Arizona Diamondbacks’ Merrill Kelly (35) pitched a fantastic game in his World Series debut.
Kelly started Game 2 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on Monday (Sept. 29) and pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, striking out nine and allowing one run.
After pitching a perfect game through three innings, Kelly’s perfect game came to an end in the bottom of the fourth inning when Evan Carter singled. But he got Adolis Garcia to fly out to right field to end the inning without further damage.
In the fifth inning, with Arizona up 2-0, Kelly threw a three-pitch 93.3 mph (150.2 km/h) sinker to leadoff hitter Mitch Garber and allowed a solo home run. Two batters later, he gave up a single to Josh Young, but induced a fielder’s choice to retire Leandro Taveras without further damage.
After retiring the top of the order of Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, and Carter in order in the sixth, Kelly got Garcia, Garber, and Jonah Heim to ground into a double play in the seventh.
With Arizona up 7-1 in the eighth, he turned the mound over to Andrew Salle to finish the night. Arizona avenged the extra-inning loss in Game 1 with a 9-1 victory.
Kelly, who threw 89 pitches, used a mix of pitches including a changeup (22), cutter (21), four-seam (17), sinker (15), slider (10) and curve (4) to shut down the Texas lineup. His fastball touched 94.3 mph (151.8 km/h).주소
Kelly, who played for SK (now SSG) in the KBO from 2015 to 2018, going 48-32 with a 3.86 ERA in 119 games (729⅔ innings), is a prime example of a “KBO back-export” success story, as he was able to capitalize on his success in South Korea to find success in the major leagues.
A starter for Arizona since 2019, Kelly is 48-43 with a 3.80 ERA in 127 career major league games (750⅔ innings). This year marks the first time he has pitched in fall ball, as Arizona reached the postseason.
In his first postseason, Kelly has been more than 100 percent effective in his role. With a 3-1 record and a 2.25 ERA in four games (24 innings), Kelly has pitched well enough to be labeled the “fall ace. Kelly also pitched in South Korea, going 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA in two games (12⅓ innings) in the 2018 Korean Series, which SK won.
In addition to Kelly, other players in history who have appeared in both the Korean Series and World Series include Carlos Baerga (1995 Cleveland World Series runner-up, 2001 Samsung Korea Series runner-up), Ryu Hyun-jin (2006 Hanwha Korea Series runner-up, 2018 Dodgers World Series runner-up), Yasiel Puig (2017-2018 Dodgers World Series runner-up, 2022 Kiwoom Korea Series runner-up), and Juan Lagares (2015 Mets World Series runner-up, 2022 SSG Korea Series winner). However, no player has ever won both the Korean Series and the World Series.
It will be interesting to see if Kelly, who is 1-1 in the World Series with his stellar pitching, can become the first player in history to win both the Korean Series and World Series.