CINCINNATI — It’s one of the quirks of baseball that the ball seems to find the one person on the field who’s still getting their feet wet. Put in a guy at a position he’s not familiar with, chances are the first ball put in play will come his way.
Or, in the case of Chris Marrero Saturday night in Cincinnati, the first batter of your major league career will send a grounder your way. Marrero couldn’t handle the grounder off the bat of Brandon Phillips, and it turned into a run later on. He settled in, but a second error in the third led to a disastrous three-run inning for the Nationals, en route to a 6-3 loss to the Reds.
Sandwiched in between was his first major league hit, a single laced to left field in his second at-bat.
“If I told you I wasn’t nervous, I’d be lying,” Marrero said. “It was my first time here, but I was definitely excited.”
“It was not what I expected. I had a couple of good at-bats, but costly errors at the beginning of the game. I wanted to help (Ross Detwiler) out, win a game. What can I do? Those balls have to be caught.”
Here’s what else Marrero had to say about his first major league game:
“As the game went on, after I got my first hit, I would say I felt more confident. I felt comfortable.”
“(After I got the hit), I was happy. i was thinking about the errors but I felt happy. I’ve been with the Nationals a long time. I was happy to get my first hit.”
“Having my family in the stands was one of the most important things for me. They’ve seen me throughout my career. Getting a chance to see me play in my first big league game, it was worth the while for them.
“Those two balls, the first one, it gave me a bad hop. But no excuses. I got to catch that ball. I’ve shown it all year that I can catch that ball down there. I just want to prove here that I can play defense. I should have caught that ball. The throw just got a little bit away from me. I probably didn’t set my feet like I should have. Those throws have to be made. Those plays have to be made at this level.”
“(But) I’m in the big leagues. It’s a dream come true.”