Dodgers News: Marcus Stroman, Kenyan Middleton Among Current & Former MLB Players Come To Joe Kelly’s Defense
Joe Kelly
Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ two-game series against the Houston Astros kicked off with a bang on Tuesday night as benches cleared after Joe Kelly struck out Carlos Correa to end the sixth inning.

Kelly threw a fastball above Alex Bregman’s head on a 3-0 pitch earlier in the inning, and then a pair of breaking balls came close to hitting Correa before he struck out. Kelly and Correa exchanged some words, and while benches cleared, nothing escalated and the Dodgers went on to win the game, 5-2.

While Kelly did not hit any batters and wasn’t even ejected from the game, Major League Baseball came down hard on him, suspending the right-hander eight games for the incident. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was also suspended for a game, while Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined.

It’s no secret that players all across the league, not just the Dodgers, aren’t fans of the Astros after they were found guilty of electronic sign-stealing during their 2017 World Series run in which they defeated L.A.

Because of that, it was not surprising to see players from other teams such as New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman, Los Angeles Angels reliever Kenyan Middleton and retired MLB pitchers Jered Weaver and Phil Hughes coming to Kelly’s defense on social media.

Kelly appealed his suspension so was available for the Dodgers’ series finale against the Astros, while Roberts served his so bench coach Bob Geren managed the team.

Kelly denies throwing at Astros on purpose

While the league didn’t think so, Kelly actually denied that he threw at the Astros with any intent to hit them.

“It was a ball, obviously. Wasn’t my best pitch. It was ball four, walked him, and it’s never good to put a guy on when you’re late in the game,” Kelly said after the game when asked if he was attempting to send any sort of message.

“I wasn’t feeling the greatest or most comfortable. It took me a while to hone in on my mechanics.”

Everyone who has watched Kelly pitch knows he is a bit erratic, even throwing a ball through his own window when the league was on a break due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Considering hit didn’t hit anyone and no one was hurt, it will be interesting to see if the league shortens his suspension on his appeal. It is clear they wanted to make an example of him though, so it would be surprising to see that happen.

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