UPDATED 7/29, 5:35 p.m. ET: ESPN's Jeff Passan reports that Joe Kelly is being suspended for eight games.
Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly has been suspended eight games. In announcing it, MLB referred to Kelly's past history with intentional throwing, the fastball that buzzed Alex Bregman and his taunting of Carlos Correa.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 29, 2020
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The Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers cleared their benches on Tuesday, after Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly threw at Astros players and taunted Carlos Correa.
As the Los Angeles Times reports, the Dodgers were up three runs on the way to their eventual 5-2 victory at Minute Maid Park, when the game gradually started to turn hostile. Kelly threw a 96-mph fastball behind Alex Bregman's head, which he followed with a casual yawn.
Kelly then threw an 87-mph curveball that almost hit Correa in the head, before striking out the shortstop. The two players began jawing at one another, and that's when things got ugly.
"I don't remember the words," Kelly explained later. "Was a kind of in-the-moment type thing. I guess my expression was what I interpreted in my head what he was saying."
Speaking in a post-game interview, Astros manager Dusty Baker alleged that Kelly instigated the situation by saying "nice swing, bitch" to Correa. "You going to throw at somebody, you don't throw at a guy's head," he added. "That's dirty baseball. Now you're flirting with ending his career."
While no punches were thrown, Baker said that there's no excuse for Kelly's behavior. "Don’t give him an excuse," Baker said. “I’m not going to give him an excuse because we didn’t say anything. My guys didn’t do nothing, OK?"
Incidents like this could become the norm for the Astros in 2020, after the bombshell cheating scandal made them the undisputed villains of baseball. That's especially true for the Dodgers, who lost to the Astros in the 2018 World Series.