The Mets handled Cleveland with ease earlier in the week, piling up a whole bunch of runs, while the Yankees had a little trouble with the Phillies. And then the two local teams squared off against each other in the battle for New York, and the Yanks cooled off the Metsies and pulled out a 2-1 series win, which means the Mets and Yankees tied, 3-3, for the year. This week's winner was going to be very difficult to pick, because, though there were a few players with a good week, no one really stood out. But then the winner revealed himself in yesterday afternoon's game. And besides, somebody has to win; there are no ties here at the Player of the Week. This isn't soccer. So the winner is . . .
CC Sabathia: The big, hefty, husky, large, el grande - take your pick - lefty picked up two wins this week. He defeated the Phillies and Roy Halladay on Tuesday, with a decent outing, going seven innings and letting in three runs. And he then outdueled Johan Santana yesterday in a battle of aces, pitching eight shutout innings. Sabathia's been "out-aced" by Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte this season, but he mowed down the Mets on Sunday in a performance that the Bombers have been patiently waiting for from him. And in a promising sign, that's two wins in a row for him that didn't come against the Orioles. Is this the start of one of Sabathia's patented second-half runs, where he never seems to lose?
Hisanori Takahashi & Javier Vazquez: Both of Friday's starters were outstanding. Takahashi is becoming a Yankee killer. The crafty lefty's now thrown 12 shutout innings against the Bombers. On Friday he repeated his performance from a month earlier, when he kept the Yankee hitters off balance with his herky-jerky delivery, hitting the corners and mixing up his pitches. Sure, he's already 35, but he's like a young, Japanese Jamie Moyer. Vazquez was just as good, but got the short end of the straw. He went seven innings and only allowed a run.
Jose Reyes: It's an old saying by now, but it seems to be true: As Jose Reyes goes, so go the Mets. He's been on fire in June and, what do you know, so have the Mets. His two home runs weren't enough on Saturday, but he can't do it all by himself. He's energetic, enthusiastic and dynamic, and is the engine that makes the Mets run. He rubs some opponents the wrong way, but he's really just a harmless little kid out there. His fielding has been awesome this season, and he's not making the same boneheaded base-running mistakes of the past, such as getting thrown out at third base on a grounder to short. For the week, he hit .333, scored eight runs, bashed two homers, drove in five, hit two doubles and ripped a triple.
The First Basemen: Mark Teixeira only had four hits all week, but three of them were home runs, and the last two helped to beat the Mets and win the series. If you're only going to get a knock here and there, at least make them count. And he sure did this week, homering in each of the three Yankee wins. And whether he's hitting or not he remains a vacuum cleaner over at first. Meanwhile Ike Davis batted .320 for the Mets, banged out a homer and had six RBIs. And he's proving to be pretty smooth himself out in the field.
David Wright: The Met third baseman drove in six runs in the first three games of the week (and had eight RBIs in the four games before that), which puts him in the runner-up category. He's knocking them in via the home run, singles, doubles, ground outs and I think he even inherited a few RBIs from an old insurance policy that his grandfather had - things are going so well for Wright these days (well, until he faced off against the Yankees). He's jumped all the way to second in the National League in RBIs, with 53.
Phil Hughes: The young ace-in-the-making grinded out a win over the Mets on Saturday. Actually, if it weren't for Jose Reyes he would have cruised to an easy victory. He's tied for the American League lead in wins with Tampa Bay's David Price, with 10. He could be on his way to his first, of what could be many, All-Star Games.
Angel Pagan: The fill-in center fielder for Carlos Beltran has had a surprisingly strong season. He's no longer the dimwitted, low-baseball-IQ character from last year. He batted .416 this week, and knocked in five runs. He hit a key double late in Friday's game, which could be described with the classic "nice piece of hitting" description. Runners in scoring position late in the game? Pagan's the guy you want up at the plate for the Mets.
R.A. Dickey: He's been on every Player of the Week list so far (sure, there have only been four, but so what) - partly because he's performed above and beyond anyone's wildest expectations, and partly because knuckleballers are just so much fun. He's the first Met pitcher to ever go 5-0 in his first six starts with the team. He only gave up two earned runs in six innings while striking out seven in his victory over Cleveland on Thursday.