“I was shocked to see the manager’s hand”: Why KBO fans are so upset about the replacement decision
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torrey Lovullo (58) reached down to shake Merrill Kelly’s (35) hand as he walked off the field with the game-winning run. KBO The handshake, which signaled a pitching change, made Kelly bristle. He exchanged a few words with Robullo, then shook his head and turned away. He was confident enough to defy the manager.
Kelly, a former KBO pitcher, held the Philadelphia Phillies to one run on five hits and three walks with eight strikeouts over five innings in Game 6 of the 2023 National League Championship Series (NLCS) on April 24. In addition to 25 four-seam fastballs that topped out at 93.9 mph (151.1 km/h) and averaged 92.3 mph (148.5 km/h), he used six other pitches to his advantage: a sinker (21), changeup (14), slider, cutter (11+), and curveball (8). He used his four-seam, sinker, 먹튀검증 and curve in addition to his changeup as his primary pitches.
After striking out the last batter of the fifth inning, Bryce Harper, with a big curveball, Kelly earned the win. With a 4-1, three-run lead, Robullo decided to make a pitching change. At 90 pitches, it was the right time to make the change, but Kelly didn’t take it well. His command was shaky, with three walks in the first and second innings, but he settled down in the third and retired eight straight batters, including back-to-back triple plays in the fourth and fifth innings.
But Robullo, who has been known to make quick pitching changes in fall ball, didn’t reverse the decision. It paid off. Ryan Thompson (1⅓ innings) to start the sixth, followed by the bullpen of Andrew Salfrank (⅔ innings), Kevin Zinkel (one inning), and Paul Seewald (one inning), combined for four scoreless innings to seal Arizona’s 5-1 victory. Kelly earned the win, and with a clutch three-game sweep, Arizona pushed the NLCS to a decisive Game 7.
According to ‘MLB.com’, after the game, Arizona outfielder Tommy Pham said, “Kelly wanted to go further. He was fighting with manager Robullo in the dugout, and I was like, ‘Let’s just let him go.'” On the other side of the plate, Philadelphia outfielder Nick Castellanos said, “There were very few mistakes. He had good ball movement.”
As Kelly exited the dugout with his glove, hat, and jumper, he was seen shaking his head and muttering to himself. In an official postgame interview, Kelly said, “I don’t like to be subbed out of games. Part of it is because I’m stubborn, but the situation was what it was, and the reason I was upset in that moment was because I let my guard down,” he said.
“I faced three of their top hitters and struck out two. I was up to 90 pitches by the fifth inning, and I knew I had to go back out in the sixth. When I saw Coach Robullo’s hand in the dugout asking for a handshake, I was in shock. Even though it was Game 6 of the League Championship Series, I wanted to help my team win, and that was my mindset.”
After taking a moment to compose himself in the clubhouse, he spoke with Robullo to vent his anger. “I talked to him after that inning,” Kelly said. He explained to me why he pulled me and the reasoning behind it. I believe in our bullpen. It’s not that I don’t trust the guys behind me, but I have a lot of faith in myself,” he said, emphasizing that the guys behind him did a good job and the important thing is that we won.
“That’s what I want from Kelly,” Robullo said. He’s an unbelievable competitor and he never wants to be out of the game until he’s at the end of his rope. He told me he could keep pitching, but I had to make a tough decision. I had to hand the ball off to my efficient bullpen.” “Kelly did his job. I was concerned that he had thrown 65 pitches by the third inning. I was managing his pitches and watching his delivery, and I thought it was time to make the change.”
“He was trying to get ready for the next pitch and was shocked to be pulled,” said Robullo, who was an infielder during his playing days. We talked again, and when I explained why I did it, she slowly started to understand. I’ve never been a pitcher, so I don’t know exactly what it’s like, but I know enough to know that a really good pitcher doesn’t want to be taken out. That’s what Kelly was like,” he said, crediting her burning competitive spirit.