HOUSTON – The Houston Astros have a new villain!
Los Angeles Dodgers flamethrowing relief pitcher Joe Kelly drew the ire of Houston after his behavior in the Dodgers’ 5-2 victory Tuesday. Kelly threw high-and-tight pitches to Astros stars Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa in the sixth inning. After striking out Correa, Kelly and Correa exchanged a series of heated comments, which resulted in the emptying of both benches.
This match-up represented the first time the two clubs faced each other since the Astros was ousted for the sign-stealing scheme in the 2017 World Series, which the Astros faced the Dodgers.
Major League Baseball announced Wednesday that Kelly was handed an eight-game suspension for his actions. While Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has received a one-game suspension as a result of Kelly’s actions. Astros manager Dusty Baker was also fined as part of the incident.
Who is Joe Kelly?
Kelly came up from the St. Louis Cardinals as a starting pitcher, eventually pitching in the 2013 World Series against the Boston Red Sox. He was known for his viral videos of dancing in the outfield and interviewing St. Louis rapper Nelly. After battling some injuries in 2014, the Cardinals traded Kelly to the Red Sox at the deadline.
Kelly reinvented himself as a reliever, hitting 102 MPH with his fastball in 2017, after previously averaging around 96 MPH with his heater. Kelly helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2018, before joining the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2019. Kelly struggled with the Dodgers in 2019 as a reliever.
Going into this season, the Astros have a target on their backs.
However, during the sixth inning, the famously wild Kelly threw a 3-0 pitch behind Alex Bregman.
3-0 pitch from Joe Kelly ends up going behind Alex Bregman. pic.twitter.com/q6P8CD5oqj— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 29, 2020
After walking Bregman, Kelly said something to Michael Brantley after a groundout, to which Dusty Baker yelled “just get on the mound little f-----” from the dugout.
Next, after walking Yuli Gurriel, Kelly again threw near Carlos Correa before striking Correa out.
Here’s what happened after: