On Thursday night, the Nationals beat the Orioles (WAS 6, BAL 1) in an interleague rivalry game at Nationals Park. It was a makeup game of a May 11 rainout. The two teams played two games at Camden Yards and were then supposed to play two at Nationals Park. One of those two in Washington was rained out.
Prior to Thursday's makeup game, O's manager Buck Showalter suggested his team wasn't too thrilled the original game was rained out, especially since it wasn't raining when the team left the ballpark that night. From Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post:
"Lot of byproducts of the cancellation," Showalter said, noting that Jones (general soreness) and Machado (wrist injury) weren't in the lineup. Then he craned his neck and looked from under the dugout roof at the bright blue sky, commenting on the weather. "I think it's marginally better tonight."
To be fair, several Nationals players were reportedly upset the original game was rained out, so it wasn't just the Orioles. The Nats had to fly back from the West Coast to play Thursday's makeup game.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, who has known Showalter since the two were with the Diamondbacks, shot back after the game and told the Orioles to "quit whining." From Svrluga:
"It rained all day that day, and the forecast said it would rain until 9:30 or 10," Rizzo said. "I sat in Buck's office at 6:30, and we talked about it for 20 minutes. He was 100-percent on-board. He didn't say anything about not canceling the game.
"Their GM [Dan Duquette] was nowhere to be found for three, four hours. We wanted to play the next [mutual off] day. They refused to play then, so the next [mutual] day was [Thursday]. They drove 32 miles to get there. We flew 3,000 [expletive] miles, and we beat their [behinds]. So quit your whining. Quit whining."
There has been a conspiracy theory floating around that the Nationals postponed the original May 11 game because the pitching matchup strongly favored the Orioles. They were going to have staff ace Dylan Bundy on the mound. Washington was scheduled to start depth arm A.J. Cole.
Now, that said, the Nationals sent Joe Ross to the mound Thursday, and he went into the game with a 7.34 ERA. He allowed at least five runs in four of his six starts this season going into that one. Ross then shut the O's down, holding them to four hits and one run in 7 1/3 innings. He struck out 12.
Rainout conspiracy theories are fun, though keep in mind it cuts both ways. Would the Nationals rather face Bundy or give up an off-day coming back from the West Coast? I am very willing to bet the players in the clubhouse would rather face Bundy.