Howell (0-0, 0.00)
Halsey (4-3, 3.48)
I'm glad I was at work for last night's game, and so could only sneak irregular peeks at the GameCast, thereby dampening the emotional roller-coaster. I believe it wasn't on TV either, a wise decision by the authorities in hindsight, as that performance would have provoked a sharp spike in domestic violence and animal abuse rates in the Valley.
But - and I have to keep reminding myself of this - we won the game, so start afresh today, only 2 1/2 games back of the Padres, who are facing the somewhat tougher White Sox this series. Plus, we get to beat up on a rookie today.
And not just a rookie: J.P. Howell is making his major-league debut. Hell, he was drafted in 2004 - the only Royal to hit the majors faster was Bo Jackson. He has one Triple-A start to his credit, where he allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings. That dripping sound you hear, is the G-Force, drooling. But as a caution, the last time we faced a debutant, LA's Thompson on May 28, we only got two hits in his five innings.
Oddly, Howell was a room-mate of Brad Halsey's at the University of Texas, and that's who he's going up against today. The wheels somewhat fell off the Halsey cavalcade last start, with six earned runs and nine hits over six innings, so this one will test his resilience and much-lauded poise. Regardless, no matter what the score is, I don't think I'll regard this one as over until the very last out, in the very last innings...