WASHINGTON -- With the worst ERA and record in the major leagues, the Washington Nationals fired pitching coach Randy St. Claire and promoted Steve McCatty from Triple-A to replace him.
The Nationals, who entered Tuesday night's game against the San Francisco Giants with a 13-36 record, have a 5.69 ERA. They've allowed the most runs (308) and recorded the fewest saves (eight) of any team in baseball. Washington's bullpen has blown 12 saves.
St. Claire, who was informed of the move on Monday night, was in his seventh season with the franchise and was the only coach to be retained after last season.
"The numbers speak for themselves. We're last in the major leagues in nine major pitching categories," acting general manager Mike Rizzo said.
"We've struggled mightily with the pitching staff -- specifically the bullpen throughout the season," he said.
Rizzo said he suggested the change to manager Manny Acta.
"You don't want to see anybody lose their job, but we're all hired to be fired," Acta said. "We are all accountable for what's going on here."
McCatty was at Syracuse and in his fourth season as the Nationals' Triple-A pitching coach. He pitched for the Oakland Athletics from 1977-85, going 63-63 with a 3.99 ERA.
"You're happy to get a chance, but Randy is a good friend," McCatty said. "I've had a lot of these guys in the past."
St. Claire called left-handed starter John Lannan with the news about 10 p.m. on Monday night.
"I'm shocked. Still am," Lannan said.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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