“Down by three runs, any time you get a chance to get the winning run to the plate, you feel pretty good about it,” Martin said. “With Curtis up there, one of our best hitters, you get in a situation like that, you feel pretty good about your odds. (Jose Valverde) made a pitch and got him out. We’ll try to get them tomorrow.”
In the next breath, Martin said the Yankees are “not playing very good,” so I’m not sure he was trying to sugarcoat a loss. To a large extent, I think he was right. If last night’s game stood on its own, it might not feel like a particularly bad loss. But in the context of a team that’s struggling, it was ugly.
Same thing applies to Granderson.
He struck out twice last night, and that final at-bat was a blown opportunity. Granderson has become a focus of the Yankees linesup ever since he moved into the leadoff spot, and last night was a bad one. In his five games as the regular leadoff man, Granderson’s gone 2-for-23 with three walks, six strikeouts and no extra-base hits. He said nothing has changed about his approach — honestly, he only swapped spots with the guy hitting ahead of him, it’s not like he moved from sixth to first — but he’s going through a bad stretch. Personally, I wonder if it might go unnoticed had he not jumped under the microscope with the lineup change.
“I’m just not putting the ball in play the way I want to,” Granderson said. “I’m getting pitches to hit and just not being able to square them up. I’m fouling a lot of balls out, and I just have to figure out why.”
Granderson is hitting .240/.335/.487 this season. His career slash line is .265/.344/.492. This year’s numbers are worse, but they’re not drastically worse. He’s not a significantly different hitter. For the most part, what Granderson today is pretty much what he’s been for his career. Yes, he leads the Yankees in strikeouts, but he also leads in walks, and he’s still one of the better hitters in a pretty good lineup.
“(Striking out) is not something that’s new to him,” Joe Girardi said. “I don’t know if his pace is higher this year than any other year, but I believe he’s been up to 190 before (actually, 174). It’s kind of what you get with Grandy. He’s going to hit home runs, and he’s going to score runs, but he’s going to strikeout too. It’s who he is.”
Associated Press photo