When you're slugging .222 through your new team's first 24 games, you don't put too much stock in one productive at-bat. At least Curtis Granderson didn't.
If the Mets outfielder and prized free-agent signing woke up Saturday at all encouraged by his walk-off single Friday night, he masked the emotion with a realist's approach.
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"Last night's over. We're already into today. Last I checked, today's Saturday and that happened on Friday," Granderson said before the Mets lost to the Marlins, 7-6, in 10 innings at Citi Field.
Granderson, who played centerfield and batted second, went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run.
"Each day it's slowly been a step forward," he said. "And that's what you want to do each day, you want to continue to get a step closer to where you ultimately want to be, and it could be a long way away still because you never want to peak too soon one way or the other. A lot of baseball is still left to play. We're not even through April."
Still, Granderson has only one homer and seven RBIs, and after Saturday night's groundout in the 10th inning, he was hitting .134. He knows it hasn't looked pretty.
"I would be surprised if there was an exciting 0-for-22 to watch," Granderson said, referring to a career-worst skid he ended last week. "It's definitely not the end of the world. It's not the best thing and you take all the positives from it that you can and realize you still get another chance to swing the bat."
Mets manager Terry Collins said that despite the lack of production, Granderson "has been received as well as any good player I've ever been around in the clubhouse."
"He's such a good guy," Collins added. "He doesn't come off as a megastar. The guy is as genuine as they come, and therefore his teammates root for him."
For the most part, so have Mets fans, who cheered every time Granderson stepped to the plate. When he struck out swinging at a low pitch in the seventh, however, some boos emerged.
Granderson said "there really is no one specific thing" he can name as the cause of his early struggles, adding that he has worked on quickening his hands and has focused on being more selective at the plate.
"When you don't have things going the way they are, you try to cover everything because you just want to go ahead and get some hits and get them as soon as possible," he said, "but yet then you're swinging at pitcher's pitches and not the pitch you want to hit, which makes things difficult."
One thing he did not mention as a reason for his futility was the four-year, $60-million contract he signed in the offseason.
"It doesn't make it any more harder or less harder or anything like that," Granderson said when asked if the large deal put pressure on him to succeed. "You always want to continue to play good, not only for your team but for yourself, and whenever it happens to not go the way you want it to, you continue to keep your head held high and realize things will eventually turn."