Since the Pittsburgh Pirates manager John Russell fired Joe Kerrigan and Gary Varsho on August 8, what has changed? Brad Lincoln has blamed some of his troubles on coaching. Paul Maholm and Zach Duke have looked mostly lost on the mound, enough so that the word from the clubhouse by Dejan (see the post below) is Duke might now be out of the rotation.
So what are the significant improvements that have been made by the Pirates? We don’t see many good things. In fairness, Pirates fans might not see many changes until next season. It’s not like the Pirates were pitching exceptionally well with Kerrigan. And certainly not every coach can do what Buck Showalter is doing in Baltimore-the best record in the league, outside of Minnesota, since August 1.
Here are a few good things and you could probably add a few more: the Pirates pitching staff seems to be holding runners on base better. James McDonald has been effective. Chris Resop has pitched well.
Much was made about all of the preparation that Kerrigan provided the Pirates pitchers. Perhaps Duke and Maholm aren’t preparing for the hitters as they did with the endless supply of information that Kerrigan provided?
One would also have to believe that the performances of Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek have regressed slightly. Each pitcher has had their small struggles, but overall has pitched well.
Hanrahan allowed just 17 earned runs heading into August (six of those to the Brewers in one outing.) In the month of August, Hanrahan allowed seven earned runs, but six of them came before Kerrigan was fired. The recent poor performances of Hanrahan and Meek could also easily be attributed to the excessive amount of use/innings each provided the ball club early in the season. They seem rightfully spent.
Meek had allowed eight earned runs all year coming into August. At the end of August, Meek had doubled his earned runs total, and has allowed six earned runs after Kerrigan was shown the door by Pirates manager John Russell. But in four outings in September, Meek hasn’t allowed an earned run and remember just how tough the All-Star right hander is. Meek has pitched with an obvious injury and was line drived in his pitching hand by Ryan Braun.
Hanrahan has allowed two earned runs in 13 innings pitched since the departure of Kerrigan.
We have to believe Hanrahan and Meek are missing the tutelege of Searage being in the bullpen. We also believe they each miss Kerrigan. Why the Pirates wouldn’t have added another pitching coach to closely work in the bullpen is beyond me. It’s not normally done in the major leagues and that’s exactly why we like the idea.
The one thing we know for certain is the product on the pitching mound isn’t producing the necessary results. The reason for the dismissal of Kerrigan and Varsho was reported to be that they were undermining the authority of John Russell.
Pirates pitchers recent statistics