Keone Kela admits he went head-hunting on Derek Dietrich
Keone Kela did not hide his reason for throwing up and in on Derek Dietrich in Tuesday’s Pittsburgh Pirates-Cincinnati Reds game that set the stage for a big 9th-inning fight.
Kela, who pitched a scoreless 7th inning, essentially admitted after the game that he threw high on Dietrich because it was “overdue” and he had to “protect” his teammates.
Keone Kela on his pitch to Dietrich: "People could say it’s overdue. At the end of the day this is baseball, and I have to protect my teammates. I have to do what I feel is right. Not only that, you have to pitch in. That’s part of this game."
— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) July 31, 2019
Here’s a look at his pitch that got people fired up:
This is the FIRST pitch Keony Kela threw at Derek Dietrich in a game where the Pirates are leading and Dietrich is pinch hitting. The Pirates were trying to injure him for a pimp job he did…in May. pic.twitter.com/RYEftjbiel
— And This Blog Belongs To The Reds (@ATBBTTR) July 31, 2019
Joey Votto had words for Kela in defense of Dietrich, who struck out in the at-bat. The two teams were warned.
David Bell was later ejected in the eighth for defending Yasiel Puig after a strike call the outfielder didn’t like. Then in the ninth things really kicked up. Jared Hughes was ejected for hitting Starling Marte with a pitch begin the inning. Then a batter after giving up a 3-run home run, Amir Garrett charged towards the Pirates dugout and fought the whole team.
Dietrich was at the center of a fight between the teams on April 7. He pimped a home run in that game, which led Chris Archer to throw at him.
Dietrich defended himself later, taking a shot at Kela for a recent suspension.
Dietrich on Kela: "Obviously, I think that guy’s reputation speaks for himself. When you’re getting suspended off your own team, I think that goes to show you what they think of you in your own clubhouse. I’m just speaking from what I know and the truth."
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) July 31, 2019
The beef between these clubs does not look likely to pass any time soon.