I'm in hell, and it's full of Cubs fans (Maholm vs. Arroyo)

March 12, 2012 - (Mesa, AZ): I must be a masochist. Once again, I went to a Cubs game. It's a relatively long drive for the Cactus League, and unless you leave early, you get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on 10W. A lot of fans leave after the 7th inning stretch, trying to avoid that.

At least this time, the game wasn't sold out. It was still packed, though. I'm afraid I didn't get very good photos this time. There just wasn't enough room. I had a hard time seeing the game, let alone taking pictures. Wish I could have gotten the Frazier home run off former Pirate Paul Maholm.

Fisheye view of HoHoKam Stadium (looking straight up).


Not sure how much longer the Cubs will be playing at HoHoKam. Everyone was talking about the new stadium that will be built. Not sure how they can afford it.

It was Bronson Arroyo on the mound.


I wanted to photograph his signature leg kick, but didn't get a chance. Since he only does that from the windup.

It's only spring training, but it's hard not to be concerned about Arroyo, given last year. Yeesh, did he have a bad day.

Juan Francisco and his cool red glove.


If he's traded, it has to be to a team with red uniforms, to match his glove.

Zack Cozart started at short.


Jeff Samardzija, a pitcher with even more hair than Arroyo.


Sean Marshall looked good. No hits, no runs, no walks, 2 Ks.


Donald Lutz came in for Daryl Jones in right field.


He went 1 for 2 with 2 RBIs.

Paul Janish took over third base from END, and seemed to relish the chance to fraternize with the enemy talk to Cubs third base coach Pat Listach.


Listach is from Texas, and was a shortstop in his playing days, so maybe they know each other.

Chad Reineke pitched two innings, giving up just one hit.


Carlos Marmol made the Reds uncomfortable at the plate. He walked Janish, but made him play dodgeball first. He plunked Corky squarely on the shoulder, to the loud approval of the Cubs fans.


Nevertheless, the Reds took the lead against Marmol, on a Lutz single that scored Janish and Ludwick (who hit a double). A sac fly by Didi scored Corky, and the Reds were ahead, 6-4. But not for long.

Former Red Dave Sappelt was subbed in as the Cubs' DH. He got the brushback from former teammate Carlos FIsher. Unfortunately, it was on ball 4.


In his inning, Fisher gave up 1 hit, 3 runs, 3 walks - and the lead.

The Reds tried to rally in the 8th against Kerry Wood. (There was much yelling from the fans about how Dusty ruined Wood.)


Negron singled, got to second on a wild pitch, and to third on a sac bunt by Janish. But he ended up stranded there when Ludwick flied out and Phipps struck out.

Kris Negron getting some advice from Mark Berry.


Andrew Brackman pitched the 8th, and was rather underwhelming.


After giving up a home run and two walks, he was bailed out when Didi turned a nice DP.




That's Chris Valaika backing him up. He took over at second.

Valaika also had the last at-bat of the game. He grounded out.


He heads to the dugout as "Go, Cubs, Go" starts blasting over the loudspeakers.


Final score: Cubs 8, Cincinnati 6.

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