Former KBO player Merrill Kelly, 35, of the Arizona Diamondbacks, became the winning pitcher in his Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series (WS) debut in Game 7.
Kelly started Game 2 of the 2023 MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, U.S., on Monday (Sept. 29) and pitched seven innings of three-hit, one-run ball to lead Arizona to a 9-1 victory. He dominated the Texas lineup, striking out the most batters (nine) in his four postseason (PS) appearances this year.
Kelly is having a hot fall. He won three PS starts, including Game 1 of the National League Division Series (DS-5) against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 8 (six and one-third scoreless innings) and Game 6 of the Championship Series (CS-7) against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sept. 24 (five scoreless innings). He lowered his ERA from 2.65 to 2.25.
His outing against Philadelphia on April 24 was the first of many in which Arizona rallied from a three-game deficit to win two games. It happened again today. After giving up a tying run in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 1 on the 28th, the A’s lost 5-6 in extra innings, but Kelly pitched a gem in Game 2 to turn the series around once again. Kelly became the first starting pitcher to go seven or more innings in a World Series game since former Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg, who went eight and one-third innings against the Houston Astros in Game 6 of the 2019 WS.
Kelly is a pitcher who played for the SK Wyverns (now the SSG Landers) from 2015 to 2018. After developing his skills in the KBO, he was recruited by MLB Arizona and became the team’s main starter.
With his performance, Kelly became the first player in history to pitch a winning game in both the Korean Series (KS) and World Series (WS). He previously earned the win in Game 3 of the 2018 Korean Series, pitching seven innings of two-run ball. The “Korean Monster” pitched in the 2006 KS against the Samsung Lions as a member of the Hanwha Eagles in the KBO, and in the 2018 WS Game 2 against the Boston Red Sox as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the MLB, but neither of them were victorious.
After retiring three straight batters in the bottom of the first through third innings, Kelly gave up a leadoff single to Evan Carter in the top of the fourth after the bases were loaded, but he retired the next batter, Adolis Garcia, to keep the game scoreless. In the bottom of the fifth, with the score 2-0, he gave up a solo home run to leadoff hitter Mitch Garber, but didn’t allow another run. In the sixth, he struck out Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, and the Texas infielders in succession. 메이저사이트
Arizona made it 4-1 in the top of the seventh on RBI singles by Evan Longoria and Corbin Carroll. Kelly got the job done by striking out the side in order in the seventh. His leadoff battle with Garcia, who hit a game-tying homer in Game 1, was the highlight. Kelly induced a foul with a five-pitch body (right-handed) curveball. Nose low enough for the batter to fall over after swinging.