Angels Keynan Middleton stands by Joe Kelly buzzing Astros

Angels reliever Keynan Middleton is standing by Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly after the latter was suspended for throwing at the Astros on Tuesday.

After throwing a few pitches up and inside to the Houston Astros last night, Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly received an eight-game suspension from Major League Baseball for inciting the first bench-clearing incident of the COVID era. However, Angels‘ pitcher Keynan Middleton is standing up for his Dodgers compatriot.

The incident occurred during the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game in Houston. It was the first meeting between the two teams since the cheating scandal involving the Astros in the 2017 World Series came to light.

Kelly, who wasn’t even with the Dodgers during that series, threw a 3-0 fastball behind the head of Alex Bregman to lead-off the inning. After striking out Carlos Correa to end the inning, the reliever was quoted as saying some choice words to the Astros’ shortstop. When Correa took exception, Kelly made some interesting faces that would make Jim Carrey proud.

The whole situation was broken down nicely by our friends at Dodgers Way. You can see the video below.

The choice to throw at Houston hitters was a long time coming in light of the revelations of cheating throughout the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Kelly may have just been the right man in the right spot for the job.

Unfortunately, as we’re playing in an era of COVID, Kelly’s actions did incite benches to clear and social distancing was not observed while players were jaw-jacking with one another. As such, MLB’s police appear to have made an example of Kelly, who was handed an eight-game suspension. That’s the equivalent to a 22-game suspension in a regular season and seems a bit harsh in the light of the fact that no Astros were suspended for any games over their cheating.

Perhaps that is why Angels’ reliever Keynan Middleton felt the need to stand up for his fellow set-up man. Key took to Twitter after the announcement was made and voiced his support for Kelly.

https://twitter.com/since93key/status/1288584934962036736

We’re not sure if he’s tipping the fact that the Angels expect to hand out their own punishment to the Astros, but it’s obvious that Middleton approves of Kelly’s efforts.

The Angels start a three-game series against the Astros on July 31st in Anaheim.