Giants-Reds game a family affair for the Kellys

August 17th, 2018

CINCINNATI -- If the dilemma facing the Kelly family on Friday night seemed unique, the conclusion was rarer still.

Both parties left Great American Ball Park content after the Reds' 2-1 victory over the Giants in 11 innings.

The stage was set for divided loyalties as right-hander made his Giants starting debut against the Reds, whose bench coach is his father, Pat Kelly.

Casey Kelly received no decision in a performance that was shaky yet effective. The Reds rapped nine hits in 4 1/3 innings off him, yet generated only one run. Nobody -- not the players Pat Kelly was obligated to support, nor his cherished son -- was embarrassed.

"It definitely was a cool experience," Casey Kelly said.

"It was fun. I don't get the chance to watch him that much," Pat Kelly said. "I'm sure I was more nervous than he was. You just want him to do well. He survived. I thought he did a nice job."

The evening began with the Kellys acknowledging each other -- nothing demonstrative, essentially mutual eye contact -- but something shared nonetheless. They even gave each other a midgame salute.

"Kind of a respect thing," Casey Kelly said.

Casey Kelly received his starting assignment after right-hander went on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. It was just another twist in Kelly's career. He also has endured Tommy John surgery, a sports hernia and other maladies over his 10 professional seasons.

"For him to persevere like this, that's really what it's all about," his father said.

Casey Kelly continued to persevere against the Reds. Pitching on one day of rest -- he appeared in Wednesday's series finale at Los Angeles -- he stranded six runners in his 4 1/3 innings.

"He showed he's got some guts," Giants catcher said.

The questions that Pat Kelly fielded in the hours leading up to the indirect confrontation between father and son were what you might expect.

Seeking an edge, Reds personnel asked Pat Kelly for a scouting report on his son.

"He's a 5-foot-9, sidearming knuckleballer," he responded in jest.

In reality, Casey Kelly is a 6-foot-3, 215-pounder who throws the typical complement of hard stuff. He also asked his father similar questions to those of the Reds' personnel.

"Of course, I went to breakfast with him, and he wants to know about our hitters," Pat Kelly said before the game. "I had to be real quiet today."

After the game, he had every reason to cheer until he was hoarse.