Joe Kelly saved his sharpest outing of the 2018 Major League Baseball season for the biggest stage.
Kelly, who dealt with quite a bit of struggles in the middle of the season, became one of the Boston Red Sox’s most valuable assets out of the bullpen in the playoffs.
The right-hander was at his best in Game 5 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. After David Price issued a walk to lead off the eighth inning, Kelly came on in relief of the left-hander and proceeded to strike out the side in overpowering fashion. The flamethrower understandably was fired up following his dominant outing, manifested by emphatic screams as he walked off the Dodger Stadium mound.
During a recent appearance on Rob Bradford’s “Bradfo Show” podcast, Kelly relived his final appearance as a Red Sox and explained why he was so animated.
“It’s a crazy moment,” Kelly said. “Going into that situation, warming up on the mound, you know what’s at stake. We win, we win the World Series. Coming into a game like that and being able to do what I did, I just wanted to make no one score and get out of the game with us winning the World Series. You know, ground ball, double play, whatever. But to be able to actually dominate and be able to win the game, that’s where the emotion comes from. There’s no pre-planning. It’s like, ‘Holy s–t. I just completely mowed through these hitters in the World Series for a (series)-clinching game.’ Now we have a chance to win.”
Kelly’s impressive postseason stretch paved the way for a big payday, as he agreed to a three-year, $25 million deal with the Dodgers on Wednesday. And after being outclassed by Kelly in the Fall Classic, Los Angeles surely must be happy to have him on its side.
Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports
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