Boston Red Sox

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

As if Joe Kelly didn’t already reveal that he might be a little unhinged after his brawl with the Yankees’ Tyler Austin, the Red Sox flamethrower admitted as much when asked about the upcoming series in the Bronx.

There’s pretty much a 100 percent chance that Kelly will be showered with boos if and when he takes the mound at Yankee Stadium, where the Sox and Yanks will tussle for a big three-game set in the Bronx from Tuesday-Thursday. As the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham noted in a new column about Kelly, hopefully the righty doesn’t also have to doge debris.

But perhaps there’s a chance Kelly enjoys the boos. Asked about that possibility, Kelly hesitated to answer before facetiously admitting he’s got enough screws loose to get some pleasure out of Yankee fans’ pain.

“No comment – but most likely yeah,” Kelly said. “I’m the complete opposite. If it gets loud, my psycho ass thinks they’re cheering for me. I’m mentally wrong. It’ll be fun.”

Dialed In

Kelly hasn’t allowed a run since his Opening Day meltdown. He’s struck out 15 and allowed just eight baserunners in 14 straight scoreless innings, and batters have posted a minuscule .312 OPS against him. He’s also somehow become the Red Sox’ “lefty specialist”, despite being a righty – left-handed batters are hitting just .080 with a .195 OPS in 26 plate appearances against him so far.

“It seems like also he’s pitching with an edge,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora told MassLive’s Christopher Smith. “I don’t know if it’s the whole thing that happened against New York.”

Apr 11, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin (26) starts a scrum with Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Joe Kelly (56) during the seventh inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Austin of the New York Yankees starts a brawl with the Boston Red Sox’ Joe Kelly at Fenway Park. (Photo Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports)

Clearly, this new Red Sox-Yankees series isn’t without plenty of other big questions. But another is whether the bad blood from the Royal Rumble that transpired in the last series will carry over. If Kelly takes the mound, it could be popcorn time.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.