“My best form will come sooner rather than later”

LG Twins right-hander Casey Kelly earned his eighth win of the season on Thursday, tossing six innings of one-hit ball on 85 pitches with three hits, one walk and five strikeouts in the 12th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home opener against the Lotte Giants at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul.

Kelly previously pitched in the KBO with LG prior to the 2019 season. In his rookie season, Kelly went 14-12 with a 2.55 ERA and established himself as LG’s “ace,”토스카지노 and continued his good form the following year with a 15-7 record and 3.22 ERA in 28 games. He went 13-8 with a 3.15 ERA in 2021, and then had a career-high season last year, going 16-4 with a 2.54 ERA in 27 games and 166⅓ innings pitched.

Since entering the KBO, Kelly has played the role of a “filial son” by winning 10 or more games every year. However, this season has been a bit of a disappointment. After a slow start in April with a 1-2 record and a 5.66 ERA in six appearances, Kelly continued to fall short of expectations with a 7-7 record and a 4.59 ERA in 23 appearances before the 24th game. He seemed to be rebounding, only to fall short again.

Manager Yoon Kyung-yeop recently asked Kelly for one thing: a changeup. It was about his changeup. “It’s my baseball,” he said before the 24th game. I didn’t force him, but I asked him.” “When we met, I said, ‘You should think about your changeup. I’m not taking the changeup away. It’s about how you use it to your advantage. “I said, ‘I’m not eliminating the changeup, but how you make it work is really important.’ I said, ‘Look into changing your grip, changing your style, whatever it is that you’re struggling with.

Last year, Kelly’s changeup had a batting average of just .179. This year, however, Kelly’s changeup has a .364 BABIP through 24 games, which is very high. Commander called for changes to the changeup as a way to reduce the ups and downs. “The changeup’s BABIP is higher, and it’s not as good as last year, but it’s still a changeup. As the value of the pitch goes down, the effectiveness of the other pitches goes down. “I said, ‘I want you to work on throwing your slider more accurately, but I want you to value your changeup,'” he explained.

LG Twins’ Casey Kelly./Jamsil = Yoo Eugene 기자zolong@mydaily.co.kr

LG Twins’ Casey Kelly./Jamsil = Yoo Eugene 기자zolong@mydaily.co.kr

Against Lotte on April 24, Kelly threw a mix of curveballs (23), cutters (15), and changeups (8), backed by a fastball that topped out at 151 km/h (39 pitches). While his changeup didn’t have a high percentage, it was used very effectively at the right time and in the right place, as he was able to break the fastball and get strikes. He didn’t allow a single hit with his changeup on the day, his first “no-hitter” in 24 games this season.

After the game, catcher Park Dong-won gave Kelly’s changeup a thumbs-up, saying, “His changeup came close to the strike zone today.” What changes did he make? What did he do differently? “I didn’t make a conscious effort to throw a lot of changeups,” Kelly said. It’s about throwing it right when you want it, and I think I did a good job with my execution today. The ball felt good today, so I think it just kind of carried over naturally.”

While it’s important to make changes to improve, Kelly made changes to his mindset rather than his changeup. “I didn’t change my grip or anything,” he said. I threw it with my normal changeup grip. If I had to pick a secret, it would be the confidence that comes from being bold. I was confident and it worked,” he said, adding, “I didn’t change anything.”

Kelly hadn’t pitched a shutout before today, and now he had a perfect game. “The team is doing really well,” he said, “and every time I go out there I want to make a contribution, but I haven’t been able to do that. Today, I was focused on helping the team and it paid off,” he said, adding that he left the mound after 85 pitches. “The bullpen hasn’t been able to throw much because of the rain. I had to go out there to keep my feel for it, and I felt good coming off the mound because I knew they were going to keep me in check.”

LG Twins’ Casey Kelly./Jamsil = Yoo Eugene 기자zolong@mydaily.co.kr

Despite the team’s lack of success this season, Kelly is having the most fun playing baseball since joining the KBO. “When I look at the team standings and how we’re playing, I’m like, ‘I’m excited to play baseball. It’s fun. “When I look at the guys in the locker room, I can confidently say that this is the best group of guys I’ve had in five years,” he said. “I want to do even better. My goal is to work harder than anyone else in between games so that when I go out there, I’m pitching better.”

Kelly still has a chance to make up for her disappointment. A strong finish to the season that clinches the regular season title and a postseason victory would make up for it. “I think the best is yet to come,” she said with a strong sense of confidence.

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