When breaking down this week's SB Nation NY MLB Power Rankings, it was clear there would be plenty of players from both the New York Mets and New York Yankees worthy of a spot in the weekly Top 10. After all, the Mets went 4-2 on the week while the Yankees finished 3-3, but finished by taking two of three from the Detroit Tigers.
Even with all of the solid performances, it was nine innings for the ages that earned the No. 1 spot.
1. Johan Santana, Mets - As the games mounted (8,019 entering action Friday) the inability for any Mets pitcher to toss a no-hitter had turned into a running joke around the league. After all, only the San Diego Padres were also without a no-no. All those jokes ended against the St. Louis Cardinals Friday when Santana was masterful in locking down the first ever no-hitter in Mets history.
With his 134-pitch effort, the ace solidified his place in the hearts of all Mets fans.
2. Mike Baxter, Mets - Santana is the one in the history books, but he doesn't get there without the heroics of the Whitestone native Baxter. With tension starting to build, Mets villain Yadier Molina sent a shot deep to left field in the seventh inning. Baxter a fantastic catch that carried him into the wall at full speed, forcing him out of the game, onto the DL and into Mets lore.
3. Adrian Johnson, Umpire - Another name Mets fans will never forget from Friday night's game is Johnson. He ruled a Carlos Beltran line drive down the left field line foul, when it clearly hit the line and should have been a fair ball. In almost every no-hitter there need to be a couple big breaks and Johnson provided one of the biggest.
4. Phil Hughes, Yankees - He couldn't match Johan Santana's no-hitter, but he did pitch the best game of his career Sunday against the Detroit Tigers. The 25-year-old rebounded from an awful start against the Los Angeles Angels to toss a four-hitter in a 5-1 victory over Justin Verlander. After an terrible start to the season, Hughes is now 5-5 with an ERA just under 5.00. -- Ed Valentine
5.Rafael Soriano, Yankees - Two saves in two chances for Soriano, who has now converted all seven of his save opportunities. The expectation is that Soriano keeps the closer's job when David Robertson returns from the DL, and with the job he has done that should be the case. -- EV
6. R.A. Dickey, Mets - If not for Santana's no-hitter, Dickey would be the talk of Mets fans this week around the water cooler. The knuckleballer continued his amazing season Saturday with a complete game shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals. Dickey struck out nine while giving up seven hits but without surrendering any walks on the way to his eighth win of the season.
7. Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees - Pitched seven excellent innings Saturday against the Tigers, giving up two runs. He received a no-decision in a 4-3 loss, but it was solid work from the veteran right-hander. -- EV
8. Jonathon Niese, Mets - The young lefty continued a string of stellar outings by the Mets pitching staff with six shutout innings Sunday night. Using just 96 pitches, Niese racked up a career-high 10 strikeouts before leaving the game as a precaution due to an elevated heart rate.
9. Curtis Granderson, Yankees - Continues to prove that the 41 home runs he hit in 2011 were not a fluke. Had three home runs and eight RBI over the past week, and now has 17 home runs and 33 RBI for the season. -- EV
10. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees - Hit .320 for the week and showed signs of finally finding his power stroke with a pair of home runs over the weekend against Detroit. Still, however, has only 22 RBI on the season. -- EV