LSU has had back-to-back sub-par pitching performances from, presumably, its No. 1 and No. 3 starters here at the Southeastern Conference tournament.

LSU pitching coach Alan Dunn weighed in on that and the impressive showing from his bullpen during a Q&A with The Advocate.

Q: Some called your bullpen the weakest part of LSU’s team, but the relievers don’t look like that here in Hoover, right?

Dunn: And that’s really the thing I don’t understand. I think when you ask guys things we’ve asked them to do the last few days, they’ve stepped up. We’ve talked about it all year. That’s what has to happen. That’s why you have 14, 15 guys. It’s why it’s called a pitching staff. If one guy doesn’t get it done, some guy has to fill in that role.

Obviously our starting pitching the last two days hasn’t given us what we wanted, but you’ve still got to play the game and still got to get outs.

Q: It must give you confidence, being able to beat good teams in such a big event by piecing together pitchers.

Dunn: When you go into a season, we talk about this before we ever start in August. Talking to the pitching staff about what’s your role’s going to be. We need your role to be, if you ever need to get an out…

We try to lay the ground work in the beginning of the season. When you go through the course of the season, you know it’s going to take that and there’s no better testimony of that happening since these last two days.

You have guys prepared to do whatever’s asked of them. That’s one of the things I’ve been really pleased with from the guys in that pen is I’ll do what you need and turn it over to the next guy. He’ll pull his partner and the next guy and the next guy. That’s what it takes to manage a game. They’ve done a nice job of doing that the last two games.

Q: What are your feelings on the starting performances from Poche and Bain?

Dunn: When you look at the last two starts, I think that’s an aberration for Jared Poche. All season, he’s had a couple of hiccups. Had a hiccup at Arkansas.

I want to say baseball (in the one-inning start vs. Auburn). It unfortunately happened at a bad time.

Bain, his outing was … pitched great at South Carolina. Really locked in. Commanded all three of his pitches. Had great tempo and it was quite the opposite (Thursday). The command was not there with the fastball. You don’t have fastball command, it dictates the whole game. He struggled. You get in counts not conducive to pitching. Once we get a big lead, he’s go to go up and fill up the strike zone.

Alan Dunn calls the pitches from the dugout for LSU. (HILARY SCHEINUK)

Alan Dunn calls the pitches from the dugout for LSU. (HILARY SCHEINUK)

Q: Is it all command? Is that the main issue?

Dunn: That’s the bottom line. You want to pull this great explanation (of why he struggled). If I could do that, I’d write several books. It’s getting in that moment or staying in the moment about execution. It all comes back to command and he did not command his fastball (Thursday) night and when you don’t command your fastball it’s very difficult to pitch.

Q: Your confidence is still high on Jared Poche right?

Dunn: History has shown.

What’s the track record? He’s really pitched some good outings and he’s had a couple of outings that weren’t up to the standards that he wants and that we want. We’re going to go forward, keep preparing for the next time.

Q: What about Bain?

Dunn: Bottom line is – he needs to do what he’s done in those outings when he’s really excelled. What is it? Fastball command and then have some kind of secondary pitch where he can thrown in some counts to get hitters off of it.

His stuff has been really good. He’s shown he has the ability to be successul in this league. Consistency is what he needs.

Q: Yall were grooming Russell Reynolds as a starter earlier in the season, and he showed why in a 3.1-inning start Thursday. That’s what you want to see right?

Dunn: You look at this outing. He’s done exactly what I hope Russell Reynolds would be able to come in and do .

He gives you that veteraness because he’s been in the program for three years. There’s something to be said for that.

He did command his fastball and he got into some early counts and was able to get some early count outs. That’s so huge in a game like that when you score runs like we did. The biggest thing is you cannot give up free bases.

You’ve got to throw the ball in the zone. He was aggressive in doing this. You’ve got a couple o ffirst pitch outs and then he got on that role. Well pitched baseball.