Sunday, July 19, 2009

Second-Half Stud

Second-Half Stud

With the Mets in must-win mode throughout the rest of the season and despite all the negatives they can see looking in the mirror, there is one thing that they can rest their head upon; that is the history of Johan Santana.

While Johan is known across the league as one of the games best pitchers, his success in the first half of his baseball seasons are only previews to how outstanding he really is, as he shows in the second-half of his seasons. With his ERA at 2.70 and winning percentage at .776, highest among active pitchers, his past success should hopefully help his struggling ball club.

Posting a 60-17 record after the All-Star break (including Saturday's win), Santana's past post-All-Star break success is something manager Jerry Manuel and the rest of the organization hopes won't stop anytime soon. With wins needing to come as often as possible, a win every time their ace takes the mound may seam a lot to ask for, but it's a possibility relating to his past success.

During his first full season with New York in 2008, Santana was phenomenal during his games after the All-Star break. He won eight of his 15 starts and his team won four of his seven no-decisions. Oh, and by the way, Santana did not loose one game in the second half of last year.

The question everyone is asking is 'Can he repeat his second-half dominance?'. Well, he pitched seven dominant innings against the Braves on Saturday night to pick up his 11th win on the year during his first start after the break, so that is a good sign. Prior to the All-Star break, he had split decisions, getting blown out by the Phillies and then pitching seven scoreless-innings against the Dodgers at Citi Field a week later.

The All-Star break has passed now, and Johan Santana has one under his belt already, 1-0. The Mets are praying that history will repeat itself, and their main man will help them in their chase of the Phillies or the N.L. Wildcard.

Same old, Same Old: Another dominant outing from Johan Santan

Another Dominant Outing from Santana

With runs seemingly coming as often as a visible shooting star, the Mets seamed to be in the same situation Saturday afternoon that they always seam to be in when ace-pitcher Johan Santana takes the mound.

On Saturday, however, the Mets (43-47) finally were able to knock a few runs across the board to give Johan a little bit more breathing room then he is used to, by beating the Atlanta Braves 5-1 in Atlanta. The win marks Santana's 11th on the season in 18 outings.

Despite being 0-4 in his last six starts against the Braves, Santana was able to hit his spots and keep the Braves off the board throughout his seven-innings in which he allowed five hits while also striking-out five. Holding a 2-0 lead as he left the game after the seventh, the bullpen made their starter sweat it, as usual, when Chipper Jones blasted a solo-home run to start the eighth of Pedro Feliciano. Three relief pitchers and three batters later, Brian Stokes came back from a 3-1 hole to strike-out pinch-hitter Greg Norton with the bases juiced to end the inning with the Mets ahead 2-1.

The Mets iced the game in the ninth by scoring three runs. Yes, the New York Mets scored three runs in the ninth inning to win the game. Angel Pagon hit a triple to drive in the first run and former Brave Jeff Francoeur knocked his second hit against his ex-team to drive in the second. Then Luis Castillo completed a suicide squeeze bunt to drive in the third and final run of the inning.

Closer Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth-inning in a no-save situation to seal the deal for the Mets who picked up just their sixth win in 19 games. Hopefully the win will spark a fire and set the Mets on a new path, a winning path, for the second half of the baseball season.

Braves' manager Bobby Cox said of Santana, "When you face a guy like Santana, you have to do everything you can to get a runner on. He was good today. Today goes to Santana for me."

Bits and pieces, small plays and little things all put together helped the struggling Mets pick up a win against their N.L. East rivals tonight. Solid pitching, clutch hits, small rallies and the knock-out blow in the ninth all tallied together were enough to knock off Atlanta (45-46).

"We do it all together. We did everything it takes. When everyone does his job, the result is very good.", Santana said of his team after the game.

Jerry Manuel, the Mets' manager, was also a happy fellow following Saturday's win.

"It's gratifying to put together runs in that way," he said. "We did a lot of things like that today."

A satisfied manager and ace-pitcher are good things to hear from a ball club desperately in need of something good. The season is still young, and every win now till September is key if the Mets want to be playing baseball in October and November.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

David Lee: Do the New York Knicks Really Need Him?

By Vinny Yeager

The New York Knicks and team president Donnie Walsh are trying to figure out what to do with free agent forward David Lee.

Walsh wants to re sign Lee, but others teams are giving Lee a lot of interest and the Knicks might not be able to compete with those offers. Lee is asking for a good amount of money to play for, and New York might not be able to afford him since they want to make sure they stay under the salary cap for the 2010 season.

Yet, the true question may be, do the Knicks really need Lee to be able to succeed this season and also in the future?

Head coach Mike D'Antoni's offensive system requires all players, including the big men, to run up and down the floor at an up tempo pace. Lee fits that role nicely, but when it comes to the defensive end, he tends to struggle.

Due to the lack of a dominate center on the roster last season, Lee had to fill that role for New York, and it was noticeable that he was playing out of position. He is a true power forward, and when the Knicks would take on a team with a powerful center, he struggled highly.

Although he was the heart and soul of the team, and a fan favorite for the past couple of seasons, the Knicks may be better off going in a different direction with Lee.

New York drafted Arizona forward Jordan Hill in last months draft and also traded for 7'0'' center Darko Milicic, so it means New York is getting stronger in that area.

There have also been reports that Eddy Curry has gotten into much better shape this offseason, and if he can get back to his old form, a long side of Hill, Milicic, and current Knick center Jared Jeffries, New York might not need Lee to stay around.

Lee has been getting a lot of interest from the Portland Trail Blazers, who have lost out on some big name free agents, including Hedo Turkoglu, who decided too go to the Toronto Raptors.

Resigning Lee would be good for the Knicks, but if the two parties don't come to a deal, New York should not be heart broken if he lands somewhere else.

*Originally published by myself on

Friday, July 17, 2009



Welcome all to Orange and Blue Media! This blog is dedicated to covering all news, information, and much more regarding the New York Mets and New York Knicks. This blog was created by two high school seniors, John Zimmerman and Vincent Yeager, who share a love for writing. This blog will include game previews and recaps, game day analysis, stats and scores, as well as look-backs at previews teams and games.

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