Murphy brings own approach to Padres in debut
Baserunners more aggressive, players optimistic about future with new skipper
SAN DIEGO -- The Padres lost their third straight game under their third manager on Tuesday, falling to the A's, 6-5.
It was the Major League debut for Pat Murphy, who was named the interim manager before the contest. He took over for Dave Roberts, the interim manager on Monday.
This comes on the heels of Monday's dismissal of Bud Black, the Padres' skipper for eight-plus seasons.
Murphy, who managed the Padres' Triple-A affiliate for parts of the past three seasons, was encouraged with what he saw, and the Padres were upbeat on what they heard.
"He gave a good talk before the game," starter Andrew Cashner said. "It appears it's going to be a different approach going forward."
When teams flip managers, they often embrace the opposite personality of the previous boss. While Black was laid back, Murphy's reputation is no-nonsense.
Is that what the Padres need after dropping four of their past five games?
"Time will tell," said closer Craig Kimbrel, after taking the loss on Tuesday afternoon. "But it was great to hear from him this morning. He gave us an idea of who he is and how he likes to manage and what he expects from us."
The Padres showed they were willing to be more aggressive on the bases.
Clint Barmes executed a safety squeeze in the fourth inning, which scored Justin Upton. In the fifth, Melvin Upton Jr. forced A's starter Scott Kazmir into a balk when he attempted to steal home.
"I think everybody is on board, we're excited," Kimbrel said. "We played a great game today. We just came out on the wrong end of it."
But Murphy spotted enough right to be upbeat about the future.
"I'm confident in what I saw in just the first glimpse," Murphy said. "It will be a struggle, but I'm confident that we can move the needle."
That effort could translate into the fourth-place Padres advancing in the National League West.
"He expects this ball team to win, and we do, too," Kimbrel said. "We all know we haven't been playing the way we should all year. He said he's going to give it all he's got, and that's all we can ask."