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Ray Searage On Chris Archer And The Pirates Bullpen

The Pirates Pitching Coach joins Dan and Jack on Fan Reaction to discuss Chris Archer, the Bullpen and Starting Rotation

June 16, 2019 - 5:45 pm

Related: Dunlap: Are Archer And Searage At Odds?

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - The Pittsburgh Pirates rally Sunday afternoon to defeat the Miami Marlins 5-4 to take two of three in the series.

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The Pirates bullpen continued their strong work as of late, but Chris Archer struggled to get through 5 innings after cruising through the first three.

Pirates Pitching Coach Ray Searage joined Dan Zangrilli and Jack Zduriencik on Pirates Fan Reaction after the game and they start off discussing how well the bullpen has pitched as of late.

"They're learning of their craft and are learning at the major league level," said Searage. "Triple-A is not Triple-A anymore, the competition, the talent pool has been drained a little bit so when they come up here it's a little bit of a shock to their system that some of their mistakes they were getting away with at Triple-A they don't get away wiith up here. And it was a baptismal for them all to figure out what they needed to do."

The bullpen was able to settle thiings down Sunday afternoon after Archer goes five innings and there continues to be a very fine line between a really good outing for Archer and an outing where he has to battle to get through five or six.

"The biggest thing is, even though Chris has year's under his belt of being in the major leagues, there's just things that he's got to go through and learn also,  especially about execution," said Searage. "Especially when we had just come back and scored two runs, now we need a shut down inning...doesn't mean you enhance pitches, doesn't mean you overthrow your fastball or you try to break your slider off the table or make the changeup dance up there. You go out there and you have to have the mentality of executing pitches and then in that inning once the thing started to spiral out he tried harder and he put a lot of pressure on himself."

Searage hints that there is something in Archer's delivery that he is looking at right now, but didn't want to go into depth about it until he talked to Archer.  He says that they can make one or two tweaks in his delivery and get that addressed to get back to being the type of pitcher that Archer and the Pirates expect him to be.

There has been a focus on the 2-seam fastball with Archer and using it and Dan asks Searage if that is an organizational position or is it a priority for Archer himself.

"It seems to be a priority with him, it's not like I told him alright you're going to have to throw 2-seamers all day long, that's not it," said Searage. "It's just that, he thinks his 2-seamer has some good action, but the action that he has is his 2-seamer moves more laterally than down and the 4-seamer down and away will protect his slider and also get him extension so this way the slider will have a little bit better angle and tilt on it. But, in the course of the game there is no way that I have pounded the 2-seamer with Chris Archer, in the course of the game they'll throw it and they'll mix it in there and stuff and whatever the situation calls and whatever he feels comfortable with in that situation or that sequence than he'll throw it."

Searage says he would love to see Archer use his changeup more and also mix in his curveball a little more as well over the course of his outings.  He also discusses whether or not it's tougher to teach an established veteran, like Archer, versus young guys coming up through the system as a pictching coach in the Major Leagues.

"Yes it is, Yes it is because for so many year's he's done something a certain way and he feels he had success with it," said Searage. "But in the course of your career there are times when you have to make an adjustment because the league is making an adjustment or your stuff has not been consistent that way so a little tweak here or a little tweak there might give you a little bit more deception or be able to make it easier to hit a spot or an area of a fastball or get more consistent on the breaking ball."

Also in the interview, Dan and Jack ask Ray Searage about the importance of location for a pitcher, no matter how good a pitcher's stuff is, and they also discuss what they have seen from Mitch Keller in his first two starts and what to expect from him in his start this week at PNC Park.

Listen to Dan Zangrilli and Jack Zduriencik's entire conversation with Pitching Coach Ray Searage on the Pirates Fan Reaction Show below:

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