Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly gets things heated against the Houston Astros.
While Joe Kelly wasn’t part of the Los Angeles Dodgers team who lost to the sign-stealing Astros in the 2017 World Series, he amazingly channeled the frustration of Dodgers Nation in facing Houston on Tuesday.
With the count 3-0 on slugger Alex Bregman, Kelly either lost a pitch, or intentionally threw it behind Bregman to send a message.
The pitch was a 96 MPH fastball that ended juuuuuuust a bit inside.
The drama wouldn’t stop there. Michael Brantley came to the plate next and grounded into a force out where he seemed to purposefully step on Kelly’s foot as the reliever covered first base.
Someone in Minute Maid Park could be heard yelling choice words at the Dodgers pitcher to get back to the mound following the play.
After Kelly worked himself out of trouble in the sixth inning, he was recorded making mocking gestures towards Carlos Correa and the Astros, leading to a socially distanced, bench-clearing confrontation. No punches or shoves were thrown, but tensions were high.
The memes from this clip will keep Dodger fans occupied for months.
While Kelly wasn’t involved in the 2017 World Series, he was part of the Red Sox team who lost in the ALDS to the Astros that season, as was Mookie Betts. Everyone in baseball has a reason to clap back at the Astros.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters via Zoom before the game that he didn’t believe his pitchers would look to throw at the Astros hitters since the team was focused on winning the game.
Obviously, Kelly didn’t get the memo.
The veteran pitcher was a member of the Boston Red Sox team that beat the Dodgers in the 2018 World Series. While there was no evidence that the Sox cheated in the playoffs that year, the club did come under investigation for stealing signs during the regular season.
After scoring only one run in their previous 13 innings dating back to Sunday, the Dodgers broke loose in the fifth inning against the Astros. There were no long home runs or highlight reel plays, just hit, after hit, after hit, as the Dodgers kept moving station to station in giving themselves a 5-2 lead.