Yanks accept strikeouts with Grandy's power

Yanks accept strikeouts with Grandy's power

Yanks accept strikeouts with Grandy's power
DETROIT -- Curtis Granderson certainly had plenty of company in the strikeouts department on Monday at Comerica Park, but the Yankees center fielder is no stranger to the swing and miss.

Granderson had three of the Yankees' 14 strikeouts against Justin Verlander in a 7-2 loss to the Tigers, giving him a team-leading 133 for the season. For the second time in as many years, Granderson could set a franchise record, as last year's total of 169 is within sight.

"I'm just swinging and missing a few more times than I have in the past," Granderson said. "I've done all the same things I've done in the past -- choke up with two strikes, spread out a little more with two strikes, try to just put it in play. Sometimes I'm just swinging and missing."

Last year, Granderson shattered Alfonso Soriano's club record of 157, set in 2002. But the Yankees accept Granderson's strikeouts as part of his package, just a necessary evil to go along with his team-leading 29 home runs.

"It's not something that's new to him," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "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 strike out, too. It's who he is."

Girardi has been toying with Granderson in the leadoff spot against right-handed pitchers, and though it's not ideal to have a leadoff hitter who strikes out often, Girardi is willing to make that move with a nod toward Granderson's on-base percentage.

"To me, the important thing is probably how much he gets on, right? Not how he makes his outs," Girardi said. "So the important thing is how often he gets on against right-handers, and he's done a pretty good job of that."

Granderson paced the American League with 174 strikeouts in 2006 with the Tigers, but he's third in the AL this year behind White Sox slugger Adam Dunn (159) and the Rays' Carlos Pena (138).

Granderson has said in the past that he'd like to cut down his numbers in that category, but he seems to be accepting of the totals as part of the cost of doing business.

"You definitely don't want to go up there and strike out, but if it happens, it's just part of the game," Granderson said. "There's not going to be a time where anybody in this game is not striking out throughout the course of a season.

"That's just part of it. You give credit to the pitchers; they do a great job with two strikes of being able to put more hitters away than they have in the past. It's a mixture of a lot of different things of why guys do strike out, including myself."