Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports

Joe Kelly details what it was like pitching in Yankee Stadium for first time since brawl

Ryan Hannable
May 08, 2018 - 11:55 pm

NEW YORK — Tuesday night’s appearance for Joe Kelly against the Yankees wasn’t a typical walk to the mound from the bullpen.

The last time Kelly was on the field with the Yankees he was throwing punches with Tyler Austin, which led to a benches clearing brawl and Kelly getting suspended for six games and Austin five.

Since the game, Kelly has turned into one of the most hated men in all of New York.

The 45,000 fans in attendance showed their displeasure for him when the bullpen door opened and he stepped on to the field, as he was welcomed with loud boo’s, which lasted well into his warm-up pitches.

“It’s probably more like a playoff atmosphere,” Kelly said. “Any time you pitch in the playoffs, it’s very similar, so it was fun.”

“Nothing I hadn’t heard before,” he added.

Kelly entered with the bases loaded and one out in a tie game, but allowed a single to Aaron Judge, the first batter he faced, which ultimately proved to be the game-winning hit in the Yankees’ 3-2 win.

For manager Alex Cora, Kelly handled pitching with perhaps some extra emotion better than he expected.

“He was OK. He was OK,” he said. “Actually, I thought it was going to be worse. But it was a good baseball game. Like I’ve been telling you guys, this place is alive. I lived it last year during the playoffs. They’re showing up early, and they’re loud. It was a good environment. It was a good baseball game, you know? They made some plays. They put good at-bats. We did the same thing. And, they just were one run better than us.”

While Kelly may have got his first appearance out of the way, it doesn’t seem likely he will be a Yankee fan favorite any time soon.