After serving as Georgia's No. 2 starter for most of the season, McRee has been demoted to bullpen duty for the postseason, where Perno hopes the junior can right himself in lower-pressure situations.
"It'll help him," Perno said. "You can get away with more in the bullpen. We can cover him up, have someone else ready if he's throwing the ball all over the place or can't get outs. As a starter, you just can't get off to the type of starts that he's been giving us."
After a 7-1 sophomore campaign, McRee stepped quickly into the No. 2 starter role this season and was dominant in the early going. Although he battled mono for a while, missing several starts early in the season, he jumped out to a 4-0 start with a 2.15 ERA through April 18. Since then, however, things have fallen apart.
McRee was on the mound against Ole Miss on April 25, but failed to get through the fourth inning. Georgia lost a 10-8 decision, the start of a stretch of 11 losses in 13 games. While there was plenty of blame to go around during the losing streak, McRee has been dismal. In his past five starts, he has made it through five innings just once and has allowed 32 runs in 17.2 innings, walking 13. His ERA has risen from 2.15 to 6.34 with the low point coming last Saturday in the SEC tournament against LSU. McRee faced just 10 batters before being lifted after only two-thirds of an inning, allowing seven earned runs in a 16-0 Georgia loss.
McRee pitched from the pen in Georgia's College World Series run last year, going 1-0 with a 4.70 ERA in five relief appearances.
McRee last five starts (all UGA losses):
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