Pitching his best when it matters most. LG ace Casey Kelly has been solid on the mound again, as if he’s put the gas pedal to the metal on his recent upswing. She’s won 10 or more games for the fifth straight year and is on pace for a sub-3 ERA for the fifth straight year. He also reduced the team’s magic number of pennant wins from nine to eight.
Kelly threw 92 pitches in the first game of a doubleheader against KT at Jamsil Stadium on July 27, allowing five hits and no walks with two strikeouts in seven innings.
On the day, Kelly was aggressive against batters left and right. He consistently threw two strikes and used his four-seam, slider, and curveball for big hits in favorable counts. In the middle of the game, as KT hitters became more body-conscious, she utilized the outside of the strike zone and pitched smartly.
Led by Kelly, LG won 4-0 over KT, improving to 79 wins, 48 losses, and two ties on the season. They are on pace to reach 80 wins.
After the game, coach Yeom Kyung-yeop said, “It was a chase game with a lot of runs in the beginning, but when we needed to score, Moon Sung-joo’s contact play and Hong Chang-ki’s good start made us safe at home and set the tone for the whole game. When we needed extra runs, they came, and we were able to win the game.”
“Most importantly, Kelly is coming into her own as an offensive pitcher. I have to give her a lot of credit for that, and I’m excited to see what she can do in the future.”
“We were able to win today because of the fans who came out and supported us, even though it was a day game on a weekday. I want to thank them.”
Here’s what Kelly had to say to the media after the game
-Today’s game accomplished a lot. First, we lowered our magic number to eight and won 10 or more games for the fifth straight year. We’re also looking at a sub-3 ERA for the fifth straight year. How does it feel?
It feels really good. Looking back on the season, there were times when things didn’t go the way we wanted. I wasn’t sure if I could achieve some records, but I still believed in myself. I realized what I could do well and tried to do those things well. The fans who supported me, my coaching staff and my teammates helped me a lot. I’m happy that I was able to achieve these records and I want to thank them for their support.
-Steven innings as a starter in game one of the doubleheader was also a big help to the team. You must have been very motivated to go the distance in Game 1.
It was. I wanted to save the bullpen as much as I could, and I also wanted to make sure that we could do well in Game 2, so I wanted to go as many innings as I could. I’m happy that I was able to accomplish that and help the team in Game 2.
-Every win means something, but I think today’s 10 wins mean a lot more.
Yes, it does. This is probably the sweetest win we’ve had so far this season. It’s nice to get the record, but I had a lot of help from my teammates along the way. The fact that my teammates gave me one point at a time really helped me. I focused on what I could do and tried to execute my pitches as aggressively as possible.
-Yeom Kyung-yeop, who manager Yoon said is the favorite to start the postseason. At this rate, he has a good chance of starting Game 1 of the Korean Series. It’s still early, but as someone who wants to play in the Korean Series more than anyone else, how do you envision starting Game 1?
It would be amazing and awesome. First of all, it would be a great feeling as a player because the manager has so much faith and confidence in me. It’s still early, but if I get the call to start Game 1 of the Korean Series, I will definitely fulfill my responsibilities. I’ll do my best, and I’ll be excited, excited, and happy if I get to play in Game 1 of the Korean Series.
-There was talk of a midseason switch and some tough times. It must have been a tough time mentally, how did you deal with it and how did you overcome it?
Thankfully, the club believed in me until the end. They kept believing in me, and it helped that I can’t read Korean articles very well (laughs). In fact, I didn’t pay much attention to the sounds around me. What I can do. I decided to focus more on training on the baseball field and preparing for the game. I think there are times in life when things don’t work out, but I kept focusing on what I had to do and believed that it could work out again. The club believed in me until the end, and that’s why I have moments like this.
-Her pitches and command in recent games, including today’s game, have been really good. Looking back on your five years in Korea, would you say you’re pitching at your best right now?스포츠토토
I would say yes. When I was bad, I had a lot of walks and my command was inconsistent, but in my recent games, I’m not giving up a lot of walks. I’ve found my command, I’ve found my pitches, and I’ve been pitching well. I’m happy with where I’m at and I think I’m back to where I was when I was good.
-My defense is also very good. I attacked the body and took advantage of the KT hitters’ attempts to deal with the body. It looks like you had some help from Park Dong-won, can you tell us the secret?
Basically, I keep talking to Park Dong-won. We always try to change things up in the third game with the batters. It worked well today. He did a great job of catching the batters’ shots and I was able to pay attention to that and get good results.