Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Too many holes for Howell
Hitters jump on the Rays starter after jumping ahead in the count.
By EDUARDO A. ENCINA, Times staff writer
Published July 1, 2007
Cleveland's Travis Hafner sends this fifth-inning pitch out of the ballpark for his 13th homer of the season, giving the Indians a 5-0 lead.
[AP Photo/The Plain Dealer, John Kuntz]
Rays pitcher J.P. Howell walks back to the dugout after being pulled from the game after giving up a home run to Cleveland Indians' Travis Hafner in the fifth inning.
CLEVELAND - As he watched Travis Hafner's home run sail over the rightfield wall of Jacobs Field, J.P. Howell kicked the mound in frustration. One of the best power hitters in the game had just won a mind game with the Rays' starter.
That one at-bat told the story of Howell's shortest start this season as the Rays 33-46 lost their sixth straight, tying a season high, at the hands of the Indians 8-6 on Saturday night.
Hafner took a first-pitch ball, then looked at two strikes, then another ball. Four pitches into the count, he hadn't swung as Howell nibbled at the sides of the plate, waiting for Howell to make a mistake. That mistake came on pitch No. 5, a high pitch that split the plate down the middle, and Hafner sent it out of the ballpark for his 13th homer of the season, giving the Indians a 5-0 lead.
It wasn't the fifth pitch of that at-bat that did Howell in. It was the first that forced Howell to work from behind in the count, as he did all night. Out of the 22 batters the 24-year-old left-hander faced, he made only eight first-pitch strikes.
"They're just going to take and wait for a ball up and then they're going to try to drive the ball, " Howell said. "When I'm behind they're just going to say, 'Give me a ball up, man, ' and they're going to get one because I'm behind and trying to pile-drive it in the middle. That's what happens when you're behind.
"I have to tell myself, 'Look man, stop trying to strike people out and nibble, ' " he said. "Go back to getting the contact on the end of the bat and hitting the handle."
Hafner's homer was the final blow, as Howell allowed five runs over 41/3 innings, but he was hurt by a pair of two-out hits by leadoff hitter Grady Sizemore.
Sizemore's two-run single in the second put Cleveland up 2-0, and his single up the middle in the fourth gave the Indians a 4-0 lead against Howell. Josh Barfield's groundout scored a run earlier in the inning.
Because he was behind in the count so often, Howell battled a high pitch count. He had thrown 95 pitches when he left the game.
"You want to go, 'Bam, 0-1, ' and it will pretty much lock you up for the seventh, " Howell said. "If you can get ahead, you can get to the sixth and seventh, but if you're behind, you're looking at five."
Rays manager Joe Maddon saw the Cleveland hitters take a patient approach to Howell, who was making his sixth start since being recalled from Triple-A Durham.
"He's the kind of pitcher who is always going to pitch around the edges, but with people on base, they seem to be a little more patient, " Maddon said. "I would just like to see him a little more aggressive in those moments and maybe trust himself a little more."
Howell owns an ERA of 2.25 in three starts at home, but he has been a different pitcher on the road. In three starts away from the Trop, Howell's ERA is 9.21.
Cleveland starter C.C. Sabathia, who became the first 12-game winner in the majors, retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced before Raul Casanova's sacrifice fly and Dustan Mohr's run-scoring single made the score 4-2.
Ty Wigginton drove in a run in the sixth on his single to left, and Rafael Perez allowed back-to-back homers in the ninth to Casanova, a two-run shot, and Mohr, but it wasn't enough.