I am not going to lie. I would much rather start this article talking about the win last night, but alas, that is not going to happen. Instead, let's talk about Joe Kelly's return to Fenway last night and the fact that all of a sudden he is tossing out 100+ mph heat. One can only begin to imagine what kind of human-cybernetic wizardry went on up there in Lowell and down in Pawtucket for Kelly to return with a fervor only Cyborg himself could appreciate.
Kelly came on in the seventh inning when our beloved (albeit sometimes loathsome) Red Sox were already down 2-1 to the Detroit Tigers. After giving up a lead-off triple to Justin Upton off a 101 mph fastball, he was able to get Mike Aviles to flyout (of course he did), followed by a run-scoring single up the middle from James McCann. I know that this may not sound very stellar to most of you, but consider this, in his 21 pitches last night, over half were recorded as over 100 mph on the Fenway radar.
Following the game, Manager John Farrell had this to say to Ryan Hannable from WEEI regarding Kelly's outing: “He was powerful. A lot of power, a lot of velocity. Some inconsistent command getting behind in the count. 2-1 to Upton, fastball out over the plate that he’s able to drive one the other way. Still, the first look, I thought he threw enough strikes. He threw a breaking ball for strikes on occasion. First look on his part.”
Farrell continued, “I’m sure there was some adrenaline. You would hope that every guy takes the mound there is adrenaline there. I can’t say that it took him out of his game. We’re thinking in that spot he is going to give us two innings, but 20-plus pitches, not going to run him up to 40-plus if that is the possibility. I don’t think he was over-throwing to the point he was completely losing the strike zone.”
This was Kelly's first ever relief appearance with the Red Sox and with Koji Uehara's injury, there is more possible work for Kelly in the pen, particularly in the sixth and seventh innings to set up BradZiegler and Craig Kimbrel to close out games.
So, what are your thoughts on Joe Kelly's new found power? Was he bitten by a radioactive spider? Exposed to Gamma radiation? Or is he a promising athlete who had his body destroyed by an accident and his father replaced most of his body with machine parts? Whatever your theory is, we here at Red Sox Life would love to hear it.
Welcome back, Junior and thanks for making me one of the few Red Sox fans you haven't blocked on Twitter...at least not yet anyway.