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Orioles: Kudos to Koji Uehara

It would be understandable if you had given up on the Koji Uehara experiment a long time ago. Uehara, the Orioles' first foray into the Asian free-agent market, has battled injuries for much of his two seasons in Baltimore, and we never really got an opportunity to see what he could do over an extended stretch.

Finally healthy, Uehara, 35, has been one of the Orioles' most reliable relievers over the past two months (though he's only pitched on consecutive days once). He has allowed just five earned runs in 24 innings of work, and his 1.88 ERA is tops on the team. Now fans are flinging themselves back on the Koji bandwagon.

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Monday night might have been Uehara's most impressive outing as an Oriole. He allowed two hits in 1 1/3 innings, but got those four Mariners out via strikeout in the Orioles' 5-4 win. When he closed out the eighth inning, all 147 of the fans at Camden Yards went bonkers.

Uehara {photo by The Baltimore Sun} is a free agent at season's end, and who knows if he has any interest in returning to Baltimore in 2011? That means we need to enjoy Koji Time, his awesome sideburns and those not-so-awkward-anymore high fives while we still can.


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