Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly received an eight-game suspension from Major League Baseball for his role in a bench-clearing clash at Houston’s Minute Med Park on Tuesday night.
Dobbers manager Dave Roberts was issued a one-game suspension and fined Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker, MLB announced.
Under the 60-game format, the eight-game suspension would account for more than 13% of the schedule.
Kelly, who threw a fastball in the back of Alex Bragman’s head and later taunted Carlos Kore on the way to the dugout, will appeal his suspension. MLB, citing arriving at its conclusion, Kelly had already been suspended for “deliberately throwing” at a hitter. Kelly was suspended for six games in April 2018 after beating the Yankees’ Tyler Austin.
Roberts will serve his suspension during the series finale in Houston on Wednesday, allowing bench coach Bob Gerren to serve as interim manager.
Kelly denied the intention after the Dodgers’ 5–2 win on Tuesday: “My accuracy is not the best.” After his 3–0, 96-mph fastball went past Bragman, Kelly also threw four pitches to the Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel and later brushed the Corbels back with a pair inside.
After Cory was dismissed, Kelly made a charming face on Cory while getting back in the dugout. Baker said Kelly also yelled, “Good swing, b —-.”
Speaking on Wednesday, Astro starter Lance McCullers Jr. had no doubt about Kelly’s intentions.
“Joe Kelly threw a ball behind Bregman’s head 3-0,” McCullers said. He said, ‘Not only did he take it upon himself to send a message, but he was also not a part of the team during that time  weather. We knew coming into the game that he likes to get away from the script. It is what it is. This was done in an unprofessional manner. What he did after punching Cory was unprofessional. Running in the dugout was unprofessional. So, it is what it is. We are here to play baseball. We just want to win. Bus.”
The Esters defeated the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series, a controversial championship due to Houston’s sign-stealing scandal.