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Riggleman and Olsen talk

May 12, 2010, 6:15 PM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Scott Olsen wasn't happy coming out of last night's game.

NEW YORK — I know there's been a lot of talk out there about Jim Riggleman's decision to pull Scott Olsen after only 82 pitches last night, with the Nationals leading at the time, 6-1 in the sixth inning.

Olsen clearly was upset about it as he handed Riggleman the ball, and he was still seething in the dugout. It didn't help matters when Brian Bruney and Tyler Clippard blew that lead and allowed six runs in the eighth to deny Olsen the victory, and the left-hander bolted the clubhouse quickly after the game without speaking to reporters.

We had a chance to speak to both Riggleman and Olsen this morning about the whole thing, and the two of them had a brief, closed-door meeting as well (after we spoke to Riggleman but before we spoke to Olsen). The key point to take out of this is that all's fine between the two and there are no hard feelings.

Here's the transcipt from both the manager and the pitcher…

JIM RIGGLEMAN
Q: Scott, when he was taken out last night, was pretty frustrated. Have you talked to him at all today?
A: No. When a starter comes out of the game, if they don't think they should come out of the game, I like that. I want them to feel like: 'I want to pitch.' It's his day. He wants to pitch. But there's a lot of thought that goes into why I made that decision. I respect that he wants to continue to pitch, but the decision was thought out. TheRead more ยป

  1. Nats fan in NJ - May 12, 2010 at 6:42 PM

    Thanks, Mark. Nicely done getting both perspectives. Interesting how Riggleman faces up that he won't get them all correct. But, it is hard to argue with the fact that it was 6-2 with six outs left. Really like Olsen's doggedness. Think he's a keeper…

  2. A DC Wonk - May 12, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    So, why _was_ he pulled after 82 pitches?

  3. Capitol Baseball - May 12, 2010 at 7:25 PM

    Love the interview, Mark. Thanks for it. I love the fire in most of our starters this year. They aren't looking for help. They're looking to go the whole game every time, because they truly think they can. It's a new fight this team hasn't seen. Great stuff.

  4. David - May 12, 2010 at 7:31 PM

    Mark, maybe and I could be wrong but when Riggleman said, "But there's a lot of thought that goes into why I made that decision" he might be referring to the decision he is going to have to make in less than a month with Rizzo to possibly get rid of two bullpen arms and that with a 4 run lead he could get a better reading on his bullpen? Its hard to tell with the bullpen who you might keep and if I had to guess the 2 cuts will come from the bullpen with a current starter being sent to the pen when Strasburg comes up. Maybe I'm reading too much into this….

  5. Mark Zuckerman - May 12, 2010 at 7:33 PM

    David: Yes, you're reading WAY too much into that.DC Wonk: Olsen was pulled after 82 pitches because he had been teetering on the brink of disaster for several innings.

  6. Anonymous - May 12, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    Great interview, I really enjoyed both perspectives!

  7. Natsochist - May 12, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    Great work, Mark – thanks! We all appreciate little bits like this.

  8. Aeoliano - May 12, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    Olsen seemed a bit sarcastic or am I reading too much into it?

  9. A DC Wonk - May 12, 2010 at 9:39 PM

    Aeoliano — just going by words alone, it didn't seem so much sarcastic as just a guy who's unhappy that he needs to do an interview about it, when what he'd rather do is just let it go already and leave it behind.Or an _I_ reading too much into it? ;-)

  10. Slidell - May 12, 2010 at 9:41 PM

    He certainly sounded sarcastic to me. But, maybe you had to be there.

  11. Doc - May 12, 2010 at 9:43 PM

    MarkMeister, like the others I really liked your interviews with Rigs & Olsen. I would think that it takes a bit of chutzpah to do that kind of stuff. I mean both were kind of defensive, none more so than Olsen. Way to go kid!!

  12. Section3MySofa - May 12, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    WADR, you can't tell who's defensive or sarcastic or po'd just from reading the text, sometimes. You don't see their expressions or body language, hear their tone of voice, the pauses, any of that. So it's usually wise, if less fun, to read a little less, rather than more, into these transcripts.That said, yes, I do know where I live, and what about half of us do for a living.

  13. Rachel - May 12, 2010 at 11:19 PM

    My guess is Riggleman told him it's fine for Scott to be mad when he gets pulled, but do it in his glove next time so they both don't have to answer these questions.

  14. Anonymous - May 13, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    Don't forget, Olsen has a one-year "incentive-laden" contract. I think this goes deeper than just being pulled from this game. I think he's still angry about the way the Nats have handled him this season, beginning with their sending him to Syracuse instead of sending Mock. I think that pulling him early from this game just adds to his anger.

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