Bochy sticks with a winner

When things are going well, why change?

Basically, that was Bruce Bochy’s approach when the San
Francisco manager decided to stay with
Mike Fontenot at third base instead of
Pablo Sandoval for Saturday’s Game 1 of the
National League Championship Series against the
Phillies.

Aside from Bochy’s gut feeling, there wasn’t much reason to
leave Fontenot in the lineup ahead of Sandoval. Both went 1 for 6
in the NL division series against Atlanta, but Fontenot was at
third for the final two games of the series, both won by the
Giants.

“It’s a tough call, to be honest, between Pablo and Fontenot,”
Bochy said. “I just decided to go with the lineup that helped us
get here the last couple of days against Atlanta.”

Sandoval’s production dropped in his second full season. The
switch-hitter had 25 home runs and 90 RBIs in 2009 while batting
.330. This season, the 24-year-old had 13 homers and 63 RBIs while
batting .268.

Fontenot had two years of playoff experience with the Chicago
Cubs, in 2007 and ’08.

Lesser roles

The Giants are in the playoffs, yet established veterans
Aaron Rowand,
Barry Zito, and
Edgar Renteria haven’t had as much say in the
club’s success as one might have anticipated.

Zito, once a top-of-the-rotation lefthander, is not on the
postseason roster. It was questionable whether Rowand and Renteria
are high-priced bench players.

“That’s probably the toughest part of this job, when you have to
tell a veteran that’s used to being out there every day that his
role is going to change,” Bochy said. “What I will say is how
professional they’ve been, especially Aaron. He didn’t become a
distraction and he kept doing his work. He’s been a great teammate
through all this.”

Extra bases

As
Pat Burrell took his position in left field,
fans rolled out a banner that read, “Pat . . .
Elvis Roots for the
Phillies“. Elvis is Burrell’s dog
that rode on the Budweiser carriage with him in the World Series
parade in 2008. . . . The Giants are in the NLCS for the fifth time
since the inception of the playoff format in 1969. They defeated
the Cubs in 1989 and St. Louis in 2002. They lost to Pittsburgh in
1971 and the Cardinals in 1987.

Contact staff writer Ray Parrillo at 215-854-2743 or
rparrillo@phillynews.com.