(By Jun-sang Yoo) It’s still considered a KBO reverse export success story. Merrill Kelly’s rise to the top of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ mound has continued this season.
Kelly started the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series home opener against the Boston Red Sox at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, on Monday (Sept. 29). Kelly pitched 6 1/3 innings of four-hit ball with two walks, 10 strikeouts and one earned run, leading the Nats to a 4-2 victory. It was his sixth win of the season, tying him for the National League lead in wins.
With his second 10-strikeout game of the season, coming on June 6 against the Washington Nationals, Kelly’s season ERA dropped from 2.98 to 2.83.
With plenty of run support – three runs in the first and one in the second – Kelly shut down the Boston offense. He allowed singles in the second through fourth innings before retiring Kike Hernandez, Enmanuel Valdez, and Connor Wong in order in the bottom of the fifth.
Kelly, who took the mound for the sixth 메이저놀이터 and seventh innings, gave up a leadoff single and a walk before turning the mound over to the bullpen. An Alex Verdugo single brought the tying run to the plate, but the inning ended without further damage, and the bullpen preserved the lead in the eighth to give Kelly the win.
Boston manager Alex Cora praised Kelly’s performance. According to MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, “That’s what pitching is all about. Today, Kelly utilized the strike zone like Greg Maddux does. It looked like it was a little bit out of the strike zone, but it was in the zone,” Cora said of Kelly’s pitches.
Maddux, who broke into the big leagues in 1986, went on to a major league career of 744 games, 5008⅓ innings, 355 wins, 227 losses, and a 3.16 ERA, and is a Hall of Famer. His pitching was so flawless that the nickname “The Magician of Pitching” stuck with him, which means Kelly is pitching just as well today.