The Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros met for a game last night (July 28th) for the first time since the cheating scandal has come to fruition. There was some high tension in the game, and Joe Kelly set things ablaze during his outing. A brawl was incited, a somewhat socially distanced brawl that is, leaving Joe Kelly and Dave Roberts suspended.
Major League Baseball has announced that Kelly will receive an eight-game suspension, and Roberts will receive just one game. Kelly’s suspension is quite harsh, considering it would equate to 22 total games in a regular-season, which is more than any 2017 Astros player has received that is still playing in today’s game.
Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly has been suspended eight games. In announcing it, MLB referred to Kelly’s past history with intentional throwing, the fastball that buzzed Alex Bregman and his taunting of Carlos Correa.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 29, 2020
Joe Kelly and Dave Roberts suspended for Dodgers-Astros incident: pic.twitter.com/USYI2OxZKk
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 29, 2020
This all started when reliever, Kelly, seemingly had “control” issues, which were viewed as “intentional” throwing towards Alex Bregman. This continued through the inning; Kelly had to rely on his offspeed, which then wavered in control, making things even tougher for Astros hitters. The right-hander ultimately would strike out Carlos Correa to end the inning, and after that, Kelly lit the gasoline he had been dumping all inning.
Walking off the field, Kelly made faces towards the Astros dugout and Correa, this coming after Astros newly hired manager Dusty Baker screamed at Kelly to get back on the found earlier in the inning. The two dugouts emptied, as did the bullpens, leaving the two teams face-to-face, well sort of.
The “brawl” was a very 2020-style brawl, with players remaining, somewhat socially distanced, merely yelling at each other. A few players and team personnel seemed to break that barrier and get right in one another’s face. Face it, the Houston Astros are cheaters, the 2017 World Series is a sham for them, and teams/players around the league are quite upset.
Retaliation in the form of headhunting is not the way to go, but this type of behavior should be expected from the team that lost to the Astros in the 2017 season. Given the lack of punishment for the players for the 2017 sign-stealing and cheating scandal, Kelly’s actions should not be all that shocking.