Kelly not concerned about shoulder

Kelly not concerned about shoulder
August 23, 2014, 12:45 am
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BOSTON - He would've liked to have gone longer in Friday night's game against the Mariners, but Joe Kelly still had reason to be pleased with his outing.

Kelly was coming off a self-proclaimed "terrible" start against the Astros on Sunday where he allowed seven runs on seven hits and six walks in four innings of work.

On Friday night, things went completely different.

Though Kelly was lifted from the game in top of the 6th inning for precautionary reasons involving his right shoulder, he still pitched five shutout innings of one-hit, three-walk baseball. Kelly struck out six batters, and really only looked a bit uncomfortable in the fifth inning, the same one that he tweaked the shoulder in when throwing a curveball. Still, he'd stay in the game and get out of a bases-loaded jam with a pop-up to second base.

"I felt good," Kelly said after the game. "I went out there with a solid game plan especially against a good lineup, a team who's hot with a bunch of lefties, who with this short year I've had so far I haven't had much success. And try to stick to the game plan as much as I can and execute it with [Chrisian] Vazquez. We had a good idea of what we were doing out there today, and ended up pitching pretty good up until the point I got taken out."

It sounds like Kelly could have stayed in the game, and if it was up to him maybe he would have (you've heard about his competitive nature). But the team took the safe route. Kelly understands this, and is confident that it's nothing major.

"It stinks," he said of having to leave the game. "I had a little minor tweak in my shoulder that I felt on a curveball in the first pitch of an at-bat. It's something that I haven't felt, so I had a couple more warm-up pitches where I thought I was OK enough to finish the inning and then was taken out due to precautionary reasons. It's something that me and the training staff will look over and hopefully we think it's not anything too serious.

"I feel good, ran through some tests. Other than just pitching 88 pitches through five inning and having normal soreness and fatigue, there's no signs of anything too big at all and I feel like I'm going to go out there and pitch my next start."

Though the one hit allowed stands out in Kelly's line for the night, it was his control that he said he was "definitely focused on" going into the start. Up until that fifth inning, Kelly only had one walk. Perhaps a bit of over-thinking after the tweak partially led to two more in the fifth inning. Still, it was a far cry from the seven walks he had last time around.

"Had walks tonight that I wasn't too happy about," Kelly said. "But predominantly I wanted to work on obviously not walking guys. To pitch at this level you've got to have good fastball command, and that's what I try to focus on as much as I can in-between starts. It's still a work in progress, it's still not where I want it to be, but it definitely was a lot better tonight. I think we executed on both sides of the plate and not staying in one location with the fastball tonight so far better than I have since I've been here."

Farrell said the team will check Kelly out tomorrow to make sure everything in his shoulder looks fine.