Rainy Sunday (Leake vs. Skaggs)

Goodyear, AZ (March 18, 2012) - I wasn't sure this game was even going to be played. The weather was cold and rainy; this was the day Edinson Volquez ended up pitching in a hailstorm, and several games were rained out.

I decided to go to the Phoenix Zoo before the game; I could just stay all day if the game was rained out. I'd been meaning to check it out while I was in Phoenix, but hadn't gotten around to it, and I was running out of time. Pouring rain isn't ideal for zoo visits, but hey, at least I knew it wouldn't be crowded.

I feared the worst when they told me the Giraffe Encounter activity, where you can buy giraffe food and feed the giraffes, was closed. Had Jim Day gotten there before me?

Thankfully, it was just because of the rain. Giraffes are skittish creatures, and the ones at the Phoenix Zoo are apparently terrified of umbrellas. So they don't allow people to feed the giraffes on rainy days. The baby giraffes were fine.


The weather cleared up around lunch time, so off I went to Goodyear.

Jay Bruce and Joey Votto stand in front of the dugout for the national anthem. It was warm and sunny when the game started.


Mike Leake and his spiffy stirrups were on the mound for the Reds.


Going for the Diamondbacks was Tyler Skaggs. Brandon Phillips greeted him rudely, hitting a leadoff double.



He scored on a single by Ryan Ludwick.


The Snakes got the run back in the third, when Leake gave up a walk and a double.

Joey Votto almost had an error on a Willie Bloomquist popup. He set up underneath it, but it was so windy the ball ended up a long way away from where Joey thought it was going to be. BP made a nice catch to save Votto the error.


Votto led off in the 4th. It was starting to rain again.



Joey takes ball 4.


Ludwick struck out, and Jay Bruce also walked. Scott Rolen came to the plate with one out, two on. And hit an opposite field home run.



Drew Stubbs struck out looking. Amazing but true!


Ryan Hanigan struck out swinging, ending the inning. But the Reds had three more runs.


BP is all smiles in the dugout.


So is Eric Davis.


Sean Marshall pitched the fifth. He gave up one hit and struck out two.


In the bottom of the inning, Wilson Valdez flied out and BP walked. It's Paul Janish to the plate, one on, one out.

Peering down the third base line, to see if Mark Berry wants him to bunt.


I guess the sign was "swing away." Janish smacked one to deep left.


(You can see the ball in the upper left corner of the photo.)

We in the stands couldn't tell what happened at first. Loud out? Ground rule double? Home run?

It was just out of Jason Kubel's reach:


It bounced off the yellow line...


Then out of Kubel's glove.


By the time he got it back in, Janish was standing on second, chatting with Cody Ransom.


A stand up double. Not bad for ol' weak wrists on a cold, rainy day. The fans booed the call; they thought it was a home run.

BP went to third on Janish's double and scored on a wild pitch, but that's all they got in that inning. Votto popped out and Bruce flied out. (It was lefty Jason Lane on the mound.)

Dusty pulled all the starters after five innings. BP harasses a ballboy as he leaves.


Todd Frazier took over left field.


The rain was getting heavy, and it was miserably cold.

Dusty reversed the usual order, starting Janish and putting Cozart in with the scrubs. Cozy definitely got the short end of the stick that day.


(He didn't seem to mind, going 2 for 2 and playing his usual fine defense.)

It suddenly got hot and sunny again, but I guess the ground was stll wet. Frazier slipped and missed a catch, which became a double for Cody Ransom.


Clay Zavada was terrible in the 6th. He faced 7 batters and got only 1 out. He was pulled for Sam LeCure.


Corky Miller comforts the seriously bummed out Zavada in the dugout.


Willie Bloomquist hit into a fielder's choice. Henry Blanco was caught in a rundown, then tagged out at home by LeCure.


The Dbacks scored 7 runs in the 6th. The Reds went from winning 5-1 to losing 8-5 in one inning.

Frazier grounds out in the 7th.


That's the Diamondbacks' giant first baseman. Jonathan Griffin is listed at 6'-7".

Dioner Navarro at bat in the 8th.


Chris Valaika and Zack Cozart both singled in the bottom of the 9th. Alas, Miguel Cairo grounded into a double play. Valaika scored, Cozart out. Frazier came to bat with two outs, none on.

Miggy should have struck out. Frazier hit a home run.


Archie Gilbert can only watch as the ball bounces onto the berm in straightaway center, startling a bird.


Frazier rounding third and heading for home.


He keeps a straight face until he's in the dugout. 'Cause he plays the game right!


Daryl Jones and Willie Harris are up next. Can they score one run?

Jones singled to center, then swiped second base.


It's up to Willie Harris. Who flies out to left. Reds lose.

Cozart heads to the clubhouse.


Todd salutes the photographer as he leaves.


Final score: Reds 7, Diamondbacks 8.

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