SAN DIEGO — Nationals pitcher Jason Marquis dropped the appeal of his five-game suspension for what was deemed to be intentionally throwing at Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton last weekend in Arizona. He’ll begin serving the suspension immediately but will not miss a start because of an offday for the team on Monday.
“You have to put the team first,” Marquis said. “And with the way everybody’s throwing the ball, I didn’t want to mess that up for everybody so I decided to take it now.”
The Nationals rotation will now lineup like this: Jordan Zimmermann will face Tim Stauffer and the Padres in the series finale on Sunday. Yunesky Maya will then pitch Tuesday in the opener with the St. Louis Cardinals, followed by Livan Hernandez and John Lannan. Marquis’ suspension will run out once the series with St. Louis is over and he will start the opener of the three-game interleague series against the Orioles on Friday.
Dropping the appeal allowed Marquis to serve the suspension in as minimally disruptive fashion as he could but he was still a little disgruntled that he will have a so-called mark on his career for something he maintains he did not do with intent.
“I’m still adamant, I’m not that type of pitcher,” Marquis said. “I didn’t throw at anyone on purpose but sometimes you’ve got to suck it up for the betterment of the team. I’ll serve it and move on.
“I’ve been in this game for a while, I felt like I’ve played the game the right way for the last 12 years and I don’t want to, not even tarnish, but just get a bad name. That’s not the type of guy I am but we’ve got a good group of quality young arms here. Everybody’s throwing the ball well and let’s not mess that up.”
Marquis will pitch on six-days rest Friday night in Washington, the only real drawback to the plan aside from losing him as a pinch hitter and pinch runner for the next five games. When pressed, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said if he needed a pitcher to pinch run or pinch hit while Marquis was unavailable, he’d first turn to Jordan Zimmermann.