“I believed in myself and the coaching staff and front office believed in me.”
Casey Kelly (LG Twins) started the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League game against the SSG Landers on April 21 at SSG Landers Field in Incheon, South Korea, and pitched six innings without allowing an earned run while striking out four and walking five to improve to 9-7 on the season.캡틴토토
Kelly started the game by striking out Shin-Soo Choo in the top of the first inning, before Guillermo Heredia grounded out to short and Choi struck out the side. But in the bottom of the second, he ran into trouble. He got Han Yoo-seom to ground out to second base, but gave up the first hit of the game to Park Sung-ho. After Choi Ju-hwan singled to right field, Choi Ji-hoon followed with a single to put runners on second and third. However, Kelly struck out Kim Min-sik to get out of the jam.
After getting out of the third inning with a strikeout, Kelly faced his second crisis in the fourth. Two batters later, he was hit by a pitch. Park stole second base. But Kelly got Choi Joo-hwan to fly out to right field for the second out of the inning. In the fifth inning, Choi gave up a leadoff single to Choi Ji-hoon, but Kelly struck out Kim Min-sik and Ahn Sang-hyun to get the final out. He then retired the side in order in the bottom of the sixth.
LG took the lead on Austin’s two-run homer in the top of the first inning. They gave up a run in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded, but SSG held on to win 2-1. It was their sixth straight win.
“First of all, it felt good to be able to help us win, and at this point in the year, you’re going to do whatever it takes to help your team win,” Kelly told the media after the game. “I could go out there and give up two or three runs, or I could go out there and throw a no-hitter, and I don’t really care about any of that, it’s just about me going out there and throwing the ball hard and giving my team a chance to win, and I’m happy that I was able to do that.”
Kelly struggled through the middle of the season. In the first 18 games, he went 6-5 with a 4.44 ERA, allowing 61 runs (53 earned) in 107 1/3 innings with 30 walks and 71 strikeouts. In the second half of the year, however, he improved to 3-2 with a 3.24 ERA in 58 1/3 innings, 23 runs (21 earned), 14 walks, 51 strikeouts, and 51 strikeouts. In three September games, he was particularly strong, going 1-0 with four runs (four earned) in 18 1/3 innings, striking out 19 batters with a 1.96 ERA.
On how he was able to rebound, Kelly said, “I just had to believe in myself and play baseball. The coaching staff and the front office believed in me and thought I could do well, and I think that’s what helped me do well. I’m very grateful and honored to be a part of the LG family.”