This offseason, the Los Angeles Dodgers decided not to renew pitcher Joe Kelly’s contract. The player became a free agent. Kelly is unlikely ever to make another appearance for the Dodgers. Still, this period in his career has left some memorable moments.
Kelly played in 115 games over three seasons for the Dodgers, and in 105.1 innings, the pitcher got a result of 3.59 ERA, reaching 121 strikeouts with 44 walks. Those numbers are much worse than career averages, but an athlete has struggled in playoff games, having an 8.44 ERA in 11.1 innings.
Injuries never allowed Kelly to reach the heights he could. Last season, a hand injury sidelined him until the end of 2021, and the Dodgers did not activate a one-year, $12 million extension, letting the 33-year-old baseball player go.
Indeed LA’s management will find a decent replacement for him, and the club will contend for the title this season. You can bet on a Dodgers win at InfernoBet bookmaker, which has a review at https://bookmaker-ratings.com/review/infernobet-bookmaker-review-rules-support-sign-up-free-bets-site/. Kelly, however, had his bright moments with the club, and fans will remember his great character and some of the performances on the field.
Joe Kelly vs. Houston Astros
On July 28, 2020, the Dodgers faced the Houston Astros for the first time since 2017, when the league caught the Astros cheating. The Houston team’s offence involved using cameras and monitors behind the panels to know how their opponents would pitch. Many believe that this allowed them to beat the Dodgers in the World Series.
After three years, Kelly decided to punish the Astros, even though he wasn’t even a Los Angeles player in 2017. Starting his inning, he threw the fourth ball at the head of Alex Bregman, but the opponent managed to dodge. After three outs, Joe confronted Carlos Correa and, heading to the bench, began to taunt Carlos with the offensive words. A verbal dispute erupted between the players, which almost turned into a conflict among the teams.
The pitcher ended up getting a suspension from MLB but gained love and respect forever from Dodgers fans.
Kelly vs. San Diego Padres
Kelly fell short against Howie Kendrick and the Washington Nationals in a crucial game in the 2019 season. Joe played just ten games in the 2020 regular season, so the club and manager expected not much of the pitcher in the 2020 postseason.
Despite that, he played a crucial role in the NLDS game against the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers led 1-0 in the series, and in-game two, Los Angeles entered the ninth inning leading 6-3. But then Kenley Jansen missed two runs, and Dave Roberts called on Kelly to stop the Padres.
Joe collided with Eric Hosmer on the fourth pitch, and after two strikes, Kelly forced his opponent to ground out, which secured the win. The result in the Padres game was a significant step for Los Angeles in their quest for the title after a 32-year drought.
Kelly in the White House
The most remarkable story outside the ballpark was Joe’s appearance in the White House. After winning the World Series in 2020, the Dodgers were invited to the White House to celebrate the victory. All the players came in business suits; the pitcher appeared at the official event in a mariachi jacket.
He had traded it a few days earlier from a member of a music group performing at a Dodgers game. Upon arriving at the White House, Kelly realized he had forgotten his suit jacket, but he had it with him and appeared in it, creating a lasting impression and giving fans fuel for memes and jokes.