Joe Kelly wins hearts, Dodgers win game in Houston

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first_img Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco “I don’t know,” Bregman said, again. “Some words were exchanged and we went out there.”Nothing more came of the moment but perhaps eternal gratitude to Kelly from a segment of the Dodgers’ fan base and honorary membership on the 2017 NL champions.“I really don’t think that there was intent behind that. I think that those guys took a little bit of offense and even the one to Correa, that was a breaking ball that just backed up,” Roberts said. “So, obviously, the expectations going into series — I think things were kind of escalated maybe a little, I don’t know, prematurely is the word. But that’s kind of what happened.”Kelly’s inning was the high point of an outstanding effort by the Dodgers’ bullpen. Six relievers combined on 5 1/3 scoreless innings following Walker Buehler’s season debut. Buehler threw 56 pitches over 3 2/3 innings, retiring 11 of the first 12 hitters he faced (a Correa home run the only exception) before losing steam in the fourth.Correa had three hits including a double in the ninth (the only hit off the Dodgers’ bullpen Tuesday). The rest of the Astros were 1 for 27.“You know, for me, even before the game, there was kind of a quiet focus, determination in the clubhouse. It was different,” Roberts said. “And I think that obviously, it’s probably the opponent. We really wanted to play well and win a game tonight. So obviously emotions — you saw what happened in the sixth inning. But I just really liked the intent behind tonight’s game.“I want nothing more than to win a game tomorrow now.”Related Articles However, if Tuesday’s 5-2 victory was the Dodgers’ way of taking out their revenge for what they consider a theft, they did it by roughing up some guys who weren’t even in the bar when the fight started. The Dodgers scored five times in the fifth inning, doing all their damage against Astros pitchers who weren’t even in the big leagues during the 2017 season.Their pitching staff riven by injuries, the Astros used four pitchers against the Dodgers. Only one (starter Framber Valdez) touched the big leagues before this season. Two — Andre Scrubb (a former Dodgers farmhand) and Nivaldo Rodriguez (who had never pitched above Class-A before Tuesday) — were making their big-league debuts.Valdez held the Dodgers scoreless into the fifth inning but left in the early stages of a 10-batter, five-hit, two-walk inning. Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger had RBI singles in the five-run burst. Chris Taylor and Mookie Betts drew bases-loaded walks.“Those guys weren’t throwing strikes,” Roberts said. “When you’re giving us free bases, that certainly helps. We just kind of chipped away and kept stringing base hits together.”That gave the Dodgers the lead to stay and set up the sixth-inning fireworks. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start No hard feelings? Yeah, right.The Dodgers returned to Minute Maid Park for the first time since Game 5 of the 2017 World Series whose outcome they dispute. Before Tuesday’s game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts answered a question about the rematch by stating flatly that “the result of ’17 would have been different” if not for the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scam.If that wasn’t evidence enough that emotions were brought to the surface by the matchup, both benches emptied — in a sort of socially-distanced, finger-pointing kind of way — following an edgy sixth inning that ended with Joe Kelly modeling the latest in pouty lips for Carlos Correa.PreviousLos Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen, left, throws to Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel during the ninth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. The Dodgers won 5-2. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after a series of high inside pitches to Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park on July 28, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Both benches emptied after words were exchanged. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, left, yells toward Houston Astros’ Carlos Correa after the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. Both benches emptied onto the field during the exchange. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsHOUSTON, TEXAS – JULY 28: Benches empty out after Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers threw several high inside pitches to Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros, Yuli Gurriel #10 and Carlos Correa #1 in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park on July 28, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)HOUSTON, TEXAS – JULY 28: Manager Dusty Baker #12 of the Houston Astros speaks with umpires Chris Guccione (C) and Alphonso Marquez after benches emptied out in the sixth inning when Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers threw high inside pitches to Alex Bregman #2, Yuli Gurriel #10 and Carlos Correa #1 at Minute Maid Park on July 28, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)HOUSTON, TEXAS – JULY 28: Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros ducks from a high pitch by Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park on July 28, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)HOUSTON, TEXAS – JULY 28: Yuli Gurriel #10 of the Houston Astros reacts to a high inside pitch from Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park on July 28, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, center, comes over the dugout railing along with other players during an exchange with Houston Astros’ Carlos Correa (1) after the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. Both benches emptied onto the field during the exchange. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly (17) looks back at Houston Astros’ Carlos Correa (1) after the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. Both benches emptied during the exchange. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Houston Astros center fielder George Springer catches a fly ball by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, left, Justin Turner (10) and Cody Bellinger (35) celebrate after a baseball game against the Houston Astros Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. The Dodgers won 5-2. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Houston Astros’ Carlos Correa (1) celebrates with Jose Altuve (27) after hitting a home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Houston Astros’ Michael Brantley, left, scores as Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith waits for the throw during the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner hits an RBI-single against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Los Angeles Dodgers’ A.J. Pollock, left, scores as Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado drops the ball during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Umpire Chris Guccione, right, talks to Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker (12) after both benches emptied onto the field after the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Manager Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers takes the ball from Walker Buehler #21 in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on July 28, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)Corey Seager #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers forces out Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park on July 28, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger (35) and Mookie Betts (50) celebrate after a baseball game against the Houston Astros Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. The Dodgers won 5-2. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager throws to first for the out after fielding a ground ball by Houston Astros’ George Springer during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Houston Astros’ Josh Reddick yells after hitting a pop fly to Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner during the ninth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. The Dodgers won 5-2. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler throws against the Houston Astros during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen, left, throws to Houston Astros’ Yuli Gurriel during the ninth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Houston. The Dodgers won 5-2. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after a series of high inside pitches to Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park on July 28, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Both benches emptied after words were exchanged. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)NextShow Caption1 of 24Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after a series of high inside pitches to Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park on July 28, 2020 in Houston, Texas. Both benches emptied after words were exchanged. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)Expand“It’s one of those things that I pitch competitively. And with no fans here it’s easy to hear some stuff,” Kelly said after the game. “Something apparently they didn’t take too kind to. I mean, my accuracy isn’t the best. I broke my window with my newborns coming, two days before they were born.” Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies center_img Maybe the viral video of Kelly taking out a window in his house with a wild pitch during quarantine was just his way of playing the long con. He threw behind Astros hitters (Alex Bregman and Correa) twice during the sixth inning — pitches that would fit tightly in an overlay of that window-breaker, albeit with greater velocity — while walking two.“It was a ball, obviously. Wasn’t my best pitch,” Kelly said of the 96-mph fastball on a 3-and-0 pitch to Bregman. “I mean, it was ball four so I walked him. Never going to put a guy on that early in the ballgame. It’s something where I wasn’t feeling the greatest, wasn’t the most comfortable, took me a while to find my mechanics.”Bregman had little to say at the time, dropping his bat and taking his base, or later when asked if he thought Kelly was trying to hit him or send a message.“I don’t know,” Bregman said with a long pause. “I don’t know if he was or he wasn’t.”The next batter, Michael Brantley bounced a ball to the right side and tangled with Kelly when the Dodgers pitcher covered first base. Brantley rolled his ankle slightly when he stepped on Kelly’s foot. Field microphones picked up a suggestion that Kelly “Get back on the mound” punctuated by a vulgarity.Kelly was not involved in the 2017 World Series. But he was with the Boston Red Sox when they lost to the Astros in a Division Series that year and when they beat the Astros in the ALCS on their way to the 2018 World Series title.When Kelly’s work on the mound was done Tuesday — Correa flailing at a strike-three breaking ball in the dirt — he and Correa exchanged words. Astros manager Dusty Baker said Kelly had precipitated things by telling Correa, “Nice swing, (expletive).”Their teammates gathered around and umpires issued warnings to both benches. Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire last_img

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