Dodgers 0-11, ‘phobia’ lingers…KBO reverse-export myth crumbles with career-worst pitching performance

Merrill Kelly (35, Arizona Diamondbacks), the “KBO reverse export myth,” has fallen apart. His inability to overcome his L.A. Dodgers phobia is the main reason.

Kelly started the 2023 Major League Baseball game against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, USA, on June 30 (KST).

He faced a lineup of Mookie Betts (second base), Freddie Freeman (first base), Will Smith (catcher), Max Muncy (third base), David Peralta (designated hitter), Jason Heyward (right field), James Outman (center field), Taylor (left field), and Miguel Rojas (shortstop).

Kelly was picked off early and often by the Dodger lineup. It was as if his Dodger phobia had come to life and he was pitching like never before.

In the first inning, Kelly gave up a single to Peralta and a double to Heyward to make it 0-3. In the bottom of the second, he gave up an RBI single to Rojas to make it 0-4, and in the top of the third, he gave up an RBI single to Peralta and an RBI double to Taylor to make it 0-6.

Kelly stayed on the mound until the fifth inning, but gave up another run. In the bottom of the fifth, she gave up a sacrifice fly to the outfield to make it 1-6. Kelly was replaced by reliever Scott McGuff in the bottom of the sixth and finished the night.

His final line was five innings, 12 hits, three walks, one strikeout, and seven runs, breaking his single-game record for most hits (previously 11) and tying his career record for most runs allowed. The team fell to 1-9 and dropped to 6-10 on the season.

Kelly has struggled against the Dodgers throughout his career. According to Baseball Reference, Kelly was 0-10 with a 5.03 ERA in 15 career starts against the Dodgers in 78⅔ innings. It’s the only team he’s faced in double digits without a single win.

You could argue that he was unlucky because winning doesn’t happen if you don’t have good offensive support, so Kelly’s numbers weren’t exactly clean either. In 78⅔ innings, he allowed 93 hits (13 homers) and 47 runs (44 earned).

It’s a far cry from the one-two punch of the team and a member of the U.S. National Baseball Team, who has been a double-digit winner since his rookie season in 2019.

Meanwhile, Arizona clinched the best-of-three series against the Dodgers with back-to-back losses. They lost Game 1 a day earlier (Sept. 29), 4-7, despite sending out Zack Greinke, the league’s third-leading ace in wins (14), and were unable to secure a victory on the day Kelly took the mound.메이저사이트

With Arizona’s season record at 69 wins and 64 losses, “half a game” behind the third wild-card spot (San Francisco Giants/69 wins and 63 losses), it was a disappointing way for the Dodgers to lose back-to-back games even with their one-two punch.

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