“He’s really got lot of weapons”: Chicago White Sox’s Joe Kelly returns with great finesse


“He’s really got lot of weapons”: Chicago White Sox’s Joe Kelly returns with great finesse

Joe Kelly

With Joe Kelly perfectly healthy, he was welcomed back for the Chicago White Sox in the eighth innings on the mound. White Sox had recently acquired that they’d lost All-Star closer, Liam Hendriks, to the injured list just a few hours prior to the first pitch.

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Tuesday night’s 5-1 victory over Detroit Tigers guaranteed a series win for Chicago White Sox, which will go for a three-game sweep during a Wednesday performance. Feasibly, the primary outcome of which was, Joe Kelly’s return to action, a positive sight for a White Sox bullpen, which was in a tight spot and slowly but surely inching toward recharging its resources.

Joe Kelly had been shelved with a left hamstring strain since May 26, but he pitched so well in a recent simulated game that he wasted no time in showing them they’d made the right call, discharging the heart of Detroit’s line-up in a spick and span.

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Pitcher Joe Kelly arrives back with a polished performance

Joe Kelly
Joe Kelly

What Kelly did when he took the ball was even better. He showed no signs of rust from his three-plus weeks away, working with a fine lead and flashing a cutter and sinker that left the Detroit Tigers batters scratching their heads during the perfect frame.

He drew four swings on his 11 pitches and three of them missed, as he fanned Javier Báez looking and Robbie Grossman swinging. All three misses came on Kelly’s high-80s cutter that played smartly off a high-90s sinker that coaxed Austin Meadows into a harmless groundout for the remaining out of the eighth.

“We have no fear to bring him into a situation,” manager Tony La Russa said. “Those guys in the middle [of the Tigers’ lineup]; if they were hitting in the ninth, Kelly would’ve pitched the ninth. It was great to see him out there. He’s really got a lot of weapons.”

“I ran into a little bit of trouble in that first inning, but I was able to compete and get through five,” Dylan Cease (pitcher for the Chicago White Sox) said. “I would have liked to have gone deeper and just help the ‘pen a little bit more, but it was good for the most part.”

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