Curtis Granderson is coming up big while doing a lot of little things in October
In the postseason, little things matter a lot, seemingly more so than during the regular season when they matter too.
And Curtis Granderson continues to do a lot of little things to help both save and create runs in October for the Mets.
In the first inning of Sunday’s 4-1 win over the Cubs, Granderson did what he always seems be doing these days, which is grind out an at-bat and work out a single against Jake Arrieta.
He would come around to score on David Wright’s long double to center field, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead and immediately stunning the Cubs right out of the gate.
He also single-handedly created a run in the third inning when he drew a leadoff walk against Arrieta, stole second when David Wright struck out, then stole third to setup a run scoring opportunity for Yoenis Cespedes.
Cespedes delivered, albeit with a little infield single, but that made the score 4-0, effectively putting this game out of reach for the Cubs as they only had a minimal answer to Noah Syndergaard and the Mets bullpen.
“He’s just been, I’d say, our steadiest player all year,” Daniel Murphy said after the win. “Consistent every single day.”
Indeed he has, as Granderson has been a fixture for the Mets in the leadoff spot all year long, setting a record for home runs to leadoff a game at seven, posting his highest OPS (.821) since 2011 and the most home runs since 2012.
He was a complete player and redefined the leadoff spot at a time the Mets simply did not have one to start the 2015 season.
But as many runs as he helped create in game two alone, he also took away a run all by himself in the second inning on Sunday night.
In the second inning with one out, Syndergaard missed his location with an 0-2 fastball to Chris Coghlan, and he connected for what looked like a solo home run which should have made the score 3-1.
But Granderson tracked it perfectly and made a jumping catch to bring the ball – and the run – back into the ballpark.
“It was great, especially considering it was the first ball I got all series,” Granderson said after the game. “To catch one like that, a meaningful one like that and keep a run off the board, it was definitely a big thing for us.”
“It was a great catch by Granderson,” manager Terry Collins said after the game. “Both sides of the ball, you’ve got to play this game on both sides.
And he has played on both sides of the ball so well in the postseason. He is a huge reason why the Mets are where they are right now, in command of the National League Championship Series.
He’s produced a .907 OPS in seven postseason games, third behind Murphy’s 1.308 OPS and Juan Lagares’ 1.136 OPS. All seven of his RBI have come against left-handed pitching, and five of his nine hits have come against southpaws as well. He’s reached base in all seven games in the playoffs, a total of 13 times against the Dodgers and Cubs.
He only had 23 hits and 14 RBI against left-handed pitchers all year.
Its all coming together for Granderson at the perfect time, thanks to those little things he does so well.