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Game 157 Open Thread- Royals (54-102) at Twins (78-78)

After one of the strangest Royal victories of 2005, the Kansas City Dumb-Bells turn to Runelvys Hernandez (8-12, 5.40 ERA) and his golden arm in search of a third straight victory.

Actually, the last few days have been strange, with the sunlight-induced miracle win over Cleveland, followed by last night's half-no-hitter thrown by J.P. Howell who was then lifted by Buddisimo Bell.

The Associated Press reported the following exchange:

``It was definitely a quick plea,'' said Howell, laughing about his conversation with manager Buddy Bell. ``I argued for about two seconds and then he told me to sit down.

``He's scary, man,'' Howell added. ``He said, 'If you didn't throw 70 pitches in the first three innings I'd let you go out.'''

No-hitters are strange. If a long-reliver comes in and throws 4 hitless innings to end a 10-3 game, no one cares, but if you reverse the situation...

Wasn't there a better solution here? Actually, Bell was in a tough spot. Say Howell pitched a hitless 6th, and gets to 120 pitches, do you send him out for the 7th? What if he's at 130 after 7, do you send him out for the 8th?

Being a Royal, Bell made the safe choice. He avoided a larger controversy by pulling Howell before it could become a "big deal", but also before Howell could get into the red-zone in terms of pitch-count. I'm not sure Bell wasn't motivated by the public relations angle a little more than he let on, but on the whole, who cares?

Just a meaningless game between two bad teams.

Santana goes tonight for the Twins... now speaking of no-hitters...