The Good, Bad and Ugly of New York's Baseball Weekend

Robinson Cano homers more before 9 a.m. than most people homer all day

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Not an All-Star, but plenty good enough for the Mets.

    We've officially run out of words to describe what the R.A. Dickey/Johan Santana tandem has been able to accomplish at the front of the Mets rotation this season.

    It's amazing, unbelievable, dominant, surprising, inspiring, soul-warming, season-saving and about a million other descriptors that we've already burned up while watching them keep the Mets in the race throughout the first half.

    Their back-to-back shutouts on Friday and Saturday should be awe-inspiring, but they were actually totally routine. It's the fourth time that the two of them have pulled off the trick this season.

    One such man on a pitching staff would represent a charmed baseball life. To have two, though? 

    That's beyond easy comprehension, which must be why Santana wasn't given a place on the National League All-Star team over the weekend. There might have been more egregious misses, including one member of his own team, but All-Star Games should be about celebrating things like Santana's comeback instead of taking a clutch of closers (Jonathan Papelbon? Seriously? Because the Phillies would be further in last if not for his 30 innings of work?) because Bud Selig decided the game should "count" while still being played like an exhibition.

    Dickey and Santana are more than good, but they fit the good portion of our Good, Bad and Ugly review of another busy baseball weekend.

    GOOD: Phil Hughes and Hiroki Kuroda haven't performed nearly as well as Dickey and Santana, but they are just as important to the Yankees thanks to last week's parade of injuries. Both pitched well over the weekend to continue upswings that will help the Yankees stay in first as long as they continue.

    BAD: It would have been nice to see Santana get a ticket to Kansas City, but it doesn't reach the outrage one should feel about David Wright losing out on the fan vote to Pablo Sandoval of the Giants at the last minute. Congrats to Giants fans for stuffing the ballot box and standing in the way of honoring one of the three or four best National Leaguers in the first half.

    UGLY: Adam Warren will hopefully have better days to come in the major leagues because his first day was one to forget. The rookie pitched a scoreless first and then got shelled by the White Sox on Friday night as either the moment or the talent caught up to Warren.

    GOOD/BAD: Warren was followed by Cory Wade, whose transformation from capable pitcher to human bomb appears to be totally complete. It got so bad that DeWayne Wise had to pitch in the ninth just to get the game over with, something that worked out as Wise got two outs without allowing any further damage.

    GOOD: The participants in Old-Timer's Day may be getting closer to a moment that makes some of us feel a lot older than we'd like, but it's still fun to see the old faces in uniform again. While we might bring some chairs out there if it is so hot again in the future, it's really the best of the Yankees' fetishization of their own history.

    UGLY: It is hard to come up with a better way of summing up the Mets' defensive performance in Sunday night's loss to the punchless Dodgers than what the sages at Faith and Fear in Flushing came up with. Read their recap of the game and notice that there's no D in it either.

    GOOD: Daniel Murphy homered again on Friday and Ike Davis went deep after Wright was intentionally walked on Saturday, a little more boost to two guys who pretty much spent the first half in witness protection. Neither one is all the way back, but the Mets' chances of staying in the race are greatly enhanced by their flirtation with competence.

    GOOD: The list of superlatives for Robinson Cano hasn't quite reached the failure point of the Mets pitchers, but it's getting pretty close. Cano's hit nine homers in the last 14 games so calling him hot is about as inexact as calling "Call Me, Maybe" pervasive.

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    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.