PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) -- Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has seen the ups and downs of the season as we near the halfway mark and he joined Ron Cook on The Cook and Poni Show on Wednesday to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly from this season.
The good has been Gerrit Cole and the young kids that Searage said are starting to figure things out at the Major League level.
Cook said he was a bit surprised to hear Searage say that Cole was in that mix of "guys figuring things out."
"You know, 'G' is going to be probably a premiere pitcher for years to come," Searage said. "But this is a learning process for him, too."
As for the bad and ugly, that has been the bullpen.
"We're trying to do more than being within ourselves," Searage said. "Some guys have to change a bit because guys got used to how they throw and they adjust."
Searage says he is still encouraged by the way these guys take the ball every night trying to win games and bring a championship back to Pittsburgh. The problem is some nights they try and do too much and that is when they get in trouble.
Another ugly part of the season has been Tony Watson in the closer role. Is it a mental thing with him now being in that role?
"It's not mental with Watty. It's not mental. It's about X's and O's with him," Searage added. "Look what this guy has done in six years. It's phenomenal. He is one of the best of the best coming out of the bullpen, and now, you know what? We all notice this guy is human. It's not a problem. We are going to be able to fix this. He is so close to being back on track, and I can see it with my eyes that I am excited for him."
Searage says the trade rumors swirling around with guys like Cole will not bother his team on the field. He says his guys are professional and they will continue to focus on the task of doing their job to try and win games. He remains optimistic that this team still has a playoff run in them.
"I haven't written off this season whatsoever," Searage said. "Once we put it all together, we are going to be a force to deal with."
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