ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals rookie pitcher Joe Kelly has done just about everything in his short tenure on the mound. In college, he closed for Cal-Riverside. In the Minors and for much of his rookie season with the Cardinals, he started.
Now he's somewhere in between. Kelly has become a key middle man for the Cards this postseason, with five relief appearances spanning 5 2/3 innings. On Monday, in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, he had a new-old experience: pitching on back-to-back days. It was the first time Kelly had pitched without a day off in between appearances since he was at Riverside.
"I feel good," he said. "It was good to see what I could do in back-to-back [days]. I felt like I had some success in being able to pitch out of jams."
Kelly has helped serve as a bridge between the starters and the late-game relief corps that has been so effective this postseason. In each of his past three appearances, he has entered before the sixth inning.