The rundown: George Steinbrenner's monument was unveiled, the Yankees beat the Rays 8-6, Joe Torre put his foot in his mouth, Antrel Rolle blasted his own team, Braylon Edwards was arrested, the Yankees beat the Rays 8-3, the Mets lost to Florida 5-2, Bobby Parnell was the latest Met to be shut down for the season, Francisco Rodriguez was arraigned, Brandon Jacobs was fined $10,000, Edwards apologized (sort of) and returned to practice, Rex Ryan has had it up to here with his players, preseason hockey began, the Yankees lost to the Rays 7-2, Keith Hernandez lost and then found his wallet, the Mets lost to Florida 7-5, the new season of The Office premiered, the Yanks were hammered by Tampa Bay 10-3, Carmelo Anthony rumors abounded, I got a taste of what it'll be like to be a senior citizen with my father in for a visit when I watched golf for three hours on a weekday afternoon while occasionally dozing off, the Yankees fell just short in Friday's comeback, the Mets lost 3-2, the Rangers waived Wade Redden, Tony Dungy gave the Yankees an expletive-free inspirational speech before they lost again to Boston, the Mets won their first game of the week, the Giants shot themselves in the foot all afternoon on Sunday, the Mets kept the Phils from clinching the division, the Jets squeaked by the Dolphins and the Yankees finally won again despite another September blown save by Mariano Rivera. The Player of the Week:
Mark Sanchez: After throwing a career-high three touchdown passes last week against New England, Sanchez did it again last night in Miami. He went 15 for 28, for 256 yards, and finished the game with a 120.5 QB rating (for whatever that's worth). He's now tossed six TD passes, which is already half his total for last season, with no interceptions and zero fumbles in three games this year. The Jets were crossing their fingers that Sanchez would be worthy of their Super Bowl or bust mantra, and the last two games are hopeful signs that he's becoming a legitimate, top-quality NFL QB.
Runners Up & Other Notables
Curtis Granderson: The Yankee center fielder started things off this week with a monster game on Monday, blasting two home runs and driving in five runs. And he kept up his powers surge for most of the week. Yankee pitching was nowhere to be found the past week or so, but Granderson did his job - he batted .333, with four dingers and nine RBI. And now he's just about where he was last season, with comparable averages (.251 this year/.249 last season), OBP (.326/.327) and slugging (.469/.453).
Dustin Keller: The Jets' tight end has become Sanchez's favorite target, and they have a nice little chemistry thing going. Keller caught two more touchdown passes last night, and hauled in a total of six, good for 98 yards.
Brad Smith: What a weapon Smith is for Gang Green. He wild-catted his way for 41 yards on just three rushes last night. And he returned four kickoffs for a whopping 150 yards, with a long of 54. He gave the Jets excellent field position all night long.
Ahmad Bradshaw/Steve Smith: There were turnovers and penalties galore for the Giants yesterday, and Bradshaw wasn't immune to the mistakes that doomed his team with a key fumble in the red zone, but he did gain 88 yards on 15 carries (5.9 average) and scored the only touchdown of the day for Big Blue. And Smith was his usual self, with nine catches for 103 yards.
Derek Jeter/Alex Rodriguez: Here comes the captain just in time for the playoffs. And it's about time. Who does he think he is, having an offseason? Jeter will finish the year with fewer than 200 hits, a sub-.350 OBP, an OPS just above .700, all adding up to the worst year of his career - and we expect this guy to be elected to the Hall of Fame? Based on what, 14 measly fantastic years and five championships? Hey, what have you done for us lately, pretty boy? Okay, calm down, just kidding. He had a 14-game hitting streak snapped last night, but tallied nine hits for the week. And A-Rod went toe to toe with Granderson in the power department, blasting four long balls and driving in eight this week.
Phil Hughes: The Yanks' young pitcher managed to squeeze in two starts this week, and picked up a win on Tuesday over Tampa Bay, going six innings and allowing three runs. But he was better last night, again lasting six frames, but only letting in one run this time, while having to settle for a no-decision. He just needs to cut down on those walks.
Mike Pelfrey/Dillon Gee: Parnell has been shut down for the season, Jenrry Mejia is gone, Jon Niese looks like he's hit his innings limit and probably should be shut down - actually the whole team should be shut down, but apparently that's not allowed. Pelfrey's one of the few left standing, and he's trying to finish the season strong. On Tuesday, he pitched his third excellent game in a row, going seven innings and only allowing one earned run, giving up five hits while striking out four with no walks. He gets two more starts to go into the offseason on a positive note. It's just a shame he fell apart when the team was still in contention and needed him most. But at least this season was better than last year for him. Gee's also showing up and getting the job done (2.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP). Mejia may have more talent and upside, but Gee is just a much better pitcher at this point and has, at the least, put himself in the mix battling for a rotation spot next spring. It's only September mop-up time, but we'll take any positive Mets news we can get about now.
Carlos Beltran/Lucas Duda: Preventing the Phillies from celebrating on their home field was the silver lining for the Mets this week, and these guys were a big reason why. Beltran had his best week since coming off the DL, with a .450 average, three homers, four RBI and a nice diving catch in yesterday's game. And Duda came up with the big hit in Saturday's win, when he smashed a bases-clearing double. He hit his second career homer on Tuesday and drove in five runs for the week.
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