Joe Kelly left his appearance in Game 5 of the NLCS with a right biceps strain, and will likely miss the remainder of the postseason.
“It’s a biceps strain,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We’re going to continue to evaluate, but just kind of the way it reads right now, that will be it for the rest of the season for him.”
Kelly was the first of seven pitchers used in Thursday’s win over the Braves, but left the game after just four batters and two outs, allowing a two-run home run to Freddie Freeman. Kelly walked off the mound with trainer Yosuke Nakajima.
Kelly has been one of the Dodgers’ most trusted high-leverage relievers this postseason, pitching in seven of 11 games. Before Freeman’s homer on Thursday, Kelly allowed one run in 4⅔ innings, with five strikeouts and a walk.
During the regular season Kelly had a 2.86 ERA and 3.08 FIP in 48 games, with 50 strikeouts and 15 walks in 44 innings.
The Dodgers will replace Kelly on the roster before Game 6. Left-hander David Price, who was active for the wild card game and NLDS, is the leading candidate to take Kelly’s roster spot.
“We’re considering some guys, but David is at the top of the list,” Roberts said.
In the postseason, removing a player from the roster for an injury makes them ineligible for the next round, which is also what happen to third baseman Justin Turner, who suffered a left hamstring strain in Game 4 and was replaced on the roster Thursday by Andy Burns.
“We’re getting kind of burned with injuries. It’s tough seeing the guys go down,” said AJ Pollock. “Guys are putting their heart and soul to it, and then to have to come out of a game. It’s tough. It’s tough on them. It’s tough on the teammates.”
The last of the seven pitchers used on Thursday was Kenley Jansen, who entered with a nine-run lead, usually outside of his purview. Roberts said left-hander Justin Bruihl, who pitched in each of the previous two days, likely would have pitched in that situation but is dealing with arm soreness.
The other two relievers not used were Phil Bickford and Tony Gonsolin, both of whom pitched the previous two days, including recording five and six outs, respectively, in Game 4 on Wednesday.