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Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly suspended eight games by MLB for inciting scuffle with Astros

Joe Kelly, Carlos Correa

Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly has been suspended eight games by MLB for his role in escalating tensions during Tuesday night’s game against the Houston Astros.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has also been suspended, and will serve his suspension on Wednesday night. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined.

Such a suspension is pretty massive, considering the 2020 MLB season is just 60 games.

However, Kelly is reportedly appealing his suspension, meaning he will be allowed to continue pitching until the appeal process has been completed.

Tuesday’s game between the two clubs initially seemed like a normal affair. But that changed when Astros third baseman Alex Bregman stepped to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Kelly fell behind 3-0 to Bregman, and proceeded to buzz a 96 mph fastball right by his ear. Bregman was clearly upset by the pitch, though he did not do anything to provoke Kelly or worsen the situation.

Later in the inning, however, Kelly seemed to welcome confrontation. He struck out Astros shortstop Carlos Correa with a slider, then proceeded to make faces at Correa and shout in his direction.

Astros manager Dusty Baker said after the game Kelly told Correa “Nice swing, b***h” after the strikeout.

Benches cleared as Correa walked towards Kelly, though the incident did not result in any physical action.

Obviously, there is some interesting recent history between the Dodgers and Astros. The two sides squared off in the 2017 World Series, which is now tainted by a massive sign-stealing investigation finding Houston culpable of cheating.

Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson even alluded to the sign-stealing scandal prior to Tuesday’s game.

In any case, it will be interesting to see whether tensions flare again on Wednesday night in Houston.