DENVER Weve seen two versions of Bruce Bochy, Giantsmanager.
There is the slow-moving version who stays with veterans,gives players time to work out of slumps and generally makes fewer rashdecisions than Warren Buffett.
Then there is the ultra-reactionary version who manages thelineup and bullpen like a day trader with an espresso habit.
Usually, you see slow Bochy morph into Jim Cramer-styleBochy somewhere around late September. We saw it in 2010 when he yanked PabloSandoval as the starting third baseman, no longer able to trust his defensebecause of conditioning issues or deal with a lack of production at the plate. (That move, you'll recall, opened a starting role for none other than World Series MVP Edgar Renteria.)
Its hard to say whether Bochy could get to that stage withSandoval again this season. But for now, he was asked a specific question would he consider moving the Panda out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup? and heanswered as if he were the Oracle from Omaha.
Weve been going OK like this, Bochy said. I dont knowif its time to start changing things right now. Were in a good position. Youwant to keep some continuity.
The Giants are five games up. Theres no need to make a movethat could send a sense of uncertainty (or even a bit of panic) throughout theranks.
And yet, late September looms
If we have to make a change (down the line), well do it,Bochy said. You look at your options. If you think theyre better, you do it. WithPablo, hes a presence up there. When he gets going, hes a guy who can carry aclub.
To recap Sandovals part in Mondays 6-5 loss at CoorsField, he dropped an easy ground ball with two outs (bend over and pick it up,really, was the only act required) that led to a pair of unearned runs. And hewas 0 for 5, including two empty at-bats with runners in scoring position (partof a team-wide 1-for-10 effort).
Sandoval has gone 138 at-bats since his last home run July 8.He has a .274 slugging percentage since coming back from his last DL stint (astrained hamstring) August 8. Hes had both hamate bones removed from his handsover the past two seasons, and you have to wonder if hes lacking strength orif hes simply overswinging and getting himself out. Could be a little of both.
Either way, Bochy was willing to look at Mondaysforgettable game as just that: Forgettable. A one-off.
Well, you hate to see it, Bochy said. Youve go to washit off. Its going to happen. He had an off night. Thats the way you have tolook at it. You come back tomorrow with a little vengeance.
But youre always watching the stock ticker. Especially asyou approach the tape.