LG Twins foreign pitcher Casey Kelly made headlines in September 2021 when his wife gave birth to a son in the United States, and instead of taking maternity leave to the U.S., 안전놀이터he pitched for the team, which was battling for position at the time. Most foreign players take maternity leave to support their families, but Kelly willingly stayed with the team, saying, “I want to win the Korean Series.”
In his fifth year in the KBO, Kelly finally got to play in the Korean Series. He was selected early to start Game 1 of the Korean Series. If the postseason proceeds normally without rain, Kelly will take the mound at Jamsil Stadium on November 7.
Kelly has pitched consistently in the postseason. Whether in the wild-card game, the semifinals, or the playoffs, he’s always delivered an ace performance. “I remember always being in the thick of postseason play at this time of year, so it’s nice to have some time to catch my breath without going straight into the postseason,” Kelly said with a smile, adding, “I think the break for the Korean Series will be good for everyone.”
When asked about her preparation for Game 1, Kelly said, “First of all, I’ll be working out and preparing the same way I did during the regular season. “I’ve been talking about wanting to pitch in the Korean Series for a while, and now I’m finally getting to do it,” Kelly said. “It’s going to be a great experience for me personally and a great opportunity. It will be a great experience for me personally and I think it’s a great opportunity. Now I can say that my goal is to pitch well in the Korean Series. I’m also looking forward to the support of the fans in the stadium that day. I think it will be very special,” he said.
LG’s Austin and Kelly pose for a photo during the regular season championship trophy presentation ceremony at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Friday.
LG’s Kelly takes off his hat to greet fans after finishing his defense in the sixth inning of the game between LG and Lotte at Sajik Stadium in Busan on Thursday.
The first DH game of the 2023 KBO League between the LG Twins and KT Wiz was held at Jamsil Stadium on Nov. 27. LG’s Kelly is pitching in relief.
Is there any pressure to start the first game? Kelly said, “It’s not without pressure. The goal is to win the Korean Series, so of course there is pressure,” he said, “but that pressure isn’t always bad. I think there are times when it can be good. I think the pressure makes you focus a little bit more and the adrenaline makes you play better.”
Kelly also knew that the Rolex watch for the Korean Series MVP had been in the works for 29 years. He laughed when I told him that if he threw a complete game shutout in Games 1 and 5, he could win the MVP and get the Rolex. When asked to choose between a four-game winning streak and a 4-1 record and MVP, Kelly didn’t hesitate for a second.
“I would love to get the watch, but even if it’s not me and it’s another teammate, it’s still a Rolex watch, and that’s the most important thing because it means we won the championship. It doesn’t matter who gets it,” he said. “It would be nice if it went according to the scenario, but the Korean Series never goes that way. Four wins and no losses is good. It will take the pressure off,” he said, adding that he would like to clinch the title sooner rather than later.
In fact, he almost didn’t make it to the Korean Series at all due to a poor start to the season. There was even talk of her being replaced due to her poor form. After going 6-5 with a 4.44 ERA in 18 games in the first half, Kelly regained his ace status in the second half, going 4-2 with a 2.90 ERA in 12 games. She finished with a 10-7 record and a 3.83 ERA, her fifth straight year of double-digit wins.
“Early on, I wasn’t throwing the ball exactly where I wanted to,” Kelly said, “but as the month went on, I got better. “As a result, my ERA went up a little bit, but my innings pitched and quality starts were similar to previous years.
Kelly has only won two championships in his baseball career, one in high school and one in Double-A. “I think it would mean a lot to win the Korean Series, and I think it would be very special,” Kelly said.