Marshall receives his congrats from battery mate Ryan Hanigan. It was Marshall's first save as a member of the Cincinnati Reds (Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE)

A Day of Reds 'Firsts' Almost Didn't Happen.

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Baseball can be a quirky and sometimes cruel game. We’ve all witnessed something to that effect one time or another. If you haven’t seen a play that describes both, check out the video for how the Padres were caught in a triple play yesterday.

Well, during yesterday’s 8-5, 11-inning Reds win, a couple of new Reds players almost didn’t get their “firsts”. A few things had to happen or not happen in order to achieve these.

Ludwick receives congrats from the Reds dugout after his grand slam. He's wearing #42.(Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE)

One thing we’ve all been waiting for is Ryan Ludwick to start swinging the bat. Yesterday may be an indication that such is on the horizon. He hit his first home run while wearing a Reds uni. Didn’t hurt that it was a grand slam. Didn’t hurt that it came in the 1st inning. There is a distinct possibility that it may not have happen…at least the grand slam part.

Two batter prior to Ludwick’s slam, Scott Rolen was ruled safe by first base umpire Mike Everitt after a throwing error by Ian Desmond. No error, inning over as there were two outs. Wait (as you may know), there’s more.

Next up, Jay Bruce. During two of the pitches from Nats starter Ross Detwiler, he seemed a little peeved on the strike zone set firth by home plate ump Laz Diaz. It was especially evident in the last two called balls by Diaz. Thing is Bruce has two strikes against him. If either of those calls go in Detwiler’s favor, again, inning over. Instead, the go the way of Bruce and takes first on a walk.

Ludwick took a 2-2 Detwiler fastball and deposited it into the Nationals Park seats. Reds 4, Nats yet to bat. Granted the home run still had a possibility of happening. You do wonder if the pitch sequence and calling would have been different if Ludwick had led off or batted second in the top of the second.

The other “first” was Sean Marshall recording his first save as a Red. Another first was that it was his first save opportunity. He’s 1-for-1! It wasn’t easy though. The Nationals made the former Cub work for it.

Bottom of the 11th and singles by Adam LaRoche (who I don’t want to see anytime soon) and Jayson Werth see the Nats with runners on first and second with no outs. Mark DeRosa followed with a fielder’s choice where Werth was forces at second. Marshall proceeded to strike out pinch-hitter Jesus Flores.

The game’s final out was made when a diving Joey Votto snared a Wilson Ramos shot heading into right field. Votto got to his feet and flipped the ball to Marshall who was covering first. Ball game over. Reds win (finally), 8-5.

But it might not have happened. You see in the top of the 11th, Scott Rolen was once again in the midest of something. After Joey Votto doubled off Tyler Clippard, Rolen followed with a sinlge of his own (a sight for sore eyes) scoring Votto. That Rolen RBI provided the final run in the 8-5 win. It was what occurred after that…

Rolen, who was not being held by LaRoche, stole second base. There was only one out, too. Didn’t matter…then or now to be honest. Rolen could have scored and things would still show the Reds with a 4-6 record. Oh, that wa Rolen’s first stolen base of the season, too. Earlier in the game, Ryan Hanigan collected his first RBI of the season.

It was also the Reds first extra-inning win of the season. They have played three, all against the Nationals.

I have to think up some other firsts that I’d like to see happen in St. Louis. I know one that would be nice…Brandon Phillips cracking his first home run on the season…and leading the Reds to a win in the process.

Also, we’ve added a new page on BRM. Along the top of the site, just under the BRM logo, you will see “STANDINGS/STATS”. We now have the NL Central standings as well as stats on all the Reds players for your viewing pleasure. These come (as you will see when you visit) from Baseball Reference. It’s nice the gang over there made these available.

One last thing…if you haven’t already, glance over to the right and vote in our latest poll.

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Tags: Baseball Cincinnati Reds MLB Ryan Ludwick Sean Marshall

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