Single-A Hagerstown Suns right-hander Shane McCatty is coming off his best outing of the season Saturday. He tossed 4 1/3 innings, allowing just one run on three hits with no walks and a pair of strikeouts against the Hickory Crawdads.
The 6-foot-3, 205-lb., McCatty now has a 3.27 ERA in four relief appearances with seven strikeouts, two walks and four earned runs allowed.
Imagine being the 23-year-old. You have to answer to two pitching coaches every night - one in Hagerstown and another in D.C.
That other coach that keeps up with McCatty on a daily basis is his dad, Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty. I asked him about Shane's April 15 outing, in which he allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits in 2 2/3 innings. He said despite the hits, Shane pitched well according to reports from the coaches.
"It is not the numbers that you look at for guys, it is what you see," Steve McCatty said. "That is why we have the people down there. We get reports on everybody for every game. It is not necessarily the numbers, it is what the pitching coach, the manager and the hitting coach saw that day."
McCatty said Shane got a ground ball double play and then a 1-2-3 inning. Later, he had two balls hit that fielders couldn't make a plays on. "They weren't hit hard," McCatty said. "Then a couple ground balls they couldn't make plays on that were thrown away."
"I talked to (pitching coach Chris) Michalik and (manager Brian) Daubach," McCatty continued. "Michalik said Shane threw the ball really good. He has been having a lot of good sinkers. It happens in the minor leagues. You could have could throw the best game of your life and you look up and say, 'How did I give up six runs?' In the minors, you deal with adversity."