Tony Campana keys Cubs’ win over Phillies
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org April 27, 2012 11:47PM
Cubs speedster Tony Campana gets back to first in time as Ty Wigginton waits for the pick-off throw in the sixth inning. Campana scored twice in the Cubs’ 5-1 victory. | Matt Slocum~AP
The facts: 6:05, Ch. 9, 720-AM.
The pitchers: Randy Wells (0-0, 3.60 ERA) vs. Joe Blanton (1-3, 4.34).
Updated: May 30, 2012 8:29AM
PHILADELPHIA — If Tony Campana’s speed is a secret weapon for the Cubs, it’s not a very well-kept secret anymore — especially after using it to break through against Roy Halladay to help give the Cubs a 5-1 victory Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies and their ace.
In fact, for a lineup waiting for the power to come on, it might be its most-prominent weapon before long, with manager Dale Sveum saying after the game that Campana will get “80 percent, for sure’’ of the starts in center field now that Marlon Byrd has been traded.
Even if that’s only until Brett Jackson graduates from Class AAA, Campana plans to run with his manager’s faith as effectively as he did to create the first two runs against Halladay, with a bunt hit and steal in the fourth, and an infield single leading off a two-run sixth.
“It’s an awesome opportunity for me,’’ he said. “I mean, Brett’s a good player down there and everybody knows he’s going to be up here when he’s ready. But until that comes, hopefully I can be here and prove that I deserve to be here.’’
Campana’s two runs were all starter Paul Maholm needed to win his second consecutive start for the Cubs’ third victory in four games — and their fifth in six career starts by Halladay against them.
“I just went in knowing that I had to throw well and give us a chance, because obviously [Halladay’s] not going to give up a ton,’’ Maholm said. “I didn’t know that we’d done well against him. Probably best I didn’t know that.’’
The Cubs anticipate getting a boost for their pitching staff by the end of this weeklong road trip after Kerry Wood and Ryan Dempster progressed in bullpen sessions Friday.
Wood (shoulder) used his breaking stuff for the first time since going on the DL and if he responds well Saturday, Sveum said a simulated game will be scheduled for Monday — with Thursday in Cincinnati targeted for his return.
Dempster (quad) threw and ran during pregame work and also is expected back Thursday.
That puts into limbo the status of Randy Wells, the veteran big-league starter who was at AAA Iowa before taking over for Dempster and has one more start Saturday before Dempster would return. The Cubs could keep him as the long man in the bullpen.
“We’ll make those decisions when they all come up and see what happens,’’ Sveum said.
Jeff Samardzija, an opening member of the Cubs’ rotation for the first time, has been pushed back a day in the rotation as part of a preseason plan to manage his workload.
He will start Tuesday’s series opener in Cincinnati, putting him on a seventh day since pitching 6 2/3 scoreless innings against St. Louis at home. Using the recent off day, Chris Volstad moves up a day to go on a normal fifth day Monday.
“Anytime we can use that to our advantage [we will],’’ Sveum said, “and see if we can monitor the pitch counts and the innings. It’s going to benefit [Samardzija] him in the long run.’’