“My best performance will come sooner or later”
LG Twins Casey Kelly started the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League season 12 home match between Lotte Giants and teams held at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on the 24th and started 6 During the innings, the number of pitches was 85, 3 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, no runs, and he got his 8th win (7th loss) of the season.
Prior to the 2019 season, Kelly made contact with LG and stepped on the KBO league stage. In his first season of his debut, Kelly played an active role with an average ERA of 2.55 with 14 wins and 12 losses, becoming LG’s ‘ace’. And in 2021, he recorded an average ERA of 3.15 with 13 wins and 8 losses, and spent 166⅓ innings in 27 games last year, and had a ‘career high’ season with 16 wins and 4 losses with an ERA of 2.54.
Since stepping on the KBO league stage, Kelly has been a ‘filial son’, harvesting more than 10 wins every year. However, his appearance this season is a bit disappointing. Kelly broke off a poor start with 1-2 and an average ERA of 5.66 in 6 appearances in April, and before the game on the 24th, Kelly appeared in 23 games and continued to fall short of expectations with 7-7 and an ERA of 4.59. The flow of ‘Pongdang Pongdang’, which seemed to rebound, then showed a regretful appearance again.
Director Yeom Gyeong-yeop recently asked Kelly, who was showing ups and downs. It was about the changeup. Prior to the game on the 24th, the command tower said, “This is my baseball. I didn’t force it, but I asked for it.” It’s very important. As one of the ways to overcome the current difficulties, change the grip of the changeup or change the style,’ he said, ‘do research.”
Kelly’s changeup hit ratio last year was only 0.179. However, as of the end of the game on the 24th, the batting average of Kelly’s changeup this year was very high at 0.364. Accordingly, the command tower demanded changes to the changeup as a way to reduce ups and downs. The command tower said, “It is the changeup that the hit rate of the changeup is higher and is not better than last year. As the value of the pitch decreases, the value of the effect of other pitches also decreases. ‘It is good for you to practice throwing the slider more accurately, but the changeup is important. I want you to think about it,” he said.메이저놀이터
Against Lotte on the 24th, Kelly threw a mix of curve (23 pitches), cutter (15 pitches) and changeup (8 pitches) based on a fastball (39 pitches) with a maximum distance of 151 km. The rate of changeup was not high, but it was used very effectively in the right place, such as being caught off guard by the first pitch and catching strikes. On this day, not a single hit was hit by throwing a changeup, and he showed off his first “no run” game in 24 games this season.
Catcher Park Dong-won, who met with reporters after the game, gave a thumbs up to Kelly’s changeup, saying, “Today’s Kelly’s changeup came similarly to the strike zone.” What changes did you make? Kelly said, “I wasn’t conscious of having to throw a lot of changeups. It’s important to throw properly at the right time, but today I think I did well in the part of execution. Today, the ball itself was good, so I think a good atmosphere naturally continued.” said.
It’s important to make changes for his development, but Kelly brought a change to his mind rather than his changeup. He said, “I didn’t change the grip or make any special changes. I threw the original changeup grip. If I had to pick the secret, it was boldness derived from confidence. Throwing with confidence worked well,” he said. “I didn’t change anything.” I smiled.
Kelly had never had a scoreless game before this day, but he finally completed a perfect scoreless pitch. He said, “Our team is doing very well, and I wanted to help the team every time I went out, but I couldn’t. I focused on throwing with the thought of helping the team today, and it led to good results.” Because of this, the bullpen players have not been able to throw in the meantime. I had to play in order to maintain my senses, and I came down happily thinking that I would be able to block it well, “he smiled.
I am not satisfied with my performance this season, but I am enjoying baseball the most since entering the KBO league. Kelly said, “When I look at the team rankings and performance, I think, ‘It tastes like baseball. It’s fun.’ Looking at the players in the locker room, I can confidently say that they are the best players I’ve played with for five years.” I also hope for a good performance. In order to achieve this, my goal is to work harder than anyone else in the middle to show better pitching when I go to the game.”
Kelly still has a chance to make up for the disappointment she has had so far. He can wash away all the regrets if he contributes to winning the regular season championship at the end of the season and the postseason. Kelly expressed strong confidence, saying, “I think my best self will come out sooner or later.”