To say that Koji Uehara has been lights out this season for the Boston Red Sox is like saying Anthony Weiner may have made some serious errors in judgement. In both cases, the answer is a resounding yes.
Uehara has retired 27 consecutive batters dating back to Aug. 17. The right-hander who has become Boston’s hands down 10th player is the first reliever in team history to pull off the feat, topping lefty Tom Burgmeier‘s 1980 record. Opponents last scored on Uehara on June 30th. Uehara has gone 27 innings without allowing a run, his longest streak in either the Majors or Japan.
Equally impressive has been Uehara’s efficiency. During the historic stretch he pitched 7 2/3 innings, retiring all 23 batters he’s faced while striking out 10. In three of those outings, he’s needed fewer than 10 pitches to get the job done so it’s not he’s getting worn out. Quite simply he has been scary dominant.
As reported by WEEI’s Alex Speir, “…it’s a run that has not occurred in isolation. In his 63 1/3 innings this year, the right-hander has allowed just 29 hits (.133 opponents’ batting average) and nine walks (1.3 per nine innings) — with his 0.600 WHIP ranking, at this moment, as the lowest in major league history for a pitcher who worked at least 50 innings, besting the standard for greatness achieved by Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley with the A’s in 1989 (0.607).”