Joe Kelly decided to try something new in his first start last weekend. It’s hard to deny the results.
The Boston Red Sox pitcher was dominant through seven innings against the New York Yankees last Saturday, allowing just one run on one hit while striking out eight. So what was his secret? The introduction of a slider.
According to WEEI’s Rob Bradford, Kelly hadn’t used a slider since his days as a closer in college but threw the pitch 18 times against the Yankees. Kelly’s slider was devastatingly effective, hitting the strike zone 12 times and generating 11 swings and misses.
The cat may be out of the bag on Kelly’s new weapon, but the Sox still are hoping he can continue that effectiveness Friday night in his second start against the Baltimore Orioles.
Before Friday’s contest, former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield observed that Kelly’s willingness to try something new certainly is a good sign.
“It shows he’s got determination to be the best that he can be,” Wakefield said. “For myself, I always wanted to try to be better, and Joe Kelly is trying to be better. He’s got the velocity … But he’s adding to his repertoire, which makes him even more dangerous.”
Hear more on Kelly in the video above.
Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images
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