BALTIMORE, Md. - Nationals starter Jason Marquis was the beneficiary of six runs early on from the offense for his second straight start, but this time he was not around long enough to factor into the decision.
It was the first no decision for Marquis since way back on April 10.
Marquis managed to get through the first two frames unscathed, but the Orioles scored three runs in the third inning, benefiting from a Roger Bernadina misplay in center field that allowed two runs to score with two away.
Then in the fourth inning, the Orioles cut a 6-3 deficit to 6-5 thanks to a Felix Pie RBI double and a run-scoring ground out from Adam Jones.
But heading to the fifth inning with the Nationals clinging to a one-run advantage, manager Jim Riggleman decided Marquis had had enough.
“I just didn’t want him to go out there and face (Matt) Wieters and (Luke) Scott again,” Riggleman said. “They had put the ball on him a little bit. I thought Jason was struggling through it and I made the decision to take him out of a one run game.”
Riggleman said it would have been a different story if he had known the Nationals were going to put six more runs up in a game changing fifth inning, blowing the game open, 12-5. But he did say that even with that, Marquis would not have gone past the fifth frame anyway.
“I just knew that if somebody got on, I was going to take him out,” Riggleman said. “So, I didn’t want to send him out there and have to pull him with a man on.”
This decision did not sit well with the veteran Marquis. Riggleman and Marquis had a heated discussion in the dugout about the pitching change to start the fifth.
“I’d say (Marquis was) about as upset as I’ve ever seen a ballplayer,” Riggleman said. “He was very upset.”
Marquis said it was all about being a competitor and wanting to finish the game. It did not mean the two were having a disagreement that would linger on into the season.
“I am a competitor,” Marquis said. “I want to stay in the game. Obviously, you got to live by what the manager says. It was a grind. I thought I made pitches when I needed to. Offense put some runs on the board early which helped out. I am going to battle out to the end until I get my job done.”
Marquis said it was an emotional moment but it wasn’t going to turn into anything negative between Riggleman and himself in the long term.
“We want to win as a team,” Marquis said. “I want to win as a player. He wants to win as a manager. I can be an emotional guy. We can all be emotional at times. I was just trying to plead with him to stay in the game.
“Obviously, I didn’t get my way. I was just letting a little emotion out. Nothing other than that.”