Joe Kelly is the Dodgers’ hero for hitting the trash Astros

Thanks Joe Kelly.

Thank you for hitting the Houston Astros trash can hard.

Thank you for making sure the Dodgers are not cheated again.

Bless you, Joe Kelly, for a fearless, vindictive, and incredibly unrated score that will live forever in Dodger tradition.

In their first game at Houston’s Minute Maid Park since their 2017 World Series championship was stolen from them here, the Dodgers let bottled emotions finally explode through Kelly’s wild right hand and mocking expressions.

Not only did he defend an injured clubhouse, he spoke for an aggrieved Dodger nation, and it was a sight to see. The Dodgers spent the first five innings carefully controlling their anger as their fans surely looked on in frustration, then Kelly stepped on the mound in the sixth and let it all out. The Dodgers won the game 5-2, but Kelly owned the night.

He downed a batter, shook another batter in a game of stares, used pickoff pitches to continually hit a base runner on the ground, glared at another base runner, and finally came out of the field yelling at the Astros. as she pressed her face against a crying, pouting baby.

The banks were emptied, and Dodgers fans’ new respect for previously maligned Kelly will spill over.

On social media, some suggested they give him a Mookie Betts contract. Others suggested that they build a statue for him. Don’t laugh. He was that big.

For a moment, a thoughtful team that is sometimes too reserved for their own good woke up to a rare and honest emotion. For one night, in a club that thrives on teamwork, there was no better teammate.

There was an out in the sixth inning with the Dodgers leading 5-2 when the payoff began. Interestingly, Kelly was not one of 10 active Dodgers who were part of the wronged team of the 2017 World Series. It was not in that group that this winter’s Major League Baseball investigation concluded that he was duped into an elaborate robbery plot. Signboard involving stolen receiver signs and possibly hitting trash cans and whistles. He is not one of the Dodger leaders who was so outrageously angry this spring when the individual Astros were not punished and their stolen title was not vacated.

He is not Cody Bellinger, who had said, “Everyone knows that the ring was stolen from us.”

It is not Justin Turner, who had said: “It is quite evident to me that he did not win, and it is not something that a banner should be hung in his stadium, a trophy should be placed.”

By virtue of her novelty, Kelly was always out of that controversy. Obviously it didn’t matter. After a difficult debut season in Los Angeles last summer, Kelly is a Dodger now.

One out, Alex Bregman hitting, counts 3 and 0 … and Kelly tossed the ball over his head for the walk. It just slipped, right? Right.

What happened next was perhaps a clearer window on Kelly’s intentions when he pitched first base three times in a row to force Bregman on three straight, dusty dives, though there was little chance he was stealing.

The next hitter, Michael Brantley, outplayed a potential double-play player at first and appeared to hit Kelly in the process. The launcher glared at him. Someone from the unstable Astros shelters yelled, “Just get on the mound!” with an expletive.

Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly yells at Carlos Correa of ​​the Houston Astros.

Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly yells at Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa after the sixth inning of the Dodgers’ 5-2 victory Tuesday.

(David J. Phillip / Associated Press)

Kelly went back to the mound, okay. She walked with Yuli Gurriel on four pitches that included one inside, then sailed her next shot over Carlos Correa’s head. Of all the Astros’ regrettable attempts at apology in the wake of the cartel theft scandal, those of Bregman and Correa were the worst.

Correa looked at Kelly as if he couldn’t believe the calm Dodgers showed this kind of anger, and dodged another ball inside. Then, with runners in second and third place, Correa knocked everyone out with a quick hit on another ball outside the strike zone.

When Correa apparently walked away complaining, Kelly emerged from the mound while imitating a crying baby. She yelled something at Correa before entering the shelter shouting: “Shut up …!”

In fact, Kelly silenced the Astros. They collected but one hit in the last three innings against three other Dodgers relievers. Not that manager Dave Roberts can recognize Kelly’s inspiration, of course. No one in baseball ever admits this kind of thing.

“I think that is Joe’s story to tell,” Roberts said at a Zoom conference afterward. “I know that today he had good things, he lost a little control, he reigned again; that’s good to see. “

And what exactly did Roberts see? Nothing, nothing at all.

“I really don’t know … he lost a fastball … those guys were offended a little bit … expectations going into this series, things got a little bit more intense … that’s what happened.”

Kelly then told her story, during which she reminded everyone of the infamous video from the backyard this summer in which she released a tone so wild it broke a window.

“My precision is not the best,” he said. “I broke the window with the arrival of my newborns, two days before they were born.”

His comments on specific actions contained the same shrugs.

On the field for Bregman: “It was a ball obviously … it wasn’t my best shot.”

On the pitch to Correa: “I think he was not too nice with a curved ball … he is what he is … he threw competitively … something that apparently was not too kind.”

Dusty Baker, the Astros’ manager, said Kelly pitched “dirty” and said he had no doubt it was revenge.

“The balls sometimes get away, but not many in the big leagues. … A 3-0 fastball over a man’s head, now you’re flirting with finishing his career, “Baker said.” What bothered me was that the umpires warned us. … Why don’t you warn him? … He was the one who started this disaster in the first place. “

Baker actually sounded surprised that someone could hinder his cheats, saying that this is the first time in this newly started season that they have seen such internal releases.

“This is the first time. They said they warned everyone from the beginning. This is the first time it has happened,” he said.

Maybe it was the first time anyone saw those mocking baby faces coming out of an adult pitcher while Kelly looked at Correa, and what exactly was that about?

“I think my expression was what I interpreted in my head what he said,” Kelly said.

Correa was complaining. Good for Kelly. The Astros spent the whole winter whining. Good for Kelly.

The Astros are breaking free during this shortened season because there will be no fans to boo, boo, and hit the trash cans.

The Astros will not play in front of a Southern California crowd that was ready to unleash their deep and abiding anger on the team that stole what would have been the Dodgers’ first World Series championship in 29 years.

The Astros could almost be lulled this summer to think that everyone is going to forget.

Thanks Joe Kelly.