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  • Season Review 2020: Joe Kelly

  • Randi

    January 4, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    Joe Kelly only pitched in 12 games this season due to right shoulder inflammation that kept him out for about a month. Let’s also not forget his ridiculous five-game suspension for throwing behind Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa. Kelly may not have had any big moments that affected any particular game, but that moment will forever earn him a spot in Dodger fans’ hearts. It also earned him a mural on Floyd’s 99 Barbershop in Los Angeles thanks to artist Jonas Never. 

    Over 10 innings this season, Kelly had an ERA of 1.80 with 9 strikeouts while walking 7. His 8.10 K/9 (Strikeouts per 9 innings) was lower this season than last and tied for his lowest since 2017. ERA only means so much when you’re a relief pitcher as there are plenty of times we see guys from the bullpen come in with runners on base already. This season Kelly inherited three runners on base when he came into pitch. He only allowed one to score. 

    Control has been an issue for Kelly as a Dodger since day one, and it didn’t change at all in 2020. His BB/9 (Base on Balls per 9 innings) got worse this season at 6.3 compared to last year’s 3.9. As I mentioned above though, he was dealing with right shoulder inflammation, and we aren’t sure how much that was bothering him pre-IL stint and post-IL stint.

    During the playoffs, Kelly didn’t see much time as he only pitched in five games combining for 3.2 innings with an ERA of 2.45. As for inherited runners in the postseason, Kelly was able to strand both runners that were on base when he came into pitch. But, in Game 2 of the NLDS, it got too close for comfort. After Jansen gave up two runs to allow the Padres to bring the game within one, Kelly comes into finish off the game with one runner on and Tatis at the plate who he walks to put the tying run on second base. He then walked Machado to load the bases. But, with the bases loaded and two outs left in the game, Kelly is able to get Hosmer to hit an easy ground ball to Kiké to end the game. It wasn’t pretty, but he got the job done in a huge moment for the team. After that game, Kelly didn’t walk another hitter for the rest of the playoffs and only gave up one earned run. 

    Kelly will be 33 in 2021 and will be making $8.5 million. He will become a free agent after the 2021 season. 


    Joe Kelly 2020 Highlights

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