NEW YORK -- Terry Collins keeps coming back to the idea that Curtis Granderson will be fine, that this three-week horror show at the start of his New York Mets career is not a sign that Granderson's $60 million contract will turn into another Mets disaster.
"We're going to all look up in July, and this is all going to be forgotten," Collins said Sunday.
Not all of it, Collins hopes. The Mets manager would like to think that we'll long remember the 14th inning Sunday as the moment when Granderson's Mets career turned positive.
New York Mets
For while the box score shows that Granderson went 0-for-6 to drop his Mets batting average to .127 -- even Jason Bay never hit .127! -- the smiles in the Mets' clubhouse showed that it was Granderson whose sacrifice fly gave the Mets their 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves.
"Hopefully that gets him going, and he gets back to being his old self," said catcher Anthony Recker, who picked up Granderson and carried him in the Mets' celebration.
"I needed something positive," Granderson said.
Even that was a big admission for Granderson, who tries hard to never call anything a big deal.
At this point, though, it would have been disingenuous for Granderson to try to pretend that everything is going well and going to be just fine.
"I'm hoping a lot of things our manager is saying will turn out to be true," he said.
Given the commitment the Mets made to Granderson, Collins has little choice but to publicly maintain the confidence that things will turn around. But he also had little choice but to try something new with Granderson, moving him out of the cleanup spot Sunday and putting him in the more familiar second spot in the lineup.
The Mets didn't pay Granderson all that money to be a No. 2 hitter. They paid him because they believed he was, as Collins said, "the perfect guy" to hit behind David Wright.
You can come up with reasons why Granderson really isn't perfect as a cleanup hitter, but none of them would really suggest that he would be as bad as he has been for the first three weeks of his Mets career. He may not be perfect, but he's not close to being this bad, either.
Collins, thrilled to avoid being swept by the Braves after an encouraging road trip, would have taken any win Sunday. But he understandably hoped that a win that ended with a big Granderson moment could be a turning point.
"We don't know what will happen, but you hope this is something to build on, to move on from here," Collins said.
Besides, in the life of a manager, especially a Mets manager, there's always another problem looming. Asked after the game about moving Granderson out of the cleanup spot, Collins noted that new cleanup hitter Daniel Murphy went 1-for-6.
"I may have to flip them back," he joked. "Murph didn't have a very good day, either."
There's always something. But perhaps for the Mets, Sunday is a sign that something won't always be Curtis Granderson.