First, Soriano broke for home on a play where he should have stayed at third. Stewart followed Sori’s cue and took third, which meant Sori couldn’t go back, but it was his fault he couldn’t go back. Second, Soriano should have broke for home when Halladay threw to first. He assumed he was a lame duck, and just stood there. Dolis as closer is looking more and more realistic to me. He had some bad outings this year, not just giving up runs but having trouble getting his purpose pitches anywhere near the strike zone, but he seems to be improving. Might have just been early season jitters.

  • Fishin Phil

    There were quite a few good things in last night’s game. The most encouraging thing to me was seeing the Cubs tack on a couple of runs late to crush what ever spirit may have been left in the Phillies.

    • MaxM1908

      Agreed. Too many times we have seen them go 1-2-3 when even a hit would a go a long way to slow momentum of the other side. I felt like a was watching a good team in the ninth inning.

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