1. Delighting Red Sox fans with his wicked nasty arsenal of pitches, Koji Uehara has been lights out this year. His numbers are crazy. CRAZY.
3. Uehara has struck out 39% of all batters (94-of-241) he’s faced this season.
4. Most impressive of all: Uehara has retired the last 37 hitters against him — the longest streak by a reliever since 2007. He has one and a third perfect games going.
5. It’s mostly due to a devastatingly effective split-fingered fastball that comes in around 80 mph and dips down at the last moment. Batters this month have whiffed at 22 of 53 splitters (41.5%).
6. But Uehara is also working in a nifty rising fastball at times — 89 or 90 mph and you can’t help but chase it up and away.
8. Maybe the best news for Red Sox fans is that he’s already under contract for next season at a bargain price of $5 million, so this’ll be a familiar Fenway sight for some time.
9. Not bad for a one-time Japanese League star. While winning 103 games over nine seasons in Japan, Uehara also pitched in the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
10. When the US sent an All-Star team to Japan in 2004 for an exhibition series, the future Red Sox pitcher met a Red Sox pitching legend of the past — Roger Clemens.
11. Uehara finally made it to MLB when he was 34, only to bounce around for several years. But he’s certainly found a home in Fenway.
12. So live it up, Red Sox fans. You’ve got the best record in Major League Baseball…
13. And the sport’s most dominating stopper.
- Justice Antonin Scalia, who served almost 30 years on the Supreme Court as one of its most prominent and influential conservative voices, died Saturday. He was 79.
- The four members of British indie band Viola Beach and their manager are believed to have died in a car crash in Sweden.
- And U.S. Republican presidential candidates had their nastiest debate yet in South Carolina last night 🇺🇸