October 18, 2013

Posnanski: The Uehara Phenomenon

Joe Posnanski on Koji Uehara:
So, you probably know that this year Boston's Koji Uehara proved to be harder to reach base against than any pitcher in the history of baseball. That's a pretty good thing. Here's the list of the Top 10 WHIPs in baseball history, pitching at least 50 innings:
1. Koji Uehara       2013  0.565
2. Dennis Eckersley  1989  0.607
3. Dennis Eckersley  1990  0.614
4. Craig Kimbrel     2012  0.654
5. Mariano Rivera    2008  0.665
6. Joaquin Benoit    2010  0.680
7. Eric Gagne        2003  0.692
8. J.J. Putz         2007  0.698
9. Cla Meredith      2006  0.711
10. Takashi Saito    2007  0.715
A couple of interesting tidbits — at No. 11 on the list in Uehara again in 2011. No. 12 on the list? Pedro. That was 2000, his WHIP was 0.737. ...

On June 26, the Red Sox made Uehara their closer.

I'm now going to give you Uehara's numbers [for] the rest of the season. Please hold your applause until the end.
Innings pitched: 44 1/3
Hits allowed: 14
Hits allowed (seriously): 14
Come on, how many hits did he allow?: 14
That's ridiculous: I know.
Runs allowed: 3
Home runs allowed: 1
Strikeouts: 59
Walks: 2
OK stop it right now: 2 walks. Look it up.
Batting average against: .097
On-base percentage: .108
Slugging percentage: .152
WHIP: You sure you're ready for this?
Say it already: Ask nicely.
WHIP: 0.358
Joe didn't give Uehara's ERA-as-closer, so I will: 0.61. And an opponents' OPS of .260!


reanalyst said...

Are non-starters ever considered for the Cy Young?

Jess Mynes said...

I wonder if either of those two walks were intentional...

Benjamin said...

Relief pitchers are eligible for Cy Young awards, though it's rare for them to win. Eckersley won one in 1992. Gagne won one in 2003. Probably others.

Tom DePlonty said...

Both unintentional, one each in games against the Padres on July 3, and the Diamondbacks on August 3. I can't figure out how to get to who the batters were on baseball-reference.com.

allan said...

They were both non-intentional (July 3 and August 3).

Eck won the AL Cy Young as a reliever in 1992 and Willie Hernandez of the Tigers won it in 1984. Gagne won the 2003 NL CY. There have been others.

allan said...

In games in which Uehara recorded a save, opponents hit .043/.056/.043 - for an .099 OPS!!!!!!

allan said...

You'd have to go the specific game and look at the PBP, I would guess.

July 3: Jesus Guzman (SDP)
August 3: Martin Prado (ARI)

Philip said...

Koji is 31st in fWAR for all pitchers this year. Every pitcher ahead of him pitched at least 150 innings more. WAR is a counting stat. Koji is absurd.

FenFan said...

That's just sick - and awesome!

allan said...

Jackie MacMullan, ESPNBoston:
"The Koji legend grows"

Teammates call him "Ninja"

MacLeodCartoons said...

8 of the all-time top ten have happened in the last ten years? WTF? In the steroid era? Why? Am I missing something really obvious?

laura k said...

Am I missing something really obvious?

That there's been incredibly great pitching throughout the so-called Steroid Era? You probably haven't missed that.