Red Sox bullpen
The Red Sox managed to win the American League championship despite not having their offense clicking at all times. What propelled them to three one-run wins in the ALCS against the electric Tigers was their shutdown bullpen. Since the playoffs started, the tandem of Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa has formed a strong bridge to closer Koji Uehara. The Red Sox bullpen has pitched 32 innings and combined for a 0.84 ERA with 28 strikeouts, holding opposing hitters to a .209 batting average.
The unlikely hero heading into 2013, Uehara has become the most effective pitcher on the Red Sox. Since taking over as closer in June, he has been nearly unhittable, going three months without allowing a run and at one point retiring a team record 37 consecutive batters. Uehara has allowed just one run in the playoffs, a home run to Jose Lobaton in Game 3 of the ALDS. He has thrown 9 innings, recorded five saves, and was a factor in all four of the Red Sox’ ALCS wins against the Tigers, with a win and three saves, on his way being named ALCS MVP.
Carlos Beltran is the only Cardinals hitter who has faced Uehara, recording one hit in three at-bats.