Granderson sees similarities between Brewers and 2015 Mets

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MILWAUKEE — Curtis Granderson has played for Goliath in the postseason. He has also played for David, and can unequivocally say it’s more fun wearing that underdog label.

These Brewers are the 37-year-old outfielder’s latest venture into October with an underdog. For Granderson, it has similarities to his wild ride through 2015 — when the Mets kept winning all the way to the World Series.

“Nobody expected us to do anything really that year and we got out of the gates hot and continued to play well,” Granderson said Friday before his Brewers beat the Dodgers 6-5 in Game 1 of the NLCS at Miller Park. “Even when we were doing things, at one point people were still doubting us. Then we get [Yoenis] Cespedes and people still doubted us. Then we got to the playoffs and people still doubted us. Then we made it all the way to the World Series. I like being in that position where a lot of people aren’t talking about you and you just continue sneaking up.”

Granderson, who was acquired by the Brewers in an August waiver deal with the Blue Jays, has become a Mr. October of sorts, appearing in the postseason for a fifth different team. That includes three different teams (Mets, Dodgers and Brewers) beginning in 2015. The only thing missing from that résumé, which began with a World Series appearance with the Tigers in 2006 and included three postseasons with the Yankees, is a championship ring.

The Brewers tried to acquire Granderson from the Mets in the summer of 2017, but missed. Granderson instead went to the Dodgers in exchange for reliever Jacob Rhame. Granderson came off the bench for a team that won the NL pennant, but was subtracted from the World Series roster.

In 19 games for the Brewers over the final month, Granderson, who did not play Friday night, posted an .846 OPS and provided Milwaukee with another veteran presence in the clubhouse.

“When we traded for him, the first thing I said was, ‘Man, it’s an honor to have you on our team,’ ” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We tried last year. I was hopeful last year. We tried to get him, but we were unable.

“We were able to add him this year and he made a big impact in the month of September. When you add guys like that, I think they’re able to lift everybody else up, and he’s done just that, as some other guys have as well.”

The Brewers won the NL Central title, but needed eight straight wins to close the regular season — including a tiebreaker game against the Cubs — to complete the improbable journey.

“It’s good to be in that situation where people aren’t expecting it,” Granderson said.

Around this time last year, Granderson was preparing for life after baseball, unsure if he would get an opportunity to continue after celebrating a pennant with the Dodgers. But when the Blue Jays offered him a one-year deal for $5 million, Granderson pounced.

“I prepared just like any other offseason that I was going to have an opportunity to play,” Granderson said. “But if I went through the winter and nothing was there, yeah, I was going to be done.

“It’s the same situation this year. I’m going to go into it with the idea I will play next year and if no calls come in, it’s on to the next chapter of my life.”

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