Boston Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly has obtained noteworthy success out of the bullpen for Boston early.
Perhaps it was his struggles to establish a place in Boston’s pitching roster shortly after being acquired. Kelly soon found himself in the minors making rehab assignments. Those days, however, are far behind Kelly and Boston fans thanks to his start to 2018.
To say that Joe Kelly has been dominant would be an understatement.
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Since opening day, Kelly has allowed just one earned run through 24.1 innings. The other 4 of Kelly’s 5 runs allowed this year came on opening day in Tampa back in March. Kelly quickly regrouped and instantly became a reliable power arm to accompany closer Craig Kimbrel in the Red Sox bullpen.
An 1.73 ERA in 26.0 innings pitched is the dominant stat-line that 5th-year Red Sox righty Joe Kelly has racked up thus far for Boston. It’s been just 25 games on the mound at this point, however Kelly has appeared to have found his stride. Instantly when thinking of Boston’s bullpen the one name coming to mind is Craig Kimbrel, however Kelly should receive recognition for more than just leading the charge through a Yankees-Red Sox brawl in early April.
A man with some personality
Perhaps there is a direct correlation between Kelly’s emergence of personality and leadership that has led to said success early.
We first saw this prior to first pitch of the 2018 Red Sox season. Kelly revealed to his team first hand as reporter Jim Buchanan. This debut appearance, which appeared to throw all Boston Red Sox personal in a state of confusion, soon followed with more.
From interviews with Chris Sale to getting chased down by Red Sox security, Kelly’s antics soon provided Boston’s squad with a clubhouse personality. Something we’ve seen from recent Boston Red Sox World Series teams.
In 2004, Kevin Millar with his infamous “don’t let us win today” quote. In 2007, Johnathan Papelbon with his many post-game media antics, which accompanied a very successful season, crucial to the outcome of where the Sox finished.
Then in 2013 with David Ortiz’ pre-game speech following the unforgettable and tragic Boston Marathon Bombing which led to the bound of the bearded brothers. Perhaps it’s Joe Kelly who will lead this team and help establish their personality.
Kelly also managed to gain an increase of respect from Red Sox fans on an April 12th night.
After a questionable over-slide that didn’t sit well with Boston utility man Brock Holt, it was Joe Kelly who stepped up out of the bullpen. Two at-bats later Kelly drilled Yankees’ Tyler Austin with a fastball which led a classic Yankees-Red Sox brawl.
Soon the historic rivalry met again, this time at Yankee Stadium. Joe Kelly was prepared for the much expected crowd boos stating “it’ll be fun”.
Seems like no-matter what you throw at the power armed righty, Kelly cannot be fazed . Whatever the secret has been to a phenomenal start to Kelly’s first-half 2018 season, Kelly has been a pivotal piece to Boston’s success and deserves just as much credit as anyone on the roster.