Grandy struggling to set table for Mets' lineup

Veteran has .179 OBP in May batting leadoff

May 15th, 2016
Curtis Granderson was hitting .200 with a .287 OBP heading into Sunday.

DENVER -- As the Mets try to turn around a three-game losing streak, accountability starts at the top of the order and the need to get on base.

Curtis Granderson has struggled in the leadoff spot this month, hitting .132 (7-for-53) in May, with an on-base percentage of .179, less than half the season pace he set last year, and well under par for the expectation of a leadoff hitter.

"We don't have a lot of options in my opinion," manager Terry Collins said before Sunday's series finale with the Rockies. "He has been a guy that does get on because of the base on balls."

In 2015, Granderson drew a walk for every 6.37 at-bats for a career high of 91 walks, sixth best in the league. His .364 on-base percentage offset a .259 batting average and set him up to score 98 runs, also sixth best in the league.

After 36 games this season, Granderson is well below his own pace, drawing a walk in every 10 at-bats and posting a OBP of .287 and .200 average heading into Sunday.

"Comparing to what he did last year where he was absolutely so dynamic at the top, he's not getting the base on balls that he had last year," Collins said. "His swing's fine, but last year he would draw those walks, and even when he wasn't hitting for high average, the base on balls got him on base."

For Granderson, there's a cause and effect between his potency with the bat and his ability to get on base.

"You get walks when you get pitches off the plate that are balls," Granderson said. "I'm getting more balls on the plate, more pitches that are strikes, whether called strikes or swinging strikes. I gotta be able to do something with them. When you do, that's when you get pitchers to start missing with more balls off the plate. That I haven't been able to do at this point."

Granderson grounded out three times to second baseman DJ LeMahieu Saturday night, and two of the balls were scorchers that would have gotten through the infield if not for LeMahieu's positioning in the hole between first and second.

"I'm hitting the ball hard, I'm just hitting it right at people," Granderson conceded. "I'm not getting hits and getting results, and that's part of baseball."

For Granderson, it's part of baseball in the era of defensive shifts, with three infielders often lined up between first base and second base when he steps to the plate.

"He's one of those guys that with all the shifting, it's certainly taking away a lot of hits from him," Collins said.

Collins gave Granderson a break from the lineup Sunday, hoping a day off coupled with Monday's off-day would help him "get some energy back."