64 career wins. Former multi-time champion. 150 kilometers. Five-pitch arsenal… But higher ERA than Straily, who was released. Familiarity kills. “Command is the problem.”
His first start in the second half of the season was a disappointment.
LG Twins foreign ace Casey Kelly took the loss in his first start of the second half. Kelly started a home game against the SSG Landers in Jamsil on Nov. 21 and gave up five runs on six hits (one home run) with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings of work, falling to 4-6 and dropping to 6-6 on the season.
His ERA was even worse at 4.65. Ranked 21st out of 22 pitchers who pitched more than regulation innings. Worse than Lotte Dan Straily’s 4.37, who parted ways after the first half.
Gave up runs in the second, fourth, and fifth innings out of five. In particular, he gave up a run right after the LG bats scored, and a run after giving up a hit in the second inning.
In the top of the second inning, Ha Jae-hoon hit a double to tie the game at 1-0, and then Kim Min-sik hit a single to tie the game two batters later. In the top of the fourth inning, he gave up a walk and a stolen base to Ha Jae-hoon before giving up a double to left-center to Kim Sung-hyun to make it 1-2. Lee Jae-won’s RBI single in the bottom of the fourth tied the game at 2-2, but in the top of the fifth, he gave up a leadoff double to Choi Jeong and was immediately followed by a two-run single to Choi Joo-hwan. It was 2-5.카지노
LG manager Yeom Kyung-yeop said the next day, “It was fine until Choi Jung hit a double. If it was a one-run game, our hitters could have done it. However, it became difficult when Choi hit a home run to make it three runs.”
Kelly’s changeup was a key part of his pitching on that day. This is because the changeup had a high batting average in the triple digits. Manager Yoon Kyung-yeop suggested that he drop his changeup’s velocity in a meeting, and Kelly said he would try.
But the changeup wasn’t the problem on this day, as four of the six hits he faced were fastballs. His curveball and two-seam also got one hit each.
Kelly threw 92 pitches on the day, including 25 fastballs that topped out at 150 mph, 27 curves, 16 two-seamers, 14 cutters, and 10 changeups. The increase in curveballs while throwing fewer changeups has been an unusual aspect of Kelly’s pitching this season, as his changeup hasn’t been as good, so he’s been throwing curveballs more often because it’s the only pitch he can throw.
He has five different pitches in his arsenal, but he hasn’t been able to put much pressure on his opponents.
“It’s all about command,” Yoon said, “and although I’ve been throwing a lot of strikes, the hitters have gotten better at hitting strikes since I’ve been pitching for five years. After five years of pitching in Korea, hitters have gotten used to Kelly’s pitches and have gotten used to them, and because his command is not good, he gets hit a lot at key moments.
Kelly has a fastball, a sinker, and a cutter, plus a changeup and curveball that he drops with decreasing velocity, both of which touch 130 mph. He can handle the curve and changeup at the same time as the fastball, so it’s not surprising that he gets a hit on the first pitch. That’s why Yoon asks him to lower his changeup to around 132 kilometers to create a speed difference.
For an ace who has been on the mound for four years, it’s hard to be optimistic about LG’s current situation. Even with a good batting lineup and bullpen, they still need to win a lot when Kelly, Plutko, and Im Chan-kyu come out, as the fourth and fifth starters are still unstable. If Kelly falls into the unstable category, LG’s chances of staying in first place are not guaranteed.
Kelly’s first start of the second half showed that LG still has a lot of work to do.