Mets owner Fred Wilpon, the man who lavished a four-year contract worth $60 million on Curtis Granderson, cozied up to the struggling slugger behind the batting cage before Wednesday night's game against the Cardinals. Talk about bringing out the heavy artillery: The Mets will try almost anything to get Granderson going at the plate.
But manager Terry Collins cautioned that he doesn't want to do anything too radical. Granderson finally broke his career-worst 0-for-22 slump with one hit in last night's game.
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"What we've tried to do is get as much tape and film as we can and try to compare what's going on now to the past so we have an idea maybe when he's coming out of it," Collins said. "I think you can use the video, but I don't want to start changing somebody. You start tinkering a little bit, and you can really mess him up. I try to make sure we don't get too carried away with the mechanical side. They made a couple tweaks to get him back closer to where he was with the Yankees' stance, but he's going to have to battle through it."
Keeping tabs on Black
Collins was asked if he's paying attention to reliever Vic Black with Triple-A Las Vegas. "We're keeping tabs on him," the manager said. "I look at those stats every day. He hasn't given up a run yet. As of last night, he'd pitched 11 innings, no runs but 10 walks, seven strikeouts." Well, Collins got the "no runs" part right, but he was a little off on the other stats. In 71/3 innings, Black has recorded eight strikeouts and seven walks through Tuesday's games.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Cardinals starter Michael Wacha is the fourth pitcher since 1900 to strike out 10 or more batters in 4.0 or fewer innings. The first was Smokey Joe Wood for Boston in 1909, but Seattle's Felix Hernandez did it last year, and Cleveland's Danny Salazar did it earlier this season.
. . . Collins rested Eric Young against Cards' Michael Wacha even though Young had reached base safely in 17 straight games. Kirk Nieuwenhuis started and played centerfield. "I wanted to get 'Neiuy' into a game, and I want to get Bobby [Abreu] into a game this week," Collins said.
. . . A scoring change took away a hit from Daniel Murphy in an April 19 game against the Braves, calling it an error.