The Koji Uehara run was something we shouldn't forget.
Through the run Uehara -- the guy the Red Sox signed for $2 million to be an extra part in the 2013 bullpen -- was perhaps the best closer in baseball.
In those 193 games, Uehara offered a presence that was almost unimaginable. Over 192 2/3 innings, he struck out 244 and walked ... 24. His batting average against in those three seasons was .174 with an ERA of 1.78.
The signature season, of course, came during the Red Sox' 2013 World Series run during which he fanned 101, walked nine and finished with a batting average against of .130. As good as Jonathan Papelbon was, we really hadn't seen anything like what Uehara presented that season. In fairness, few had. For example, Mariano Rivera's lowest opponent's batting average for a season was .165.
And to think that Uehara was introduced to the Red Sox as a middle-relief pitcher. In his first game with the Sox he entered in the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium, with four relievers ultimately coming in after him. It wasn't until June, 2013 he really got a chance to close out games at all.
If not for injuries to Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey, along with the discomfort of Junichi Tazawa to pitch in the ninth inning, Uehara would have lived the life of a closer. But, thankfully for the Red Sox, he did.
From the time Uehara took over as closer on June 26, 2013 until he got that final out in the World Series, the righty struck out 75 in 58 innings and walked two. TWO. In 54 appearances he allowed runs just four times.
There was also the way he did. A high 80's fastball that introduced us all to the magic of spin rate, along with the celebratory high-fives after eighth-inning escapes.