Closing perfection: Uehara retires 27 in a row
NEW YORK -- When Red Sox closer Koji Uehara induced Yankees catcher Chris Stewart into a popup to end a 6-1 win on Aug. 17, he had no way of knowing that he had just started a unique kind of perfect game.
The right-hander completed the masterpiece on Friday night, also against the Yankees, when he struck out Robinson Cano.
Just like that, over the course of his last nine outings, Uehara has retired 27 batters in a row.
"That would be a perfect game," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He was adamant about getting in the game that night."
The way Uehara has been pitching, it's hard to blame him for wanting to get in there, even in a non-save situation such as Friday's 12-8 win.
Uehara downplayed the significance of mowing through 27 straight batters, 14 of which have come on strikeouts.
"Not really," said Uehara. "It's not really an official record or anything like that, so not really."
At the age of 37, it's hard to dispute that he's pitching the best baseball of his career.
"I guess just judging from the numbers, it is," Uehara said.
For the record, the last batter to reach against Uehara was Lyle Overbay, who hit a double in that Aug. 17 game at Fenway Park.
Does Uehara remember the last time he allowed a baserunner?
"No, I don't," Uehara said. "But I don't really think about that."
Uehara is 18-for-21 in save opportunities this season and has a 1.14 ERA. Opponents are hitting .134 against him.