I’ve seen the baffle plate installed wrong in both scenarios, both vented and recirculating.
In fact, I missed it once similar to what you described. A client had a range hood that was ducted to the outside. But instead, it blew into the small cavity between the hood and the cabinet.
The client called me 1st (like our agreement states). I went back to the home to investigate and discovered my error. The client and I dropped the hood and fixed the plate together. He even tried to tip me $40.
Now, whenever I have a ducted exhaust, I double down and head outside to ensure the damper blows open. School of hard knocks.