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Kelly, who allowed three of the Rockies’ eight runs during the decisive fifth inning, felt the Rockies didn’t earn all five hits they were credited with during his outing.
In his postgame comments, Kelly lit up the official scorer while making a reference that raised a few eyebrows.
Joe Kelly, not a fan of tonight's official scorer: "I'm not a believer in me giving up five hits. It is Colorado. And we're in Denver. Who knows, that guy up there could be f**king high."
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) June 29, 2019
Well, we can confirm the Coors Field press box is nearly a mile above sea level.
Beyond that, the only high seems to be Kelly’s 6.26 ERA.
Why was Joe Kelly mad?
Kelly seemed to be displeased about three different rulings during his inning of work. Of the eight batters Kelly faced, five reached on hits. However, three of those were infield hits that involved complicated rulings.
We took it upon ourselves to review those plays and decide if Kelly has an argument.
You’ll find all three plays in the video above.
Scorer’s ruling (Hit No. 1): Single for Daniel Murphy, throwing error on Chris Taylor for allowing Nolan Arenado to score.
Upon review: It should have been a straight-up error on shortstop Taylor. A good throw to first base had Murphy beat, though the out for the scorer is that Taylor was throwing while on the run. It was difficult, but the play should be completed.
Scorer’s ruling (Hit No. 2): Single for Chris Iannetta.
Upon review: Joe Kelly himself should have been charged with an error. After fielding Iannetta’s grounder, he fired wildly to first base allowing Iannetta to reach. A good throw results in an out.
Scorer’s ruling (Hit No. 3): Single for Pat Valaika, error on Taylor for allowing Chris Iannetta to score.
Upon review: This was the toughest to judge. Taylor made a backhand play with his momentum going away from second base. An accurate throw to second would have retired the runner to end the inning. Unfortunately, it bounced by the base, allowing another run to score. We’d probably leave this call the same.
Incredibly, in the middle of all that was a true error on Justin Turner that allowed Ryan McMahon to reach safely. Because of that error, only one of the three runs allowed by Kelly was earned.
So hey, it wasn’t all bad, right?
Was Joe Kelly out of line?
Regarding his choice of words. Yes, Kelly was absolutely out of line.
In terms of his frustration, there are a few ways to look at it.
On one hand, you could say Kelly was throwing his teammates under the bus and creating unnecessary drama. On the other hand, you could argue Kelly had good reason to be annoyed with everything and everyone, the official scoring included.
Others are citing Kelly’s past bluster, calling his reaction sour grapes and a failure to take accountability for another rugged outing. And there have certainly been plenty of those this season.
Perhaps all of the above could be true to some extent.
Either way, Joe Kelly said his piece. Now he’ll have to pitch better and think harder before choosing his words if he hopes to garner any sympathy.
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