“A player who worked very hard” KBO re-export → Big league ‘fall ace’, KBO 48-win pitcher remembered by former colleagues

“He has a strong sense of responsibility and works very hard.”

An old teammate shared a heartfelt message of support for Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Merrill Kelly (35), who became the winning pitcher in Game 2 of the U.S. Major League World Series.

Arizona won 9-1 in Game 2 of the 2023 Major League World Series against the Texas Rangers held at Gloff Life Field in Arlington, Texas, USA on the 29th (Korean time).

Kelly, who took the mound as a starter, became the winning pitcher after pitching well, allowing 3 hits, 9 strikeouts, and 1 run in 7 innings. Arizona lost the first game 5-6, but thanks to Kelly’s good pitching, they were able to get the series back on track and play the third game at their home stadium, Chase Field.

Kim Tae-hoon, who enjoyed Kelly’s performance during his time at SSG’s predecessor, SK, said, “He had a strong sense of responsibility as a pitcher,” and added, “He was a player I had a lot to learn from. I usually train very hard. “He was a player who prepared a lot for each game,” he said, cheering on his former teammate.

Kim Tae-hoon and Kelly are the main players in the 2018 SK championship. Kelly was a starting pitcher, and Kim Tae-hoon was a sure-to-win pitcher. Tae-hoon Kim retired after this season, but he cheered on his former teammate who was well established in the major leagues.

After spending five seasons in the minor league, Kelly played in the KBO League from 2015 to 2018. In his first year in the KBO league, he recorded 11 wins and 10 losses. He succeeded in renewing his contract, and although he only had 9 wins and 8 losses in 2016, he served as an ‘ace’ with 16 wins (7 losses) in 2017.

In 2018, he recorded 12 wins, 7 losses, and an earned run average of 4.09, and led them past the playoffs and even won the Korean Series. As a starting pitcher in Game 3 of the Korean Series, Kelly led the team to a 7-2 victory by giving up 2 runs (non-earned runs) in 7 innings, and started again in Game 6, allowing 3 runs in 5⅓ innings, becoming one of the key players in winning the Korean Series.

After leaving Korea, he made his big league debut in 2019. He became a ‘KBO reverse export success story’ by winning a starting position in Arizona.굿모닝토토

Kelly succeeded in a soft landing in 2019 with 13 wins and 14 losses. Afterwards, he took over as Arizona’s starter and achieved 48 wins (43 losses) in five seasons until this year. This season, he served as a ‘one-two punch’ with Jack Gallen and posted 12 wins (8 losses).

This is the first time the big league fall stage has been played. He, a ‘beginner’ in the major league postseason, is challenging himself to win the World Series following winning the Korean Series.

Local reviews are also good. MLB.com called Kelly’s pitching “excellent.” Also, “October has already had the best start. Kelly, who pitched in Korea, was a sideman for National League Cy Young Award candidate Jack Gallen during the regular season. But he pitched like an ace in October.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *