Bochy starts Renteria at short in Game 6
Uribe moves to third base, Sandoval slotted on bench
PHILADELPHIA -- Opting for experience and defensive steadiness over offensive potential, Giants manager Bruce Bochy started Edgar Renteria at shortstop in Saturday night's Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. With Renteria starting, Juan Uribe moved over to third base, forcing Pablo Sandoval to the bench.Sandoval's uneven performance this season has been well documented. He hit .268 with 13 home runs and 63 RBIs, compared to .330-25-90 last year. But the rotund third baseman contributed a two-run double to the Giants' 6-5 victory in Game 4 and appeared to maintain his balance at the plate, a trait that has eluded him, while going 1-for-4 in San Francisco's 4-2 loss to Philadelphia in Game 5. Also in Game 5, Sandoval couldn't reach third base in time to record a forceout during Philadelphia's three-run, third-inning uprising. He later committed a ninth-inning throwing error. "I think it makes us a little stronger on the left side of the infield as far as defense," Bochy said of the Game 6 lineup. Bochy also cited Renteria's familiarity with Phillies right-hander Roy Oswalt. Renteria owned a .243 career regular-season batting average (9-for-37) with two home runs against Oswalt. Renteria, a 15-year veteran, entered Saturday batting .214 (3-for-14) in five postseason appearances this year. Uribe was hitting .080 (2-for-25) in eight games, but his efforts included an RBI single in Game 1 of the LCS -- though he bruised his left hand sliding into second base on that play. Uribe did not start two of the following three games, though he came off the bench in Game 4 to deliver a walk-off sacrifice fly in the ninth inning.
Giants squad attracting young fans
PHILADELPHIA -- No studies have been done to prove it. But anybody strolling through streets, schools or shopping malls in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as AT&T Park, gets the unmistakable feeling that the Giants' success this season has created a new generation of fans.Club president and chief operating officer Larry Baer, who pays attention to such trends, agreed with this assessment. "What we're finding is that the component parts on this team are really likable," Baer said Saturday, citing players such as Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum, Pablo Sandoval, Andres Torres and Brian Wilson. "It's a long list. These are players that kids are gravitating around." Baer observed that an element as simple as the players' nicknames, from "Buster" to "Kung Fu Panda," reflects the Giants' appeal toward younger fans. "It's more of a family-oriented appeal," Baer said. "We're hopeful because that's what you want. That's a good thing for the future and for baseball's future, to have likable players from the perspective of youth."
Phils' manager prepping for Game 7
PHILADELPHIA -- Whatever you do, Giants fans, don't take Charlie Manuel's pregame remarks on Saturday out of context.Responding to a question about the care and feeding of ace right-hander Roy Halladay, the Phillies manager predicted that his team would force a seventh and deciding game in the National League Championship Series. Halladay injured his right groin while pitching in Thursday's Game 5. But Manuel was speaking out of confidence, not cockiness. Asked whether he'd be hesitant to use Halladay in either of the series' final two games as a reliever, Manuel responded, "Definitely, I can pretty much answer I'm not going to use him [Saturday]. ... If we get to [Sunday], we'll see. We're going to get to [Sunday]. I don't want to say if we get there, because we are going to get there." But there wasn't a hint of bravado in Manuel's voice.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.