The 2016 MLB Playoffs were full of surprises. Two teams with longstanding droughts met in the World Series in an epic seven game series that came down to extra innings.
On their way to the championship round, Cleveland had to face the Boston Red Sox.
Although the Red Sox didn’t prevail in the end, they had a very great performance from their young reliever Joe Kelly.
The Indians couldn’t hit his pitches over the course of the series as he retired all 11 batters that he faced in his 3 and two quarters innings pitched.
Kelly told WEEI in Boston his secret: “It was something I learned probably 10 minutes before Game 1. I was like, ‘You know what, why not?’ That is kind of my personality. If I see something I see works, or I think will work, it’s something I’m going to try.”
Essentially coming up with a new pitch in the spurt of the moment is a big deal, but an even bigger deal is doing it 10 minutes before you start a playoff game.
The first batter he faced bit on it and miss the ball entirely.
The gamble paid off for him as he created havoc for Cleveland in his short appearances on the mound.
Most relievers rely on the pitches they practice day in and day out over the course of a season, but for Kelly there is room for improvisation.
Maybe he has something to surprise Boston fans heading into a new season.
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