Molina to stay at cleanup — for now
MIAMI — After collecting two hits against the New York Mets on May 17, Bengie Molina was batting .304. He entered Friday night’s series opener against the Florida Marlins hitting .247. During this slump, Molina remained in the cleanup spot in the Giants’ batting order.
This didn’t mean that manager Bruce Bochy was sitting idly by. Actually, Bochy said Friday, he considered moving Pablo Sandoval to the four-hole and even consulted Molina about it.
“Bochy’s the manager and [Brian] Sabean’s the general manager,” Molina said. “Whatever they want for this team, I don’t let that worry me.”
One can imagine that Sandoval’s two-run homer, which accounted for the sum total of the Giants’ offense in their 2-1 victory Friday over the Florida Marlins, might sway Bochy toward making a change. But Molina also stroked two singles, one of them preceding Sandoval’s homer.
Hence the slight but perceptible change in Bochy’s outlook regarding the cleanup spot …
Pregame: “We’ll see how it goes the next couple of days.” (Translation — a change is possible)
Postgame: “If I felt like [a change] would lighten the load on him … The way it went tonight, I’m going to leave it the way it is.” (Translation — Molina ain’t budging for the foreseeable future)
Meanwhile, Sandoval outdid himself with his wild hacking Friday. When he wasn’t homering, he was swinging more freely than usual — which takes a lot, in his case.
As Sandoval explained, he simply was trying to be himself: “Get my pitch, [be] the Pablo I am — aggressive at home plate. Get a pitch to hit a line drive. That [the home run] was the best swing I had in the game.”
– Chris Haft