Buck Showalter certainly has his ticket punched.
He has used Koji in six of the last seven games and 10 of the past 16. Uehara has saved nine of the last 12 Orioles wins.
He is two outs away from being 10 for 10 in save chances.
Perhaps more surprising than his success, is how he does it. By pumping seemingly nothing other than 88 mile per hour fastballs that look pretty straight on a TV monitor.
What is Koji’s secret?
His 88 MPH fastball seems to produce hitter’s swings as if they are chasing 93 or 94.
Here are some possible explanations:
*Koji’s delivery is deceptive and hitters don’t see the ball well against him.
*His command is so good, he puts the ball where he wants almost all the time.
*His pitches have late life and hitters don’t often square it up.
Not only is he getting saves, but a lot of three-batter saves that lack drama. No getting out of a big jam to just escape with a save. He comes in and if you blink, you could miss the ninth.
In getting three quick outs Friday, Miguel Cabrera was left standing in the on deck circle as the game ended. Last night, leadoff hitter Austin Jackson was the last out and Raburn, Damon and Cabrera were left hoping for a chance that never came.
Ride the Koji train? Are there any tickets left?