EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

October 20, 2013

Uehara much better this time around vs. Tigers

BOSTON — Koji Uehara had two disastrous relief outings against these same Detroit Tigers in the 2011 American League Championship Series when he was pitching for the Texas Rangers.

He surrendered a solo homer in each appearance, which both were shorter than an inning. Both games also ended with the Rangers losing.

Flash forward two years. Things have unfolded in reverse fashion for Uehara, now the Red Sox closer, against these same Detroit Tigers.

Here in the 2013 ALCS, Uehara entered last night’s Game 6 having pitched 5.0 scoreless innings and having allowed just three hits and no walks while striking out seven batters.

The 38-year-old Japanese right-hander, who the Red Sox signed as a middle reliever/setup man this past offseason and who Boston originally had planned never to pitch more than one inning in any outing, recorded a five-out save in Game 5.

He entered last night having pitched more than one inning in three of his four postseason saves.

In other words, he was a playoff flop in ‘11 and has been a playoff MVP this fall.

He arguably was Boston’s MVP during the regular season and nothing has changed this series.

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland put it best when he said about Uehara before last night’s Game 6, “His significance right now is probably as important as anybody they’ve got on their team.”

Uehara isn’t as nervous as one might be if he had to wait about eight innings for these intense, high-pressure, extremely lengthy playoff games to unfold before being summoned to the mound to determine the outcome.

“It’s not really nervousness it’s just my natural emotion which comes out,” Uehara said through his translator.

Bogartts thinking back

Asked to think back to the first postseason game he ever watched on TV or listened to on the radio as a young boy growing up in Aruba, Red Sox 21-year-old rookie Xander Bogaerts couldn’t quite remember.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Olympic Great Michael Phelps Ending Retirement Draft Preview: Chris Davis Draft Preview: Jay Prosch Watson: 'I'm always going to cry' Is the use of pine tar considered cheating? Draft Preview: Jake Matthews Draft Preview: L'Damian Washington Calipari's Next Kittens
Boston Sports
NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday McAdam: MLB replay system already affecting Sox Running Strong: Marathon Sports Manager, Shane O'Hara reflects back on Marathon bombings Merloni: An imperfect game we're trying to make perfect Felger sounds of on the MLB replay system McAdam: Pedroia D.L. stint 'not hard to imagine' NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Carolina Panthers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Atlanta Falcons Too Hot or Too Cold: Brewers and Rangers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Oakland Raiders NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Houston Texans NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs – Jacksonville Jaguars Olympic Great Michael Phelps Ending Retirement Draft Preview: Chris Davis Draft Preview: Jay Prosch