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Did Joe Kelly throw the fastest pitch in Red Sox history Friday night?

04.29.17 at 9:38 am ET

Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

For an anxious Fenway Park crowd, it was an added bonus. Joe Kelly would throw a fastball, three seconds would pass and then the radar gun reading would appear on center field big board.


Then came that one pitch to Anthony Rizzo in the seventh inning.

With the count 1-1, Kelly fired another fastball to the Cubs’ left hitter. The ball was immediately pulled on the ground toward the Red Sox dugout. A few seconds passed once again, and then there it was: 102 mph.

“That was sick,” Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez told Kelly from a few lockers away after the game.

It was the fastest pitch thrown in the major leagues this season, and might be the fastest offering ever by a Red Sox pitcher.

Since Pitch FX started tracking such things, the only Red Sox pitcher to reach 102 mph was Daniel Bard, who managed the feat July 30, 2009 against Oakland’s Landon Powell. That pitch was measured at 102.1 mph, the exact same as Kelly’s fastball to Rizzo.

When informed of the feat, Kelly simply said, “Oh, sick.”

The righty went on to say he didn’t have an idea that such an accomplishment had been achieved. “They all feel the same to me,” Kelly added. “I don’t think I’ve ever thrown that hard.”

Then there was the other part of the equation that raised eyebrows — Rizzo actually pulling the pitch.

“They eat, too. They have families to feed,” said Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez.

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