The Mets and Yankees both went 4-2 this past week. Sure, there were some outstanding hitting performaces (Robinson Cano and Angel Pagan come to mind), but it was a stellar week for starting pitching for the locals, with a few exceptions, of course (we're looking at you CC Sabathia, Fernando Nieve and Javier Vazquez). So here's an all-starting pitcher edition of the Player of the Week.
R.A. Dickey: The 35-year-old journeyman knuckleballer has seemingly come out of nowhere - the Witness Protection Program? Is he Phil Niekro reincarnated (ok, Niekro's not even dead yet but you get the idea) - and been a godsend for the Mets. On Tuesday he threw six shutout innings against the Phillies (with seven strikeouts and three walks), and yesterday he picked up his second win of the week, baffling Milwaukee's hitters (with the lone exception being Rickie Weeks) over seven innings, without giving up a base on balls. He even drove in a run with a single. Attempting to hit his floating signature pitch is like trying to pronounce Byfuglien (or like trying to spell it if you know how to pronounce it). Dickey's 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA in three games for the Mets. Not bad for a pitcher with a lifetime 23-28 record and a 5.32 ERA.
A.J. Burnett: The Yankees' number-two starter went 2-0 this week. He was actually slightly better than Dickey, but Burnett is supposed to pitch like that, he didn't drive in a run and, well, knuckleballers are just more fun. So Burnett loses out. He pitched five shutout innings in the rain in Minnesota on Tuesday and had to wait until the following day to record the win. Yesterday he gave the bullpen a much-needed rest by lasting eight innings, while stiking out eight, not walking anybody and allowing three runs (one earned).
Hisanori Takahashi: The crafty lefty kept the Phillies off balance in his start on Wednesday (after doing the same thing to the Yanks in his previous start), by mixing speeds and having great command of all his pitches. He struck out six and walked none in six scoreless innings. The former Yomiuri Giant is 4-1 with a 2.13 ERA for the year. He just flat-out knows how to pitch.
Johan Santana: The ace of the Mets was ace-like on Friday, when he pitched eight shutout innings with five K's and two walks. Unfortunately, Jerry Manuel wouldn't let him finish the job and the offense couldn't score any runs for him. In seven of his starts this season, Santana's allowed either one or no runs.
Andy Pettitte: Eight innings, two runs, four K's and no walks vs. the Twins this week. Ho-hum. Just another strong outing for the ageless veteran, who's now 6-1 with a 2.62 ERA for the year.
Mike Pelfrey: Yes, seven more shutout innings from a Mets starting pitcher. The giant hurler looks like he's fulfilling his promise, and now stands at 7-1, with a 2.54 ERA, this season.
Phil Hughes: Probably the Yankees' best pitcher in 2010, Hughes picked up his sixth win of the year with seven solid innings against the Indians on Friday. He sports an impressive 2.70 ERA so far on the year.