SEATTLE — Koji Uehara finished a distant fourth in the on-line voting for the final spot on the American League All-Star team. He didn’t get the news until after picking his latest save for the Red Sox.
Uehara needed only 13 pitchers to retire the Mariners in order in the bottom of the 10th inning of an 8-7 victory. He celebrated with his usual exuberance and that didn’t dim when he got the clubhouse and heard about the All-Star team.
Toronto righthander Steve Delabar won the voting with David Robertson of the Yankees second. According to Major League Baseball 79.2 million votes were cast.
Many of the Red Sox player campaigned for Uehara through social media. But he fell short.
“I wish I was able to become an All-Star. But I really appreciate my teammates getting behind me,” Uehara said through interpreter C.J. Matsumoto.
Uehara has converted five of seven save chances since replacing Andrew Bailey as the closer. Over 10 games and 9.1 innings, he has allowed one earned run on four hits. Uehara as walked one and struck out 13.
Uehara has an earned run average of 1.83 on the season and has struck out 55 in 39.1 innings.
“He’s an All-Star for us,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “Regardless of what the outward acknowledgements are, he’s extremely important to us.”
Uehara now plans to play some golf during the All-Star break. He joked that that he should be able to get his tee times back.
“I’m going to do that right away,” he said.