Orioles: Koji on Koji

Koji Uehara said he was very happy to record his first regular-season victory in the major leagues. When he was asked where the game ranked among his career highlights, he said "it's right at the top."

Though he is known to be highly self-critical, he described his five-inning performance as "tenacious."


"Innings-wise, it was shorter (than he had hoped), but I was tenacious,'' he said through interpreter Jiwon Bang.

Uehara said he was particularly proud of the fact that he defeated the Yankees, a team that is revered in Japan for it's history and its current status as one of the most successful franchises in the major leagues.

"The Yankees have a great lineup,'' he said, "a lot of great players. It was an honor to get a chance to pitch against them and get a win."

He struggled a little with his control at the outset, but attributed that to the chilly weather and the difference between the American baseball and the Japanese version. He said the ball was more slippery because of the cold.

The final question was about the international matchup against Taiwanese pitcher Chien-Ming Wang.

"Obviously, I don't face him directly,'' Uehara said, "but I know he has had a lot of success in the states. So, to beat him -- so to speak -- I am very happy."

Associated Press file photo