When I set out to write the most recent addition of Former Nats Greats I wanted to find a player that only the most hardcore Nats fan could even remember, and I think we have succeeded. This week's inductee played just 4 games in a Nats uniform. Who is he?
Welcome aboard to Mr. Campbell who made it to the major leagues just 2 years removed from being drafted in the 34th round of the 2004 draft, very impressive. His career however, far less impressive.
After making his way through the minor league ranks in '06, Campbell earned a September call-up for the less magical 2006 season. His major league debut came on a rainy Thursday in Colorado on September 7th. And boy did he start with a bang. No seriously. He was pretty good.
Coming on in the 4th inning in relief for Jason Bergmann (shocker) Campbell faced 4 batters. He got Todd Helton to fly out to center, ending the 4th inning. Coming back out in the 5th he got Garrett Atkins to pop out to second, then he hit Matt Holliday, and proceeded to get the strike-em-out-throw-em-out against Brad Hawpe. His line for the day was 1.1 IP. 0 H. 1 K. 1 HBP. 18 total pitches.
Having pitched a solid outing, Campbell was brought back into a game just 2 days later, also against the Rockies, this time he didn't do as well. Down 7-5 Frank Robinson called on him to pitch the 8th inning, hoping to keep the game close enough for the Nats to stage a comeback in the 9th, Campbell couldn't deliver. He gave up 2 runs in the inning and the Nats went out like a light in the top of the 9th. His line for this game was 1 IP. 2 H. 2 R. 2 ER. 1 K. 1 BB. 28 total pitches.
Less than a week later the Nats were playing against the Brewers, and once again they were losing. It was 5-2 in the 9th and once again, Campbell's job was to keep the game close so the Nats could come back to win in front of 21,168 fans at RFK. This time he was able to keep the game close, though the Nats would eventually lose. 1 IP. 0 H. 0 R. 2 K. 12 total pitches.
3 games down. 1 to go.
On September 18th, 2006 Brett Campbell made his final appearance in a Major League uniform. At home the Nats were once again on the losing side of the scoreboard, this time against the Braves and Frank Robinson once again called for Campbell; the score is 3-1 in the top of the 8th. Walk. Single. Out. Homer. Line-out. Fly-out. 1 inning. 3 earned. Another curly L in the book.
He stuck around through the end of the year, was sent to AA Harrisburg in 2007 and was lost to the Brewers in the 2007 Rule 5 Draft (AAA Round).
His career spanned a whopping 4.1 innings pitched over 4 games. Campbell ended his career with a 10.38 ERA. 1.38 WHIP. 6.38 FIP. .267 BABIP. 4 K. 2 BB. -0.1 WAR. He threw 84 pitches, 48 of which were strikes. Even more unfortunate, the Nats lost every single game that Campbell pitched.
I love stories like this, where you can go play-by-play with their entire career. Campbell is definitely an interesting case and I am proud to welcome him to the family of Former Nats Greats.
Leave your favorite Campbell memory in the comments section!
And if you are new to the blog or to this series, you can read all editions of Former Nats Greats by clicking on "Former Nats Greats" in the "Labels" section right at the bottom of this post!