What Yankee Got Into Fight With Joe Kelly?

Kevin Smith

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Yankee Got Into Fight With Joe Kelly

The heated rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees has produced many memorable moments over the years.

One such moment occurred in April 2018, when Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly hit Yankees player Tyler Austin with a 98-mph pitch, igniting a bench-clearing brawl between the two teams.

This incident captured the attention of baseball fans and media outlets alike, and sparked a debate about the role of fighting in the sport. We will examine the details of the incident, its fallout, and its impact on the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.


The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry

The rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees is one of the most intense and historic rivalries in baseball. These two teams have been battling it out for over a century, with their first meeting dating back to 1901.

The rivalry has produced countless memorable moments, including the famous “Curse of the Bambino,” which lasted for 86 years before the Red Sox finally won the World Series in 2004. The rivalry continues to this day and is always a highly anticipated matchup.

Previous incidents between the two teams

Given the intensity of the rivalry, it’s not surprising that there have been many incidents between the Red Sox and Yankees over the years.

Some of the most notable incidents include the 2003 ALCS, when Yankees pitcher Pedro Martinez famously threw Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer to the ground during a brawl, and the 2004 ALCS, when Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling played through an injury to help the team come back from a 3-0 deficit and win the series.

Kelly’s reputation for throwing inside pitches

Joe Kelly has developed a reputation for throwing inside pitches throughout his career. This can be an effective strategy for getting batters out, but it can also lead to incidents like the one that occurred in April 2018.

Kelly had previously been involved in a similar incident in 2013 when he hit New York Yankees player Dean Anna during a game.

This incident likely contributed to the tension between Kelly and the Yankees going into the April 2018 game.

The Incident

On April 11, 2018, the Boston Red Sox were playing the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. The game was tied 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning when Joe Kelly entered the game as the Red Sox pitcher. He faced off against Tyler Austin, a Yankees utility player, in what would become a fateful at-bat.

Kelly’s pitch to Austin

During the at-bat, Kelly threw a 98-mph pitch that hit Austin in the back, causing him to drop his bat and slowly walk towards first base.

It’s worth noting that Kelly had thrown a pitch inside to Austin earlier in the at-bat, which Austin had fouled off. Some viewed this as Kelly setting up the pitch that would hit Austin.

Austin’s reaction and charging the mound

Tyler Austin clearly took issue with being hit by the pitch, and he immediately turned and gestured towards Kelly. He then charged the mound, throwing his helmet at Kelly before the two players started swinging at each other.

Bench-clearing brawl

The fight between Kelly and Austin quickly escalated into a full-blown brawl, as players from both teams rushed onto the field to get involved. The benches cleared, and punches were thrown as the players tried to separate each other.

The brawl lasted several minutes and resulted in several players being ejected from the game, including both Kelly and Austin.


Austin’s suspension and appeal

After the incident, Tyler Austin was suspended for five games by Major League Baseball for charging the mound and fighting with Kelly. Austin appealed the suspension, but it was ultimately upheld.

Kelly’s suspension and appeal

Joe Kelly was also suspended for his role in the brawl, receiving a six-game suspension. Kelly also appealed the suspension, but it was reduced to five games.

Reaction from the media and fans

The incident generated a lot of attention from the media and fans. Some praised Kelly for standing up for his teammates and retaliating against Austin, while others criticized him for throwing a dangerous pitch and inciting the brawl.

Many also debated the role of fighting in baseball, with some arguing that it is an important part of the game and others calling for a crackdown on violent behavior.

Impact on the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry

The incident further fueled the already intense rivalry between the Red Sox and Yankees. The teams continued to play each other throughout the season, and tensions remained high.

The incident also sparked a debate about whether or not such fighting is necessary in baseball, and it raised questions about how the league should handle similar incidents in the future.

Ultimately, the incident served as a reminder of the passion and intensity that the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry can bring to the sport of baseball.

Here is a Table That Summarizes Some Key Details About the Joe Kelly-tyler Austin Incident:

 Joe Kelly-Tyler Austin Incident
DateApril 11, 2018
TeamsBoston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees
VenueFenway Park, Boston, MA
At-batBottom of the 7th inning
PitchJoe Kelly throws a 98-mph fastball at Tyler Austin, hitting him in the back
Austin’s ReactionAustin charges the mound and a bench-clearing brawl ensues
SuspensionsTyler Austin (5 games), Joe Kelly (6 games, reduced to 5 on appeal)
FalloutGenerated a lot of attention from media and fans, reignited the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, sparked a debate about fighting in baseball

The table summarizes key details about the incident, including the date, teams, and venue, as well as information about the at-bat, the pitch, and the fallout from the incident. It provides an easy-to-read reference for anyone looking to quickly understand the basics of what happened during the game.


What is a beanball?

A beanball is a pitch that is intentionally thrown at a batter’s head or body. Beanballs are often used as a form of retaliation in baseball, with pitchers throwing at batters who they believe have shown disrespect or have violated some unwritten rule of the game.

Are brawls common in baseball?

Brawls or bench-clearing incidents are not particularly common in baseball, but they do happen from time to time. They often arise out of heated rivalries, personal conflicts between players, or perceived acts of aggression on the field.

What is the role of the umpire in a bench-clearing incident?

The role of the umpire during a bench-clearing incident is to try to restore order and prevent further violence from occurring. Umpires are trained to identify which players are involved in the altercation and to make decisions about whether or not to eject them from the game. They may also call for additional security or law enforcement to help quell the situation.

How are suspensions determined in baseball?

Suspensions in baseball are typically determined by the league’s office of discipline. The length of the suspension may depend on factors such as the severity of the incident, the player’s history of violent behavior, and whether or not the player cooperates with the league’s investigation into the matter.

How has the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry evolved over time?

The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry is one of the most storied and intense rivalries in all of sports. Over time, the rivalry has seen its fair share of memorable moments, including heated games, dramatic comebacks, and controversial incidents like the Joe Kelly-Tyler Austin brawl. While the teams’ rosters and fan bases have evolved over the years, the intensity of the rivalry has remained constant, cementing its place in baseball lore.


The 2018 incident between Joe Kelly and Tyler Austin during a Red Sox-Yankees game was a highly memorable and controversial moment in baseball.

The heated rivalry between the two teams, combined with Kelly’s reputation for throwing inside pitches, led to a confrontation that quickly escalated into a bench-clearing brawl.

The incident resulted in suspensions for both Kelly and Austin and sparked a wider debate about fighting in baseball.

It also served as a reminder of the passion and intensity that can arise in sports, particularly in the context of historic rivalries like that between the Red Sox and Yankees.

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Kevin Smith

I am a dedicated learner who is constantly pursuing my dreams in many areas of life. I am a Finance major at the University of Maryland, a professional baseball player for the Toronto Blue Jays and the owner of my personal brand, Elevate Baseball. I hope to inspire younger learners of all sports and interests to tirelessly pursue their dreams, whatever that may be. LinkedIn

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