The Dodgers are getting a lot of production out of their relievers as of late. An area that’s normally sort of problematic in the past has been a sudden strength as the days grow warmer in Los Angeles.
One reason for that has been the reemergence of Joe Kelly. The UC Riverside product has thrown the ball very well over the last month-plus and the Dodgers bullpen has thrived thanks to his contribution.
Kelly is also doing it with a bit of an unusual look these days. The hard-throwing reliever is not only sporting a mullet hair style on the mound, but he has a nice little mustache going as well. The Dodgers pitcher recently spoke about why he is growing out that stache on SportsNetLA.
People always think it has to do with performance, but I might shave it off tonight. I’m not a superstitious guy but it’s not for me. …It just goes through phases. I’m a little ADHD so I get a little bored. I rocked a mustache in Boston for a little bit, I’ve rocked it maybe in St Louis. I go through phases, beard or maybe clean-shaven. All of the above. Right now the mustache, the wife definitely doesn’t love it. But Knox kind of digs it.
So it’s not superstition, but he’s definitely thrown better with the stache than without it. Over his last 14 appearances, Kelly has thrown 13.2 innings and pitched to a 1.32 ERA. He’s also struck out 16 batters over that stretch and allowed just 4 walks for the Dodgers.
The mullet is a mystery to anyone. Zach McKinstry also sports one so it might just be a team-bonding thing, who knows. But with the way Kelly is pitching lately, we hope the mustache is here to stay.