After last night’s tough outing by the bullpen, the Washington Nationals relievers will be under the microscope in Philadelphia. One reliever to keep a close eye on is Shawn Kelley.
In the 4-3 loss last night, Kelley pitched the eighth inning and gave up a two-run home run to J.T. Realmuto that ended up tying the game. While one game isn’t too much to be concerned over, keep in mind that Dusty Baker warmed him up in each of the first two games and didn’t use him.
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Of course, everyone remembers how Kelley’s season ended last year. He had a great month of September, but ended up leaving Game 5 of the NLDS early because of injury.
If Kelley is going to be used against the Phillies, he has a good track record against them based on last year’s numbers. In six games, he gave up one hit, struck out five, and had an opponents batting average of .083.
With most of the bullpen pitching yesterday and Blake Treinen having thrown back-to-back days, Kelley could be the one that’s called upon for a save situation today if needed. If that’s the case, then it will be interesting to see if he can bounce back and have better command of his slider.
On the Phillies side, their bullpen has given up three home runs in the first three games. One of those home runs came on Opening Day when their closer, Jeanmar Gomez, gave up a two-run shot to Scooter Gennett.
Which players will you be watching this weekend? Let us know in the comments section.