Curtis Granderson is nothing if not flexible, and he hardly believes in the mythical creature that is the batting order. In fact, it hardly matters to him where he hits in the lineup, just as long as he’s in it.
“One through nine, it doesn’t matter to me,” Granderson said after Wednesday’s 4-2 win over the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. “Wherever (Manager) Terry (Collins) happens to put me.”
Collins put him second Wednesday and Granderson responded, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs. His two-run single in the bottom of the third drove in starter Jacob deGrom, their blast-from-the-past new call-up, Jose Reyes and gave the Mets a 3-0 lead.
“The infield was back,” Granderson said. “I was trying to just get a ground ball there. I wound up getting a pitch up to elevate, got it to the outfield, and both guys were able to come across the plate and scored. That helped extend our lead.”
With Reyes now in the mix at both third base and, occasionally, shortstop, it stands to reason that Granderson will bat second significantly more often than he has in the past few years. Yesterday was only Granderson’s third game in the second position this season. Last season, he hit second in six games.
Neither sample size is large enough to glean any significant conclusion. But, Granderson has seen the second spot before, having 257 games there to his credit. For those who believe in such things affecting production on a grand scale, he was a career .252 hitter when batting second, cracking 66 home runs and driving in 174 runs, entering yesterday’s win.
Keep in mind that Granderson is not a person who believes such things.
“For me, it’s no different,” he said. “Reyes, or Juan (Lagares), or whoever is leading off, if they’re on base, my job is to move them over and try to advance them and get them across the plate . . . The big thing is, when it’s your spot to bat, there’s going to be situations where guys are on and aren’t on base. You just have to do what the situation is ahead of you. No matter where you happen to be batting in the lineup.”
Additionally, Granderson does not believe in the popular theory that the quality of pitches change at any point in the lineup, besides eighth.
“I think they still try to attack me and get me out whichever way they can, depending on who the pitcher turns out to be on the mound and what team it is,” Granderson said. “Guys go to their strength. I don’t think it has to do with where you’re batting in the lineup or who’s batting after you, unless it’s the pitcher. For the most part, teams try to go to their strengths and get you out.”