Merrill Kelly reaches 200 IP in D-backs’ season finale, win vs. Brewers

Oct 5, 2022, 3:56 PM
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly throws during the first inning of a baseball ga...

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly reached 200 innings pitched in Wednesday’s season finale against the Milwaukee Brewers, a 4-2 win.

Kelly’s lone sacrificed run came via an RBI groundout in the fifth inning. He allowed four hits and two walks.

Christian Walker’s RBI single for the D-backs in the fourth inning originally had Arizona in front before the game was tied, and the deadlock was broken in the eighth inning when Arizona reliever Sean Poppen gave up a solo homer to Rowdy Tellez.

The D-backs bullpen was set to be marked down for another loss until Walker’s leadoff single to begin the top of the ninth and Josh Rojas’ two-run dinger put the D-backs back in the lead. Corbin Caroll homered the next at-bat for an insurance run and Kevin Ginkel would hold the lead to end the year with a victory.

Arizona finished the season 74-88.

The marker for Kelly represents his ability to not only be a reliable option in the D-backs’ starting rotation but a season in which he pitched deep into games on a number of occasions.

Kelly’s six innings pitched for one earned run on Wednesday made it the 23rd time in 2022 that Kelly tossed at least six innings. That’s a notable bump after 16 of those outings last year and 19 in 2019. Kelly entered the season with 16 career starts lasting at least seven innings pitched and he did it 13 times alone this year.

The season ERA for Kelly will end at 3.37, a new career best when not factoring in his five-start 2020 campaign. A 1.142 WHIP coming into Wednesday that will maintain right around there is also going to be a top mark.

When Kelly came out of the game, he became the eighth player in the majors to reach 200 innings pitched. He is the first D-back to do it since 2018 when both Zack Greinke and Patrick Corbin reached 200.

It’s a part of baseball that has changed significantly in the last decade-plus, as pitch counts and maintenance on throwing arms are far more emphasized. As an example, Arizona’s franchise record from Randy Johnson of 271.2 innings pitched in 1999 will likely never get close to being touched. The highest innings pitched total for a D-backs pitcher since 2010 is 222.0, an amount reached by Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson.

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