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.