In his 63 1/3 innings this year, the right-hander has allowed just 29 hits (.133 opponents’ batting average) and nine walks (1.3 per nine innings) — with his 0.600 WHIP ranking, at this moment, as the lowest in major league history for a pitcher who worked at least 50 innings, besting the standard for greatness achieved by Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley with the A’s in 1989 (0.607). – Weei’s Alex Speier. (http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/alex-speier/2013/09/06/koji-ueharas-long-unassuming-path-being-best-c)
As of the end of the first week of September, Koji has actualled pitched yet another scoreless inning lowering his WHIP to a microscopic 0.591. For those of you who do not know what WHIP stands for, it is [walks and hits per innings pitched]. So a WHIP at/or under 1.0 is considered very good, meaning for 9 innings of baseball you’re good for 9 hits/walks combined. To have a WHIP closer to 0.6 means you only give up 6 hits and walks combined per 9 innings which is crucial for a closer to be able to keep men off the base paths. He has been pitching with such Japan-ease, that I bet you he he’ll gain some MVP consideration, although we all know that the Detroit Tigers possess both the Reigning and Future Cy young and MVP winners. [see Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander and now most likely Max Scherzer].
Now lets compare the two quickly.
In Papelbon’s arguably best year which was in 2006 where he placed second in the Rookie of the Year voting to non other than the great Verlander himself.
In 2006, the All-Star pitched to:
a 4-2 record with a 0.92 ERA in 68 innings pitched in 59 games, striking out 75, with a WHIP of 0.776.
Great numbers, He did a great job for 6 seasons posting a WHIP under 1.0 for 4 of the 6 seasons.
Koji on the other hand, 5 years older than Papelbon, in his Age 38 season is having one of the best season’s ever for a pitcher. Just ask Eck himself.
Koji has already pitched 64 innings to a tune of 1.12 ERA, 89 K’s, and a 0.591 WHIP
AND is in currently pitching his 5th consecutive year with a WHIP under 1.
All I can say is, Here’s to looking at you, kid. You’re doing great. I’ll donate all the money I’ll save this postseason on Migraine pills from having to see the sox NOT trot out Eric Gagne like relievers with the game on the line.
Just a reminder Gagne had a 6.75 ERA and 1.875 WHIP in the 20 inning rental that cost us Kason Gabbard, David Murphy and Engel Beltre.
I’m a firm believer that we could’ve looked more like the A’s and have an outfield/infield of Brandon Moss, David Murphy, Jacoby Ellsbury, Xander, Lowrie, Pedroia and Middlebrook playing 1st base maybe something similar to how we used Youk on our team. But that;s a completely different story. I got to see Moss, Murphy and Ellsbury in a Pawsox v Fishercats game over a half dozen years back when I was still in High School.
I just want to see Red Sox v. Tigers in this year’s ALCS, with maybe a Red Sox v. Dodgers World Series. Wouldn’t that be something. But if all else fails, Go Pirates!!