What did Joe Kelly say about playing Houston Astros in front of fans? The Dodgers take on the Astros next week in front of a packed out Minute Maid Park. The matches will see the return of Joe Kelly after his suspension last year following an incident with Astros’ Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa. Here’s what Kelly said about returning to Houston.
Joe Kelly’s history with the Astros
The intense history between the Dodgers and Astros is obvious with the Astros winning the 2017 World Series over the Dodgers while cheating.
Although Kelly wasn’t on that Astros teams, he was on a Red Sox team that lost to the Astros in the first round of that year’s postseason, and there’s still some hostility over the scandal.
An investigation by MLB confirmed reports that the Astros utilised an elaborate sign-stealing method that included banging on a trash can to notify hitters of upcoming pitches during home games.
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At the time, the Houston players received immunity from discipline in return for cooperating with MLB’s investigation, but Kelly wasn’t impressed with their willingness to sacrifice the coaches and team executives in order to save themselves.
He told “The Big Swing” podcast:
“The people who took the fall for what happened is nonsense.”
“Joe Kelly Fight club”
In 2018, during a Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees game, Kelly initiated a brawl.
The brawl began when Kelly threw inside towards Yankees hitter Tyler Austin on one pitch, and two pitches later drilled Austin with a 97-mph fastball.
Austin yelled and angrily threw his bat to the ground. Austin took several steps toward the mound, and it all kicked off.
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Coaches, and players began pushing and shoving and Austin was punched several times by Kelly, leaving him with a fat lip.
Fans named the brawl “Joe Kelly Fight club” and you can even buy Joe Kelly Fight Club t-shirts.
Joe Kelly’s incident with Astros’ Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa
Then there was the incident where Joe Kelly was suspended for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters.
Kelly was originally banned for eight games by Major League Baseball in July 2020, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.
However, the suspension was later reduced to five games.
After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop, prompting both benches to clear.
Kelly later denied any intent with his pitches saying, “My accuracy isn’t the best.
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Joe Kelly’s return to Houston
Next week, beginning 25 May, the Dodgers take on the Astros in a two-game set.
The Astros recently announced that they are increasing to max capacity for fans at Minute Maid Park when the Dodgers come to town, and the atmosphere is set to be intense.
Not that Joe Kelly minds, of course, who seems to be relishing the prospect of playing in front of a packed out Astros crowd.
Kelly said if a fan throws a beer at him he’s going to throw it back.
There’s going to be fireworks alright.