April 23, 1919 at Crosley Field
Reds 6, Cardinals 2 (1-0)
The Reds took their home opener over the Cardinals in a nice come from behind win. Dutch Ruether got the start and he matched Cardinals hurler Jakie May zero for zero for the first three innings but the Cards finally got to him for single runs in the fourth and fifth inning. After that, he settled down and with help from Dolf Luque and Hod Eller, who threw a shutout inning, he was able to know that his team walked away with the win. Luque actually got the win because his shutout inning was in the right place at the right time, which was right before the Reds five run eighth inning.
The eighth inning was obviously a big one despite the leadoff hitter, Edd Roush, grounding out to third base to kick off the inning. Sherry Magee then got things going with a walk before Jake Daubert lined a single to right field. Both batters advanced on a passed ball but Larry Kopf fouled out to make it two away. From here, the wheels fell of the wagon for relief pitcher Bill Sherdel. Nick Allen drew a walk to load the bases up and then pinch hitter Wally Rehg drew a walk to push home the tying run. For Rehg, it was his lone walk of the season in twelve at bats and one of just three RBIs.
In the meantime, the Cardinals tried to hold things up as long as possible because there was some rain the forecast and it was also getting dark. It didn’t matter though because the next batter, Morrie Rath, drew a walk to push home the go ahead run. Branch Rickey then went to his bullpen but Greasy Neale went right at relief pitcher Lee Meadows with a two run single to open the game up for the Reds.
The win at home turned out to be a standard for this team. Overall, the 1919 Reds finished an impressive 52-19 at home. And while Reds’ fan couldn’t have known what was to come, any good season would be a blessing because the Reds hadn’t finished in first place in their league since way back in 1882 when they played in the American Association.
The Reds finished up their four game series with the Astros and the end result was a measly ten runs. That’s just 2 1/2 runs per game and, hold on, what is that. Wait a minute, somehow, the Reds managed to win three of their four games. What’s this pitching thing anyway? I’ve heard of it, but it’s been so long……
Don’t look now, but the hitless wonders v2 are sitting at 7-5. That’s good for third place but the Reds are just a half game back. The latest solid pitching performance came from Bronson Arroyo, who’s now 3-0. He pitched seven strong and he gave up three runs on nine hits with two strikeouts. Arthur Rhodes and Francisco Cordero then pitched shutout innings to close things out. For Cordero, it’s his fifth save of the season.
Joey Votto had the big hit in this one. He doubled home two runs in seventh to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead. Edwin Encarnacion singled home two in the first inning to put the Reds on the board. Willie Taveras also had a nice game and he went two for five with two runs.
There’s no rest here as the Reds shoot north to take on the first place Cubs for a three game set. Hopefully Jay Bruce will be back after getting nailed on the hand. Game one is tonight and it’ll be Micah Owings against Rich Harden.
Sigh, this one was ugly. The Reds lineup made Wandy Rodriguez look like the second coming of Walter Johnson and even ace Aaron Harang couldn’t get it done. The Reds managed a measly two hits and three walks. Two of those runners were wiped out by double plays so the Reds left three men on base. Oh yeah, those two hits were singles and only one of those three runners left were in scoring position. Yes, the word pathetic comes to mind.
Aaron Harang had his worst start of the season. He fell to 1-2 and he gave up five runs on ten hits and one walk with six strikeouts in six innings. The Astros got two runs right off the bat in the first so things got off to a rough start from the very first frame.
Edinson Volquez throws tomorrow and hopefully he can get the Reds back on track for a series win. Felipe Paulino will be on the mound for the Astros.
Roy Oswalt has been a thorn in the Reds side since he came into the league. He’s 23-1 against us and when he comes to town (or we go to his place), it’s almost like a forgone conclusion. Last night was a little different though. Johnny Cuetto got into trouble in the fifth inning and he walked three batters including the go ahead run at the time. The good news is, this is the only run the Astros would put on the board.
Then newcomer Ramon Hernandez came through big with a two run, ninth inning blast against closer (for now) Jose Valverde. Reds fans have to get use to these types of games because this is who it’ll be most of the year if the team’s going to have some success because the Reds have a major league worse .221 batting average and only the Astros and Giants have scored fewer runs.
Tonight, it’ll be ace Aaron Harang, who’s looked very good, going up against Wandy Rodriguez. I’ll take anyone over Oswalt. Oh yeah, and if you’re a glass half full kind of guy, the Reds are tied for first in the loss column.
The Reds are still stuck at one win aftera complete beat down at the hands of the Pirates today. Johnny Cueto wasn’t on and the pen was just plain off in this one. Cuetto gave up four in six but he struck out nine with just one walk so you can walk away with at least something. Mike Lincoln on the other hand, went down in flames. He gave up five runs one three walks and three hits (two of which went over the fence) in the Pirates half of the ninth inning.
Six hits was it. Brandon Phillips had two of those and he scored both Reds runs in the 10-2 loss. Jay Bruce singled and he drove in both runs.
Tomorrow, Aaron Harang gets his chance for a win and instead of going head to head with Johan, he gets Ian Snell. I like our chances in this one.
The Reds have their work cut out for them. Jerry Hairston and Darnell McDonald (hitting second??) were punched out. Joey Votto then took him to a full count (get that pitch count up) then drew a walk so he’s mortal at least.
Nice job by Brandon Phillips. He took Johan to a full count too before taking a walk. I like how this inning is shaping up.
Oh well, a pop out to end the inning. Still, we made Johan work.
Okay, the Reds played their final spring game against their minor league All Stars and they came out with a 9-6 win over the Reds Futures. Johnny Cueto shut down the kids over four frames and that’s all I was really worried about. A strong Cueto puts the Reds with a decent five deep rotation (if you believe in Micah Owings) and this may be the best starting five we’ve had in a long, long time (think Lou Piniella). The Bronson Arroyo carpel tunnel thing could mean Homer Bailey starts the season in the rotation but still, that’s a quality starting five and maybe Bailey will finally find his groove.
As far as predictions, this may be the toughest team to do that with since I’ve started writing. Let’s just say, there’s a wide range because things could go really right (Cueto and Volquez contend for a Cy Young and everyone else does their job) to really wrong (pitching goes to pieces). I’m cautiously optimistic and I think the Reds win 85 games this year and they’re playing semi-meaningful games into September.
Homer Bailey did about all he could to secure a spot in the rotation today despite the fact that the Reds got smoked by the Astros. Bailey did give up two runs, but he struck out eight and gave up just four hits and a walk in six innings. Of course, after that the pen fell apart. Mike Lincoln took the loss and he gave up two runs. Bill Bray was also tagged for a pair of runs while Jared Burton was touched up for a run.
Adam Rosales belted a homerun and he also singled with two RBIs. Oddly, Bailey was the only other Red with a pair of hits. He was two for two with a run to help out his own cause.
Edinson Volquez will close out Ed Smith stadium tomorrow. The Pirates come to town.
Four errors this late in the spring season isn’t a good thing and those errors contributed to three unearned runs yesterday as the Reds lost to the Yanks 6-3. The end result was the first loss of the spring for Micah Owings in a so-so start. He gave up four runs, but just one was earned. He struck out five in five innings, but he also gave up six hits and three walks. Francisco Cordero had a nice outing though with two strikeouts in his shutout frame.
Joey Votto had a big day at the plate. He was a perfect two for two with two walks, a double, a run and an RBI. Jay Bruce had a pair of hits and an RBI while Chris Dickerson had the hard luck game. He did single and score a run but he struck out three times.
Next up is an afternoon game against the Astros. It might be Homer Bailey’s last chance to secure that fifth spot in the rotation. I might listen in on this.