Kerrigan’s first major-league appearance was a relief stint for the Expos during Larry Dierker‘s no-hitter for Houston on July 9, 1976. “I knocked [Dierker] down with a pitch in the eighth inning,” Kerrigan later remembered, “and all the fans were booing me.”
The 6’5″ forkballer won both games of a doubleheader later that season against St. Louis, his only two wins that year. He shared Montreal bullpen duties with Don Stanhouse in 1977, making 66 appearances and saving 11. The two were then shipped to Baltimore, where Kerrigan closed out his brief major-league career.
Kerrigan, whose brother Tom was a catcher in the Phillies organization in the 1960s, returned as the Expos’ bullpen coach in 1983. Within a decade he had become the team’s pitching coach, charged with nurturing a young flock of talented arms that included Pedro Martinez, Jeff Fassero, Ken Hill, and Kirk Rueter.
By the time Kerrigan jumped to the Red Sox in 1996, he was already considered one of the top pitching coaches in the majors, and he continued to impress by cobbling Boston’s motley pitching staff into a surprisingly effective unit. Five years later after moving to Boston, he got his first taste of managerial experience when he was hired to replace Jimy Williams in August 2001.