OKLAHOMA CITY -- This recap would have been written earlier, but on arriving in OKC I hit a mother of a Friday-evening rush-hour traffic jam, which turned out to have been caused by one state trooper pulling over one car. A gaper's block, as we'd call them in Chicago. Thanks, Oklahoma police.
Complaints about traffic over, I know you all want to talk about former Cub Tony Campana, who, in what might be his only appearance before his former team's fans, doubled and tripled and drove in two runs. He'd probably have had two triples, if not for the fact that his first extra-base hit was with the bases loaded and the runner ahead of him stopped at third.
OK, I'm done with Tony C here. I wish him the best, maybe a game like this helps keep him on the Diamondbacks' major-league roster, but we all know his shortcomings and they'll probably come out at some point if he is on their club this year.
Those hits helped the Diamondbacks beat the Cubs 6-2, but an even bigger cause was the failure of Rafael Dolis to throw strikes. He walked three; two of those walks produced runs, and as Len Kasper said on Friday afternoon's webcast, there's never been any doubt about Dolis' stuff, it's just his inability to be able to keep the ball in the strike zone. He was a longshot to make the staff anyway, and a game like this isn't going to help.
A good thing from Friday's game: Cubs bats came on strong in the first inning, which was when they scored both of their runs, on a RBI double by Anthony Rizzo (who departs for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic Saturday; Steve Clevenger is apparently going to get some first-base time, which, if he shows well, would increase his chances of making the team), and a sac fly by Nate Schierholtz.
Jeff Samardzija became the first Cubs starter to go three innings; he, too, had a bit of trouble keeping the ball in the strike zone, issuing three walks. He gave up just one hit, a leadoff single by Miguel Montero in the second inning, when the D'backs scored the only run they got off Shark. After Dolis gave up the lead, Blake Parker came in and gave up Campana's first hit; following that, James Russell, Casey Coleman and Shawn Camp finished up by combining for three scoreless innings. So there was at least some good pitching out of the Cubs staff Friday afternoon.
Attendance was 6,867 on a much warmer day than any so far this spring (78 degrees at game time); this second-biggest crowd so far brings the Cubs' Mesa total in five dates to 27,281, an average of 5,456. Saturday, the Cubs will take on the Giants in Scottsdale, a game that figures to sell out, what with the weather being really nice and the Giants one of the top draws in the Cactus League.
One bit of weirdness with the At Bat app for me today: I was able to listen to just about the entire game, driving through eastern Oklahoma, mostly in rural areas. As soon as I got to the outskirts of OKC -- in an urban area where presumably service is better -- the signal dropped out.
And seriously, I know Tony Campana is a longshot to make the D'backs. The fact that he had two XBH in a game -- something he has done just twice in 184 MLB games, and never a double and triple in the same game -- I found aptly amusing.