Last night, after he allowed five runs (three earned) in the first inning of the Nationals’ 7-2 loss to the Pirates, Livan Hernandez caused a minor stir by suggesting the Pirates knew what time the delayed game would begin before the Nationals. Hernandez also said he thought there should have more time to prepare – he ended up throwing his final warm-up pitches in the bullpen during the top of the first inning.
Today, Manager Jim Riggleman was asked if he thought the Pirates might have had more warning about the start of the game.
“No,” Riggleman said, flatly. “They told us all along that, ‘We’re just going to re-evaluate this at 8 p.m. At quarter to 8, they told us we would play at 8:15. Players are creatures of habit. I’m sure Livo would have liked to have had more time. But when you get these situations, you deal with it as it comes. The weather breaks when it breaks. They wanted to get this game in. It’s unfortunate that Livo wanted to have more time, but it’s their call.”
Hernandez’s implication about when the Pirates knew the start time would be a significant accusation – it would have given the Pirates a pretty clear competitive advantage. General Manager Mike Rizzo did not necessarily agree with Hernandez, but he didn’t dismiss the notion, either.
“I don’t know,” Rizzo said. “I don’t know when they knew. I knew when we knew. But if that was a concern from him, he should have told us, and we would have investigated and seen if he could get more time if he wasn’t prepared. You know, it’s wet and rainy, and delays for both teams. That’s the way this game is. It’s hard to prevent.
“It’s hard to do it perfectly,” Rizzo added. “The weather is unpredictable. It wasn’t perfect. They had the same situation on their side, too. To me, there’s no excuses. We both had to prepare the same way. We both sat around for a long time. That’s the way this thing is.”
The rain delays and postponements have become a dominant theme this weekend. Nationals players were not happy to lose their Monday off day, and even more upset about having to play Monday night, which will force a short turnaround before they open a series Tuesday in Washington against the Mets.