Joe Kelly is insistent that a few pitches just got away from him Tuesday night, but Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker isn’t buying that.
The Los Angeles Dodgers reliever threw a number of erratic pitches in the sixth inning, hitting Alex Bregman after throwing pitches at the third baseman, as well as shortstop Carlos Correa.
But he ended up striking out Correa to end the inning, and as he strolled off the field, Kelly could be seeing taunting Correa, which ultimately led to the benches clearing.
After the game, Astros manager Dusty Baker expressed discontent with Kelly, and in doing so revealed the comment the righty made that set everyone off.
“Balls get away sometimes, but not that many in the big leagues,” Baker said, via The Athletic. “And when you throw a 3-0 fastball over a guy’s head, now you’re flirting with ending his career. And then a couple other guys, balls were close.
“And then, what really enraged everybody is when he told Carlos when he struck him out, he told him, ‘Nice swing (expletive).’ What are you supposed to do there? And then what upset me is that the umpires warned us. Why don’t you warn him? He’s the one throwing the ball, and he’s the one that started this mess in the first place.
“So I didn’t like it at all.”
Of course, Kelly has a bit of a history with this. While with the Boston Red Sox in 2018, he was the one that threw at then-New York Yankee Tyler Austin, which led to a bench-clearing brawl.