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.