Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Koji Uehara, 2011 Topps Attax #135

You probably think Koji Uehara is a pretty good reliever, right? Guess again, because he's even better than that. It's a sad fact for Orioles fans that the Red Sox have an inside track on the American League East division title, since they're 7.5 games up on the Rays and 9.5 ahead of the Orioles with three weeks left in the regular season. But Boston could have actually widened that gap if they had tabbed Uehara as their closer sooner. The Sox went through a handful of other options before injuries caused them to begrudingly turn to the guy with the astronomical strikeout-to-walk ratio and the career relief ERA of 1.98. For the season, Koji is 3-0 with 18 saves in 21 tries. His earned run average is a paltry 1.12, his WHIP is 0.59, and his aforementioned K/BB is 9.89. He's struck out 89 batters in 64.1 innings while walking nine (two of those walks were intentional). Now the Japanese righty is making headlines for his "hidden perfect game". On August 17, Uehara gave up a two-out double to Lyle Overbay, but finished out a 6-1 Boston win over the Yankees by inducing a pop-up from Chris Stewart.

That was the last time anyone reached base against Koji.

Since August 17, the Red Sox' closer is six-for-six in save situations and, with a flawless inning of work in Friday's 12-8 win over New York, he has now retired the last 27 batters he's faced, striking out a dozen. It would take him several more games to topple Mark Buehrle's record of 45 consecutive batters put out, but the guy is just rolling.

Koji Uehara is still one of my favorite players in baseball, but I'd rather see him pitch for almost anyone else.

1 comment:

shlabotnikreport said...

I love Koji as well, and I'm glad that you said that you'd rather see him pitch ALMOST anywhere else, because there's always the Yankees.

...or the Marlins, but that's just me.