The “Jamsil Jesus” who leads the LG Twins to fall baseball every year was still there in 2023.
The first Korean Series, a visit from the group’s chairman, and repeated errors by the infield didn’t deter him. He was shaky, but his quality starts (6+ innings and 3 earned runs or less) kept him on the mound in the postseason.
LG’s Casey Kelly started Game 1 of the Korean Series against KT at Jamsil Stadium on July 7 and pitched 6⅓ innings of two-run ball.
Kelly’s history is part of LG’s fall renaissance. Since Kelly donned the stripes in 2019, LG has reached the semifinals three years in a row through 2021, and last year finished second in the regular season and qualified directly for the playoffs.
In four years, Kelly has pitched 36⅓ innings in six postseason games, 바카라사이트 going 3-1 with a 2.23 ERA. Despite the weight of fall baseball, he averaged over six innings per game. It’s not that LG has been weak every fall.
However, this season was different for Kelly.
At the start of the season, he faced a 5.66 ERA in six games in April, and at one point, he was on the outs.
He settled down over the summer, posting a 2.43 ERA in 10 games from August through October. But he’s not getting the same amount of faith.
After finishing the regular season in first place on October 15, LG had three weeks of rest, during which Kelly practiced his “new weapon,” the forkball. On October 31, he put it to the test in a scrimmage against Sangsung.
The LG defense rattled her and made her laugh. But Kelly’s weight on the mound was the same as his long hair, which hasn’t changed in five years.
In the top of the first inning, KT’s first batter, Kim Sang-soo, singled, stole second, and then reached third on a throwing error by the catcher. The next batter, Hwang Jae-gyun, gave up an infield single.
However, he struck out Alford’s Byung-ho Park to end the first inning. In particular, he threw what appeared to be a ‘new weapon’ forkball against Alford.
In the top of the second inning, when LG scored two runs to tie the game, LG third baseman Moon Bo-kyung made an error on a grounder by KT leadoff hitter Jang Jang-woo. He then gave up a single to Choi Jae-dae, putting runners on first and second with no outs.
However, KT’s Moon Sang-cheol’s sacrifice bunt was short in front of the catcher and turned into a catcher-3B-1B double play. Then, Choi Jae-dae, who was playing third base, was tagged out for an unexpected triple play.
In the third inning, three infield ground balls loaded the bases. Moon Bo-kyung’s atoning diving catch stood out.
But in the fourth inning, the winds picked up again. KT’s Hwang Jae-gyun gave up back-to-back singles to Alford. He struck out Park Byung-ho to get out of the jam, but gave up the tying run to Jang Jang-woo.
Here came another bizarre situation. Hwang Jae-gyun walked and Alford was stopped at third, but the replay umpire, Oh Ji-hwan, let the ball slip out of his hands and go behind the plate.
KT scrambled for the ball, but Alford hesitated. Alford rushed home only after Kelly’s throw from behind the plate went sideways, but Austin calmly tagged down Park Dong-won’s throw to end the game.
Kelly grounded out to the next batter to end the inning. The fifth inning ended with two strikeouts and a fly out to center field.
In the sixth and seventh innings, the crazy defense of Shin Min-jae and Moon Sung-joo made Kelly smile.
One inning later, Shin Min-jae snagged Hwang Jae-gyun’s deep grounder behind second base for a circus throw to first base, and Moon Sung-joo made a knee-sliding catch of Alford’s fly ball deep to the left field fence, sending a wave of yellow through the Jamsil Stadium stands.
Kelly gave up a leadoff single to Jang Sung-woo in the top of the seventh, handing the mound over to Lee Jung-yong. Lee gave up a single to pinch-hitter Kim Min-hyuk with runners on first and second, but this time, right fielder Hong Chang-ki made a perfect throw to catch Jang Jang-woo at second base to save Kelly. KT appealed the call to video replay, but was unable to overturn the call.
6⅓ innings, 2 runs. There were crunches, there were shakes, but in the end, the ace said with a result. His fastball topped out at 148 kilometers and his pitch count was 92.