On Game 1 and 5 starter Brandon Webb's mound presence:
Bob Melvin: You know, not much bothers him. You don't know if he's up by two, down by
two. Up by three, down by five. He's pretty composed in what he does out there,
and I think it works well for him. He's
always one pitch away at potentially getting two outs with his sinker. He's a
very hard worker.
He's gotten better and better as his career is going along and working on things whether it's his secondary pitches, whether it's holding runners, whether it's handling the bat. But I think the poker face is one of the things that works very well for him. He's not a guy that seems like you can rattle him out there. That's been the case especially the last couple of seasons.
On how long it takes to determine whether Webb has his A-game:
Bob Melvin: It used to be if the sinker's sinking, you're seeing some early count swings
and balls on the ground that you know Brandon Webb is on. He's been able to make
some adjustments this year and do it a little differently if the sinker is not
there right away.
So I think it's not as easy to tell right away, okay, he's got a sinker going, there are going to be a lot of balls on the ground. He has a good changeup, has a good curveball, and he has other avenues to go besides the sinker if it's not there.
So it's a little more difficult to tell when he's on, when he's off right away. And I think that works well for him and just gives him a few more options to keep himself in the game longer and do it a little differently.
On how Justin Upton has succeeded at such a young age:
Bob Melvin: Well, very mature for his age, both mentally and
physically. That's something we saw right away with him. We saw it as early as
last spring when he's 18 years old, Big League camp, playing in games, getting
at-bats and so forth, was never scared of the situation.
Up the ante a little bit this spring, had a great spring for us again. Although he started in Single-A, forecasting being here in the big leagues [now] was probably a stretch at the time. But the more player development people saw him, weren't afraid to push him along and move him to Double-A, probably did better in Double-A than Single-A.
And they made the call and felt like he was ready. More than anything, you have to think that mentally he'd be able to handle the big league levels and handle the failures of it.
Because you're going to struggle at the big leagues at some point in time. It's how you handle it and how you make the adjustments and so forth. And our people in player development felt he was mentally tough enough. And it certainly has been the case.
On veteran Eric Byrnes forcing himself onto an organizational youth movement:
He played very well, and he exemplified what we're all about around here: that's
playing hard, running balls out. I think he's a great example for the younger
guys that when you have a veteran guy like that that plays the game the way that
he does and they have no choice but the follow him.
He's meant a lot to this team, emotionally, production-wise, all the above. I think given some of the reins to be taken off of him that you are a guy, you're going to hit in the middle of the order whether it's second, third fourth, he's a guy that's responded beautifully. I don't think he's played under those type of non-limitations where he knows he's going to be in there every day to an extent he knows where he's going to be in the order and now it's just about going out there and producing. And he's been great about that. And deserved the contract that we gave him.