Arizona Diamondbacks’ Merrill Kelly is set to take the mound for Team USA as they take on Columbia to wrap up pool play action on Wednesday.
Merrill Kelly gets the starting nod for @USABaseball in their final game of Pool C play as they look to advance to the quarterfinals of the #WorldBaseballClassic! pic.twitter.com/tt0A9Uf7Fv
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) March 14, 2023
The game will take place at Chase Field, Kelly’s home ballpark, and the game is a must-win for Team USA as they sit with a 2-1 record.
While there have been no questions regarding the talent on the offensive side of Team USA’s roster, their pitching has raised some eyebrows in this first week of action.
On Sunday, USA lost to Mexico with a final score of 11-5, USA’s pitching staff allowed 15 hits through eight innings of play before the run rule took effect.
However, they were able to bounce back with a massive win against Canada on Monday as the bats took control. This star-studded offense put up nine runs in the first, resulting in a quick 12-1 victory.
CAPTAIN AMERICA HITS ONE OUT 🇺🇸
Mike Trout makes it 9-0 for Team USA!!! pic.twitter.com/toDTp1wGtp
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 14, 2023
It was the Chicago White Sox’ Lance Lynn who provided five brilliant innings, allowing just two hits on the mound. This impressive outing from Lynn allowed the USA to limit their bullpen action as the pitch count is in effect during all games in the World Baseball Classic.
Now, Team USA will hand the ball over to the 34-year-old Merrill Kelley in a win-or-go home game against Colombia.
Kelly is an Arizona native, as he attended Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale before going to Arizona State University.
Since he spent a ton of time in the minor leagues, Kelly has only been in the big leagues for four years, all of which have been with the Diamondbacks.
And last season, Kelly overperformed in just about every aspect of his game as he finished with a 13-8 record, a 3.37 ERA, and 177 strikeouts through 33 starts.
Tune in to FOX as Team USA can control its own destiny against Colombia on Wednesday at 7 PM Arizona time.
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