Mets trounce Cardinals behind Santana, Dickey and Niese, in a weekend of no flukes

Johan Santana completes a no-hitter. (SNY )
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It was a weekend of dominance for the New York Mets. Yes, dominance.

First, Johan Santana went out and erased 50 years of futility with a single no-hitter. Then, on Saturday, R.A. Dickey threw a complete-game shutout, allowing seven hits but not a single walk, in a 5-0 Mets victory. And Sunday, Jon Niese shut out the Cardinals for six innings, striking out a career-high 10, before concerns about a rapid heartbeat ended his night early.

The Mets outscored the Cardinals in three games, 19-1. They did this against a team that entered the weekend just a stone's throw from first place in the National League Central.

It was the Mets' most impressive series performance yet, in a season that is coming to seem less and less like an extended fluke.

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The Mets have gotten where they are, hanging around the contenders, by virtue of winning close games. But then this weekend happened, and they're now in a three-way tie for first place in the National League East, with Miami and a Washington team they face starting Tuesday night.

It was hard to imagine how the Mets could keep get the kinds of results they got playing the way they did in April and May. But this is more like it.

Elsewhere in New York sports:

YANKEES

Phil Hughes showed brilliance on Sunday, throwing a complete-game four-hitter in New York's 5-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez homered. New York is just a half-game behind second-place Baltimore, and 1.5 behind A.L. East leaders Tampa Bay, heading into a three-game series against Tampa Bay at Yankee Stadium beginning Tuesday.

KNICKS

Hey, were you hoping Tyson Chandler would be resting up for next season? Because he will be the starting center for Team USA in the Olympics this cummer, now that Dwight Howard is out recovering from back surgery.

NETS

According to the Racine Journal-Times, the Nets are eager to make a large offer to free agent forward Ersan Ilyasova, who is an awfully similar player to Kris Humphries. 

SOCCER

The U.S. played Canada to a 0-0 draw that was even less compelling as the scoreline indicated. The three friendlies the U.S. played over the past nine days offered every stripe of prognosticator a lifeline: the eternal optimist (5-1 win over Scotland), the defeatist (4-1 loss to Brazil), and the concerned realist (the draw with Canada). The real team will begin to reveal itself on Friday, when the U.S. starts off its World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign against Antigua and Barbuda at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.