Nats' starting rotation doing well under McCatty
Since the Nationals hired Steve McCatty to be their new pitching coach on June 2, the Nationals’ starting rotation has performed well, going 5-10 with a 3.11 ERA.
Two of the starters in the rotation — John Lannan and Craig Stammen — declined to compare McCatty to former pitching coach Randy St. Claire, who was dismissed that same day.
Lannan and Stammen said there are a combination of reasons the starters have pitched well recently. It helps that the rotation is familiar with McCatty, who coached them in Triple-A. All of the starters, which also includes Ross Detwiler, Shairon Martis and Jordan Zimmermann, love McCatty’s old school ways of getting hitter’s out. Just throw strikes.
“He brings a different kind of attitude — maybe one that we needed, kind of a hardball attitude,” Stammen said. “I think we have a bunch of old school guys [in the rotation] who are willing to listen to him and buy in to what he says.
“When you coach, you have to buy into it. It’s not that we didn’t buy into Randy. We just didn’t pitch very well. Cat has done a great job so far.”
Lannan said the rotation turned the page after St. Claire left the team and rely heavily on catchers Josh Bard and Wil Nieves. McCatty also told them to hold themselves accountable, whenever they throw a bad pitch.
“Saint is gone and that is sad, but we have to stop talking about it. His ways are gone,” Lannan said. “It’s kind of a new thought process. It’s kind of sad to say that, but we have to move on. I think a big part of our success is Josh Bard and Wil Nieves. They taught us as a staff that we need to communicate and feed off each other.
“McCatty told us if we make a bad pitch, hey, it’s on us. We are the ones who is throwing the ball. It’s not the catcher who called it, it’s us. You executed the pitch.”