PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Pirates’ pitching coach Ray Searage joined The Fan Morning Show Thursday to talk about the recent performance of his staff and about a critical stretch for the team as the playoff race heats up.

Searage explained that guys like Jason Grilli may get a little extra rest due to the grind – both physical and mental – of August.

“We’re trying to give everybody ample time of rest… we’re seeing little kinks in the armor,” said Searage.

He explained that James McDonald is going through a period of mental adjusting that many great pitchers have had to go through in order to become great, despite his stuff being solid.

“After the All-Star break, it was like he took a deep breath, and he had to reload,” Searage said. “He’s experiencing some things he had never experienced before.”

He said the notion that he’s crazy about A.J. Burnett is totally spot-on.

“Some people say, ‘oh, you love this guy.’ Yeah, I do,” he said.

As for the Cincinnati Reds/Pittsburgh Pirates beanfest this past weekend, he said that the coaching staff didn’t want to get tied up in it, but noted that there’s a point to retaliation.

“We have to take care of our position players as pitchers,” he said.

The interview can be heard here: