Red Sox Closer Koji Uehara Just Needed a Hug (GIF)
If you’re looking for a reason not to hate the Red Sox, Koji Uehara is probably it.
Two years ago, at the age of 36, the reliever stunk so bad in the ALCS that the Rangers left him off their roster when they got to the World Series. This season, however, at the age of 38, Uehara earned a spot in the Boston bullpen, then took over the role of closer in June and has never looked back. He allowed just 0.565 walks and hits per inning pitched this season—and that’s over 74 innings—recording 21 saves and a 1.09 ERA.
And in the postseason, Uehara has been the Sox’s most dependable pitcher. On Tuesday he recorded a four-out save. Then, last night, he recorded a five-out save—something that used to happen all the time, but which you rarely see anymore.
Point is, though, Uehara is a nice story. And on top of the redemption part, he seems like a pretty likeable guy.
Last week, for example, after the Red Sox knocked off the Rays, Uehara and David Ortiz shared a rather interesting champagne-soaked embrace in the locker room. And last night, after notching his fourth save of the postseason, he just needed a plain old-fashioned hug:
What can I say? Uehara is an affectionate guy.