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St. Claire fired

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The Nationals fired pitching coach Randy St. Claire last night, letting the seventh-year assistant go eight months after sparing him in a purge of manager Manny Acta’s coaches. Class AAA Syracuse pitching coach Steve McCatty will replace St. Claire.

St. Claire won widespread praise for his work with the Nationals’ staff last year, but the group has a 5.69 ERA this season, the worst in baseball.

St. Claire said he was working out with Craig Stammen, today’s starter, at the ballpark yesterday, and was headed home when he got a call telling him to come back to the ballpark. Acting general manager Mike Rizzo was the only one in the meeting to let St. Claire know he’d been let go; manager Manny Acta talked to him by phone later.

“You always know as a coach, you’re evaluated on how your guys are doing,” St. Claire said. “We unfortunately weren’t performing, and it’s a lot easier to fire me than to fire 12 guys.”

I’ll have much more on this later in the day, including reaction from pitchers and from Acta. Stay tuned.

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