It had to come to an end eventually. After 37 straight batters up and 37 straight batters down, Koji Uehara's streak of perfection is over.
Oh, and the Red Sox loss. Playoff celebrations will have to wait.
“I’m not disappointed that the streak ended,” Uehara said through an interpreter. “Of course, I’m disappointed that we lost. But the streak wasn’t a disappointment. When I was pitching, I didn’t think about the streak at all. All the disappointment is that the team lost.”
With the score tied 2-2 in the top off the ninth, Uehara gave up lead off triple to the Orioles Danny Valencia that centerfielder Shane Victorino just missed.
“It was probably a little bit higher than I wanted, but location-wise, I didn’t really miss the spot,” said Uehara. “A little bit high.”
Valencia later scored on Matt Wieters sacrifice fly.
Uehara's 30 1⁄3 scoreless innings was the longest streak by a Sox pitcher since Dick Radatz went 33 scoreless innings in 1963. The streak was four batters shy of the 41 straight set down by White Sox closer Bobby Jenks in 2007, the longest in the history of Major League Baseball for a reliever.
"When did he [last] give up a run, spring training? It really feels that long ago," last night's starter Ryan Dempster said. "To go out there and go that long without giving up a baserunner, let alone a run? What he's done is unreal. He's done an amazing job for us all year."
Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said, "I assumed he was going to give up a hit sooner or later. It's one of those things. He's been so consistent for us."
The loss was just Uehara's first of the season. Put the champagne on ice.