The Mets went down to Georgia - and no, not looking for a soul to steal, but for just one cotton-pickin' win, and that's what they got. They actually went down there hoping for a four-game sweep, which would have been their last grasping-at-straws opportunity to save the season, but they put in a sluggish, who cares? performance instead. They then headed to Wrigley Field, where I'm sure the players would have rather just sat in the bleachers, imbibe in a few Old Styles and enjoy some day baseball. And they played like they were lounging in the stands for the first two games of the series before trouncing the Cubs in the finale. The Yankees stormed back into sole possession of first place by sweeping the A's and taking two out of three from the Jays, and told Dallas Braden to Get Off Our Mound in the process. And the Giants and Jets both won their final preseason tune-ups. My six-year-old daughter asked the most important question of the week, though, when, as Lawrence Tynes was lining up for a field-goal attempt, she queried, "Why does he have arms like a girl?" But now, more importantly, on to the Player of the Week.
Mark Teixeira: The Yankees have a long list of free agents or high-profile trade acquisitions who came to the Bronx but which the team later regretted making the move or the player himself did. We're looking at you Kevin Brown. And who can forget Randy Johnson's first day in NYC, after oking a trade to the Bombers, when he walked down the street and shoved a photographer? He might as well have been Ron Burgundy in Anchorman, when the San Diego newscaster jumped into a bear pit at the zoo and exclaimed, "I immediately regret this decision." Well, Mark Teixeira is not one of those guys. He spent the last seven days absolutely pounding the ball all over Yankee Stadium (well, five days at least). He batted .476 (with an astounding .620 OBP), with two home runs, eight RBIs, five runs scored, a double and walked seven times (and was hit by a pitch). Those are Player of the Week numbers for sure.
Runners Up & Other Notables
CC Sabathia: The Yankee ace polished up his Cy Young credentials on Thursday afternoon by pitching eight innings of one-hit ball (while striking out five and walking three), completing the four-game sweep of the A's. He went through the Oakland lineup like Joey Chestnut goes through hot dogs on July 4 at Coney Island. Sabathia has a major-league-leading 19 wins (to go with a measly five losses), 3.02 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. And in a gesture of good will, CC loaned out his baggy uniform to a family on the east end of Long Island providing them with safe, roomy shelter from Hurricane Earl on Friday.
Curtis Granderson: Ex-Tiger Marcus Thames had an incredible week last week, and now another former Tiger picks up where he left off (though Thames hasn't really stopped hitting, as we saw with his game-winning home run on Saturday). The up-and-down Granderson was on the upswing this week, and wouldn't it be great if he started scorching the ball just in time for the homestretch and the playoffs? He's hitting home runs, he's hitting righties and he's even hitting lefties now. He belted three dingers, drove in seven, scored five runs and batted.307 for the week.
Carlos Beltran/Ike Davis: Beltran's been a shadow of his former self since coming back from knee surgery after the All-Star break, and Davis has slumped big time lately, but they both started to turn it on this week. The Mets' slightly gimpy center fielder batted .347 this week, with two big games over the weekend. Will he start playing well enough to be tradable? Or will the Mets hold on to him for another year? After putting himself into the conversation for Rookie of the Year, Davis hit a brick wall. He's woken up lately, though, with two homers, four RBIs, three doubles, five runs scored and a .360 average this week.
Brett Gardner/Marcus Thames: Gardner is a base-on-balls machine. He stepped up to the plate in six games this week and walked nine times, scored six runs and swiped three bases. He ranks seventh in OBP, 11th in runs scored, fourth in stolen bases and is tied for eighth in walks in the AL. And when he or Nick Swisher aren't in the lineup, the Yankees can just put Thames in there and a home run per game is just about assured.
Jenrry Mejia/Lucas Duda/Mike Nickeas/Ruben Tejada: Last week it was Ivan Nova's and Eduardo Nunez's time to get their major league "firsts," and now it's the youngsters on the Mets' turn. Mejia made his first start on Saturday at Wrigley Field and the results were middling - five innings, four runs, eight hits, two strikeouts and two walks. But it's only the beginning for him. Duda picked up his first (and only) hit, first double, first RBI and first outfield assist. And Nickeas made his initial major league appearance, making him and Mejia the first battery since Dick Selma and Greg Goossen in 1965 to make their starting debuts in the same game (Mejia has of course already relieved). Mejia is also the youngest pitcher to start a game for the Mets since Dwight Gooden. And the modern day Mario Mendoza, Ruben Tejada, had the game of his young life yesterday, when he hit his first major league home run and drove in five runs.
Jonathan Goff: With Keith Bulluck moving to his familiar outside linebacker position and Clint Sintim heading to the sidelines, the Giants are crossing their fingers and hoping Goff can handle the middle-linebacking duties. On Thursday night, he was all over the field, making seven tackles, playing a big part in a goal-line stand and even coming up with an interception. Sure, it was against New England's scrubs, but as Carl Banks pointed out, the Giants need to see his instincts, his quickness to the play and whether he's going downfield or not, whether it's against first-stringers or not. And for one game at least, Goff impressed.
Santonio Holmes: It's the last we'll see of Holmes until Oct. 11 against Minnesota so we'll make him the Jets' choice this week, fumble notwithstanding. The mucho talented receiver hauled in four passes for 97 yards, including the 51-yard game-winner from Mark Brunell. He was playing against guys who may well be applying for jobs at Home Depot next week, but is there any doubt he can perform like that in the regular season, too? No.
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