ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 26: Pitcher Koji Uehara #19 of the Texas Rangers receives high fives in the dugout after striking out Torii Hunter (not pictured) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the seventh inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 26, 2011 in Anaheim, California. The Rangers defeated the Angels 4-3. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Koji Uehara is on an insane stretch right now, and it couldn't be coming at a better time for the Texas Rangers.
With Mike Adams on the shelf indefinitely — not even making the trip to Oakland — after it was revealed he's suffering from a mild case of thoracic outlet syndrome, the Rangers have plugged Uehara into the club's eighth-inning role and they haven't skipped a beat.
After starter Derek Holland gave up a long ball to pull the Angels within one run in the seventh inning, Uehara came out in the eighth inning and slammed the door shut on the Angels, giving way to Joe Nathan to bounce back from his problems earlier in the day.
Uehara struck out the side in the eighth inning, using his filthy splitter to strikeout the Angels' 9, 1 and 2 hitters, stretching his ridiculous streak to 23 straight batters retired, including 15 punchouts. Not bad for a guy that was trade bait in the off-season and could've been in Toronto if he hadn't blocked a trade to the Blue Jays.
With Adams questionable for the ALDS, it definitely cuts down on the bullpen depth in Texas, but the Rangers are in plenty good hands with Uehara bridging the game to Nathan.