(BaseballStL) -- The St. Louis Cardinals couldn’t have asked for more from reliever-turned-starter Joe Kelly on Wednesday.
Kelly is no stranger to starting games at the big league level after making 16 of them for St. Louis last season. This one was different for Kelly, who has already made 16 relief appearances in 2013.
One night after his team dropped a 14-inning game to the Arizona Diamondback, the Cardinals were looking for Kelly to give the bullpen, which combined to throw 9.1 innings in the loss, a much needed break.
And he delivered.
“Joe did a good job for us and we needed that,” Mike Matheny said. “He was good. He had a good sinker working and probably the best change-up I’ve ever seen him throw. Overall, just a real big outing when we needed it.”
Kelly was the unfortunate losing pitcher in Wednesday’s 10-3 loss, but his performance showed otherwise. He allowed two runs, only one earned, on four hits and a walk in 5.2 innings pitched.
After being taken out in the sixth inning, left fielder Matt Holliday was unable to make a catch on a fly ball near the foul line which allowed the runner, who reached base off Kelly, to score the go-ahead run to make it 2-1. It marked Kelly’s third loss of the season.
Kelly said afterwards that he is hoping his arm recovers from the 80-pitch outing in time to pitch in a few days, if needed.