I wasn’t ready for this. Nevertheless, we do Dodgers news around here. After the Dodgers stumbled late and fell to the Washington Nationals 7-3 in 10 innings, blame was cast all around. Dave Roberts found himself firmly in the spotlight. Clayton Kershaw outright blames himself. However, Joe Kelly was the man on the mound when the worst case became reality.
Surely after walking the leadoff batter the manager would look to another arm hastily — Kelly did just mow down 3 Nats in an impressive 10 pitch 9th inning — but Joe remained in to allow a 2-2 double before an intentional walk loaded the bases with none out for Howie Kendrick.
Inexplicably, Kelly was tasked to pitch to Kendrick. And that was how the Dodgers 2019 season ended.
Joe Kelly gave up the grand slam to Kendrick that proved to be the game-winning home run. He signed here to win games like this. He speaks about the emotions of all of it now. pic.twitter.com/skiywxGGSC
— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) October 10, 2019
After the game, Kelly faced the media about the nightmare 10th.
Yeah, I didn’t have the command from inning one to inning two. It’s one of those things that… had some pretty good at-bats, obviously. And then Howie — the fastball — left it too much plate trying to go in. He put a good swing and obviously got the homer.
Immediately, you ask and wonder if a pitcher might be more open with his manager about how he’s feeling. Still, Kelly was left in the game to face TWO more batters. At this point you wonder if the whole team was plainly shell shocked.
And with the outing, it bookended the right-hander’s generally bad first season in a Dodger uniform. Signed in the off-season to help lift this Los Angeles franchise — one he just helped defeat in the 2018 World Series — to the next level, he instead served up the final blow and ended his 2019 postseason with a 23.14 ERA.
On the idea of coming to LA to help the oft-maligned bullpen only to ultimately stumble, Kelly was short with it.
It sucks. It’s not a good feeling. You got 25 — even more with the guys that weren’t on the roster — in this clubhouse who strap on every day. You know, we had a great regular season and obviously fell short.
It’s definitely sad, some of these guys won’t ever play baseball again — Some guys might retire… it’s one of those things where it wasn’t the lack of effort, the lack of talent — we had the talent — we just got beat.
While no one has openly come out with the retirement announcement, several Dodgers mentioned the potential for teammates retiring.
If that indeed is the case, they deserved better. They put in the work to earn better. And it’s unfortunate that they’re season ends, and careers may end, on the part of concerns we had all season long. Homer prone Kershaw. Joe Kelly not being the same guy they signed. Dave Roberts inability to make the right moves more often than not when they matter the most.