The fabled creature known only Orioles Magic was thought to have died sometime in late 2012. The magic ran out after the O’s unexpected run to the playoffs, we all assumed. “No luck, just Buck” was cute and all but c’mon, 29-9 in one-run games? 17-2 in extra inning games? Bro, be real bro.
The Orioles seemed to be headed back to Earth in the early days of 2013. Three straight one-run losses? But how? The magic, she is gone.
Until last night, of course. The Orioles staged a somewhat miraculous comeback against Joel Hanrahan and the Boston Red Sox. Orioles magic is back, baby!
There is no hope for any who choose to oppose the Orioles. If Manny Machado, a future star still finding his feet at the big league level, is hitting massive, WPA-laden three-run homers, it requires special measures. Extraordinary measures. There is only one man who can prevent the inevitable return of the Orioles to the playoffs on the wings of a unicorn – Koji Uehara.
Koji Uehara did, in fact, pitch in last night’s game. New Sox manager John Farrell used one of his best relievers in a low-leverage situation, coming out of a brief rain delay with the $4 million former Orioles reliever. Koji Uehara is too good for the sixth inning of four-run games. Koji demands leverage. Koji deserves it.
Koji Uehara dispensed with the three O’s he faced last night with the ruthless efficiency which is his calling card, throwing a grand total of 12 pitches in setting down Adam Jones, Chris Davis, and Matt Wieters.
In three appearances, Koji Uehara has thrown 26 total pitches – five fewer than it took Sox closer Joel Hanrahan to get two outs in blowing the game.
Only a pitcher of mythical proportions like Koji can combat the strange powers of the Orioles. John Farrell must do whatever he can to ensure Koji faces the O’s at every opportunity this season. Hell, create opportunities. Start him if he must, let him go three innings whatever.
Koji Uehara is the only thing standing between the world as we know it and more Orioles domination. As much fun as it was to watch the O’s afflict the comfortable and bring comfort to the afflicted in 2012, there is a natural working order of things in our world. The successful Orioles have no place in this world. Only Koji can save us from the end times.
In many ways, this is actually Uehara’s fault. After Koji refused a trade to Toronto, the Orioles sent their dynamo reliever to Texas in exchange for Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis. Davis, as you may recognize, is now a strange hybrid of Ben Zobrist and Barry Bonds, hitting tape measure home runs while playing an alarming number of positions. Tommy Hunter turned from a mediocre starter with middling stuff to a high-leverage reliever throwing 98 like it’s nothing. Koji went to Texas and gave up home runs at an unsettling rate.
Please, Koji Uehara, save us. Save us from this awful world you played a part in creating. Stop the O’s, Koji. You’re our only hope.
And the rest
More on the O’s – how they hold runners better, or at least differently, than any team in the leage. [Fangraphs]
John Farrell is yet to heed this warning re: Koji and Hanrahan. [WEEI]
A goat’s head sent to the Cubs. It’s only April! [SI's Strike Zone]
Freezing Nolan Ryan is the greatest Nolan Ryan
OK, Freezing Nolan Ryan might be my new favorite thing.twitpic.com/cifobz
— Greg Tepper (@Tepper) April 10, 2013
MOAR HOMERZ AT SAFECO! Bandbox alert! [Astros!]