Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Grandy slams Astros with 2 homers
By Adam Rubin
The Grandy Man can ... in blue and orange too.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- There was something sort of Grandish about Curtis Granderson's performance Tuesday.
Granderson homered in each of his opening two at-bats against the Houston Astros and finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs, perhaps giving the Mets an indication of the type of power they could get for their four-year, $60 million commitment.
Granderson took left-handed starter Rudy Owens deep in a three-run first inning that included three walks. He then took right-handed reliever Jorge De Leon deep an inning later.
Terry Collins initially had indicated Granderson would sit the first week of Grapefruit League play, as has been the case with David Wright and Daniel Murphy. But Granderson, who was limited to 214 at-bats last season due to injury, preferred appearing regularly from the Feb. 28 opener onward.
"The only way I'm going to get ready is to play," Granderson said. "I feel like, for me, at-bats help me the most. At the same time, we don't have to overdo it. We don't want to fatigue anything. But the body felt fine. Mentally it felt fine. And with the first game being Feb. 28, hey, throw me in there. We're not going to play nine innings. I know that. We'll go ahead and pull off. This is only my third game so far. It feels good. And I think that's a good pace to keep."
Granderson did not believe a two-homer game signaled anything about the upcoming season, though.
"I've had spring trainings where I've hit no home runs. I've had spring trainings where I've hit a lot of home runs," Granderson said. "I don't think they've correlated too much to the course of the season. ...
"There's some balls throughout the at-bats that I'm swinging right through and am trying to figure out," Granderson continued. "It's just being consistent. We know it's there. Now it's a matter of repeating. And we're trying to do that all day long. I'm able to do that for five swings, but maybe not the sixth swing. We're trying to get as many repeat swings as possible throughout the at-bats, throughout the situations."
Granderson, meanwhile, likes what he sees from the Mets, beginning with the team chemistry. He noted that 10 players sported new haircuts Tuesday with closely shaved sides to copy Wright's spring-training hairdo, including Josh Satin and Eric Young Jr.
"The big thing has been the energy, [being] enthusiastic getting their work done," Granderson said. "There's really good team chemistry from the old guys and the young guys, which is hard to find sometimes," Granderson said. "When you put a group like this together and everyone feels like they can talk to guys, they can joke with guys, they can jab with guys, that makes everything comfortable. ... This team has done a really good job, starting with No. 5, David Wright, of setting a tone of, 'Hey, even though I'm the old guy on the team, I'm just like you guys. I'm just a big old kid. And we're going to continue to get our work done and have a lot of fun doing it.'"
On the Mets' power potential, Granderson said: "It's been interesting to watch the whole team. [Lucas] Duda has done it. Davis has done it. There is power here. And Chris Young has been amazing in terms of his extra-base hits and all his different things. As long as you're able to get guys on base like we were able to do in that first inning today, you've got a chance to bring guys around, which we were able to do."