- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 23, 2006

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

It finally happened: A Washington Nationals home game was postponed because of rain.

Last night’s game against the Atlanta Braves was the first rainout at RFK Stadium in the Nationals’ two-year existence. The game will be made up at RFK on Sept.18 at 7:05 p.m. — a scheduled off day for both teams — before a two-game series against the Braves.

Tickets and parking receipts for last night’s washout will be honored for the Sept.18 game.

Nationals right-hander Ramon Ortiz was not too happy that the game was called off because he will get skipped in the rotation. Manager Frank Robinson opted to start Tony Armas Jr. (1-2, 3.71 ERA) in tonight’s nationally televised game against Braves right-hander John Thomson (0-0, 1.23) instead of pushing Ortiz back a day.

Ortiz, who is 0-2 with a 7.31 ERA after three starts, is now scheduled to start Thursday’s road game in St. Louis against Cardinals right-hander Sidney Ponson (2-0, 3.31).

“I’m not happy about that,” Ortiz said. “I know it’s Frank’s decision, but I don’t like it, because I like to pitch every five days. I don’t like him doing it to me because I’m not a rookie.”

Robinson said he skipped Ortiz in the rotation because it would cause the least disruption to his starting staff. Robinson said he may use Ortiz out of the bullpen for a few innings, if necessary, before his next scheduled start.

Robinson said he felt Ortiz, 32, was the best equipped to handle bullpen duty of all his starters.

“He’s the manager, what can I say,” said Ortiz. “You pitch every five days and now 10 days, it’s real different. You don’t feel the way you usually pitch. It’s not my decision, it’s his decision. There’s nothing I can do about that. There’s nothing I can say. He’s the manager.”

— Ken Wright

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