PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) — Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage joined The Fan Morning Show on Friday to talk about the recent performance of his staff, and what he expects from his guys down the stretch.

He feels that Jeff Locke’s strong performance last night was a product of the time Locke had off. He thinks that the break was especially beneficial to Locke’s control.

He also says that Gerrit Cole can build on his dominant performance out in Texas. Searage said that Cole should be in the rotation until the end of the regular season, and that any decisions about his post-season role will come later.

As for tonight’s game, Searage say that Charlie Morton will be fine tonight on the hill for the Bucs. Searge said that it’s more difficult for Morton to walk or run than it is for him to pitch at this point.

Searage said that Jason Grilli is close to being back to the level he was performing at earlier in the year, but needs to be more crisp with his breaking ball. However, Searage does expect Grilli to provide a big boost to their bullpen.

He said the same of Wandy Rodriguez, who looked great in a simulation start yesterday, but explained that a decision won’t be made until later today as to whether Rodriguez might need to make another before having a role on the team again.

Searage said that he has no problem with what happened between Clint Barmes and A.J. Burnett in Texas. Searage felt that the media blew it way out of proportion.

“Those two guys are close,” Searage said. “They’re best friends.”

He did admit, though, that Burnett is a different animal out on the mound.

Finally, Searage told the guys that he is really enjoying this run that the Pirates are on, and said that last night was very moving for him.

“I never imagined it would be like this,” Searage said. “Last night, I got the chills, my hair stood up on my arms.”

The interview can be heard here:

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