WP: John Axford (4-1)
LP: Evan Meek (4-3)
HR: Corey Hart (20), Lastings Milledge (2), Andrew McCutchen (8), Prince Fielder (19)
MVP: Ryan Braun (.411)
LVP: Doug Davis (-.212)
Graph of a Rally
SB Nation Coverage
The game, in one paragraph: Doug Davis lasted only five innings in his return to the rotation after a two-month layoff. After being staked to a 2-0 first inning lead on Corey Hart's 20th tater of the year, Davis surrendered homers to Lastings Milledge and Andrew McCutchen, and a run-scoring double to Pedro Alvarez. The offense, after flatlining for most of the game, staged a game-tying rally in the ninth, as Carlos Gomez -- miracle of miracles -- laid down a bunt, stole second and advanced to third on the overthrow, and was driven in on George Kottaras' triple. The Crew walked off winners in the bottom of the tenth. Rickie Weeks reached on a fielder's choice and stole second. After an intentional walk to Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun shook off his recent malaise and rifled the game-winning single into deep right field.
Now, onto business:
As I mentioned in the Game Thread, Doug Melvin was interviewed on Steve "The Homer" True's show on ESPN 540 this afternoon. (Here's the link to the audio. I hope.) Homer asked Doug a couple of questions about Ken Macha's job security, and the response was ... well, it wasn't the pat answer I was expecting from Melvin.
Homer prefaced his question by saying that, after the Giants series, he (Homer) was of the opinion that the team should make a change at manager. He then said to Melvin: "I know you don't agree. Tell me why I'm wrong." Melvin answered:
Managers are always on the hot seat when teams aren't going well. It happens that way. I have trouble thinking that a four-game series is a reason to let someone go, but sometimes that does happen, where you just look awful, we're looking awful at home. Not playing well. I still see the manager working hard out here. I see the players working hard. The manager every day is walking in the outfield, talking to players, players are in there talking to coaches.
The performance on the field isn't there. Mistakes have been made. But I see everybody working hard still, and that's the one thing that I hold hope for: that the work that they're putting in, somewhere along the line, will have an effect on the performance.
Homer then said that it seemed that, historically, Melvin was not a proponent of making a midseason change at the helm. Melvin said that was accurate:
I talked to a veteran player on our ball club, and we were talking about one or two of the other clubs that made managerial changes, and they said it works for 10 or 15 days. And some cases it does. I know there's been four changes this year, just recently. And they're all filled with interim managers, and the interim managers very seldom are the managers that take over.
I guess that's the point, too -- when you make changes and put an interim guy in, it doesn't necessarily mean the club is going to play that much better. I think the one club that is playing better of the changes has been -- Ned's done a good job in Kansas City, in that regard. So I'm not a big believer that interim managers turn things around. I know a couple of years ago, Pete Mackanin, who's a bench coach with the Phillies, was an interim manager in Cincinnati and did a very nice job for a couple months, and they ended up hiring Dusty Baker and Pete didn't get the job.
That's one of the main reasons: I'm not big into interim managers. I don't think it has an effect because if the players know that the guy's only an interim guy, I don't know how they're motivated. Players shouldn't have the manager to motivate them. They should be out there and be self-motivated anyways.
You tell me: am I reading too much into these answers? Or are you like me: surprised that we didn't get the standard: "Ken's our manager, like Mark said back in May. That's it and that's all" fare?