A foreign pitcher pitched five games in a row while his family was sick. There was a reason why right-hander Kyle Keller, 30, who joined the Yomiuri Giants from the Hanshin Tigers, was loved by his teammates.

Japan’s Nikkan Sports reported the story behind Keller’s midseason return on Aug. 31 under the headline “Why Keller was loved by his teammates. His struggles before his emergency return show his humanity.

Keller returned to the United States temporarily during the season on Aug. 11 last year for family reasons. He was in the midst of an 11-game scoreless streak when he pitched five consecutive games in six days, from Aug. 5 against the Yokohama DeNA BayStars to Aug. 10 against the Yomiuri Giants.

Nikkan Sports reported, “A member of Keller’s family became seriously ill, but he continued his streak without announcing the situation for several days, even earning a save in the final game. “I pitched until I got home because I knew the bullpen was getting tired over the summer,” he said.

Despite not being able to rejoin the team to take care of his family,

Hanshin players did not forget Keller’s efforts and celebrated with his No. 42 jersey after clinching the Central League title on Sept. 14. Keller also sent a congratulatory message through an interpreter, saying, “I’m sorry I couldn’t be with you until the end, but I’m really happy.”

After making his major league debut with the Miami Marlins in 2019, Keller spent three seasons with the Los Angeles Angels in 2020 and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2021, going 1-1 with a 5.83 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 44 games (46⅓ innings). After failing to break out, he moved to Japan in 2022.

He was demoted to the second team after the opening two games, but he rebounded by honing his forkball and became a mainstay in the bullpen after returning to the first team in June. He was re-signed after going 3-2 with a 3.31 ERA and 5 saves in 34 appearances (32⅔ innings), including a 17-game scoreless streak, with 46 strikeouts.

Keller, who tops out at 157 mph and averages 152 mph with a curveball as his deciding pitch, went 1-0 with a 1.71 ERA and eight saves in 27 games (26⅓ innings) last year in his second year. However, he was unable to complete the season due to family issues and was placed on the disabled list. He received interest from Major League Baseball teams, but signed with Yomiuri and returned to Japan.

His move to Hanshin’s rival Yomiuri is unusual.

This is only the ninth time a player has been transferred between the two teams since Nippon Professional Baseball’s two-division system began in 1950. Keller is the second foreigner to play for Hanshin after left-hander Darrell May, who played for Hanshin in 1998-1999 and Yomiuri in 2000-2001. 바카라사이트 Yomiuri acquired the proven Card Keller to bolster its bullpen.

“I am very excited to join the Yomiuri,” said Keller, whose contract was officially announced on June 26. It’s an honor to be part of a new chapter in the history of one of baseball’s most storied franchises. I will do my best to help the team and its fans win more championships. I look forward to getting to know my new teammates, coaching staff, and manager Shinnosuke Abe. I’m also looking forward to taking the mound at Tokyo Dome in front of the Giants fans.”

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