BOSTON (CBS) -- Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly became something of a baseball folk hero on Tuesday night, when he became the first pitcher to blatantly try to exact some revenge on the Astros, in the wake of their cheating scandal.
The folks occupying the offices of Major League Baseball, however, were not quite so amused by the performance, and as a result, they handed down significant discipline to the flame-throwing right-hander for throwing pitches at both Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa during the Dodgers-Astros game on Tuesday night.
On Wednesday afternoon, MLB announced an eight-game suspension for Kelly. The decision was announced by Chris Young, MLB's senior VP of baseball operations.
Manager Dave Roberts has also been suspended for one game as a result of Kelly's actions. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined, as well.
"Kelly, who has previously been suspended in his career for intentional throwing, threw a pitch in the area of the head of Alex Bregman and later taunted Carlos Correa, which led to the benches clearing," MLB's statement read.
Kelly's previous suspension came when he was with the Red Sox and incited a fight with the Yankees by throwing at Tyler Austin in April 2018.
The suspension will not go into effect immediately, as Kelly has opted to appeal the league's decision. Roberts, however, will serve his suspension on Wednesday.
Kelly, 32, threw a fastball behind Bregman on a 3-0 count in the sixth inning on Tuesday. Bregman didn't show a reaction to the pitch, while Kelly yawned while gathering himself on the mound.
Three batters later, with two runners aboard and two outs, Kelly threw a breaking ball that did not break, instead darting directly at the head area of Correa.
Correa ducked out of the way but eventually struck out swinging at a breaking ball. Correa and Kelly exchanged words -- and some gestures -- as both benches and bullpens cleared, but no fight did break out on the field.
Kelly was not a member of the 2017 Dodgers, who lost in the World Series to the Astros in the year when their sign-stealing, trash can-banging scheme was in operation. But Kelly was a member of the 2017 Red Sox, who lost to the Astros in the ALDS, as well as the 2018 Red Sox, who beat the Astros in the ALCS en route to a World Series title.
After MLB investigated the Astros and determined that they cheated, only to punish none of the players, it was widely expected that pitchers would be sending messages to Astros hitters during the 2020 season. Kelly became the first to do so, and MLB clearly is intent on doing its best to ensure that he'll be the last.
for more features.