Kelly And Company Escape With Game One Winner

It didn’t look good.

That moment many have feared since Joe Kelly returned to the starting rotation —  the Joe Kelly 1moment the league catches up with his magic tricks — appeared to have arrived. Too many pitches. Too many base runners. Too much adrenaline booming through his usually mellow veins.

That was the first three innings. The good news is, it takes at least nine innings to tell the whole story.

Yes, in the first three innings, Kelly struggled. A single, a hit batter, and a wild pitch in the first; another runner at second base with two outs in the second; and a double, two walks, a botched 1-2-3 double play and a base knock in the third, and the Dodgers — behind Zach Greinke — had a 2-0 lead.

But, we know how this story goes. Where Adam Wainwright is the Ace, Michael Wacha is the Boy Wonder, and Shelby Miller is the Near-Perfect Game guy, Kelly is the Escape Artist. He weaves his way into, and then out of, trouble. He ties himself in knots, bound with the chains of one of baseball’s most potent lineups. And yet, he escapes.

It baffles the minds of the sabermetricians. The numbers don’t always add up. He shouldn’t be this successful. He keeps getting lucky.

… I think he gets lucky a lot. And I have nothing against getting lucky. Continue reading

Joe Kelly, Forgotten No More

Remember when Joe Kelly was the Ferrari stuck in the garage? Without a defined role, without many opportunities. He was jumped over for spot starts by the AAA flame throwers like John Gast and Tyler Lyons. Meanwhile, Kelly sat.

Remember that?

Now, twice in the last week Kelly has been the guy. The stopper … literally. He stopped the Cardinals’ seven-game losing streak last Thursday, then last night he stopped the Dodgers’ 15-game road winning streak. And, he out-dueled one Clayton Kershaw in the process.

There was much to clap about as the Cardinals defeated the Dodgers 5-1.

There was much to clap about as the Cardinals defeated the Dodgers 5-1.

The once-forgotten son silenced the hot Dodgers bats through the first five innings, due in part to three double play balls, giving up just one run in the sixth. That run ended Kelly’s own streak of scoreless innings, but the “fill-in” starter has an 0.78 ERA over his last four starts. Not too shabby. Continue reading