Two nations are grateful to right-hand pitcher Koji Uehara when he came into the ninth inning of Game 6 of the MLB World Series on Wednesday night (Thursday morning in Japan). The first would be the Red Sox Nation as Uehara delivered a three-up, three-down performance. The next would be his home country, as he brought glory to the Japanese nation with his emphatic performance.
“I can’t feel anything but happiness,” said Uehara. “The only thing that mattered was winning, so I went to the mound thinking I could [afford to give up] one or two runs.” But the 38-year old pitcher did none of that. Besides not giving up any runs, he also retired all three Cardinals he faced while on the mound. “His name, Koji, should be remembered for generations,” claimed a local Boston newspaper.
For someone who completed with an 1.09 ERA during the regular season, Uehara admitted, “This season, I was performing so well that it felt scary.” But as soon as he struck out Matt Carpenter in the ninth inning of Game 6, sealing the 6-1 score on board, the Fall Classic was finally over. The Boston Red Sox are once again the World Series Champions, their third since 2004. “I’m really eager to take a break,” said the Osaka-born pitcher.
Uehara also closed Games 4 and 5 for the BoSox at Fenway Park, which they both won against the St. Louis Cardinals. Joining him as one of the Japanese to win the 2013 World Series is Junichi Tazawa, who pitched 0.1 inning in Game 6. His 94 mph fastball grounded out Allen Craig to end the eight inning.
[via Sport UK]
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