Joe Kelly won the hearts of Dodgers fans on Tuesday for his actions against the Houston Astros.
After it seemed like the Los Angeles Dodgers would let the moment pass without seeking retribution against the Houston Astros for stealing a world championship from them in 2017, Joe Kelly took the mound and threw a hand grenade into the mix.
The veteran reliever, who was a member of the Red Sox when the Astros beat the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series, threw a pitch high and wide, behind Alex Bregman’s head in Tuesday’s game between the bitter rivals.
Asked about the pitch after the game, Kelly played it cool.
"“It was a ball obviously,” Kelly told reporters via Zoom. “It wasn’t my best pitch. It was ball four. Never gonna put a guy on when leading the game.”"
The fireworks really got started after Kelly struck out Carlos Correa to end the 6th inning. Kelly was seen mocking the Astros’ shortstop, offering some choice words that led to both benches clearing onto the field.
Astros manager Dusty Baker took exception to what the Dodgers reliever had to say.
"“What really enraged everybody was what [Joe Kelly] told Carlos [Correa] when he struck him out: Nice swing b*tch,” Baker told reporters after the game."
Both benches cleared after Joe Kelly struck out Carlos Correa.
It was a pretty tame event once both teams met each other a few steps from the Dodgers dugout. Perhaps social distancing protocols kept the two sides from jumping into a full-out brawl, which is good for major league baseball.
The Dodgers scored five runs in the fifth inning to beat the Astros 5-2 on Tuesday. But all anyone was talking about after the game was Joe Kelly’s performance on the mound.
Kelly is no stranger to cheating scandals as he was part of the Boston Red Sox team that was caught stealing signs during the regular season leading up to the 2018 World Series when they beat the Dodgers.
However, baseball fans will now remember him for sending the first message of dissatisfaction toward the Astros for using trash cans to steal signs for much of the 2017 and 2018 seasons.