Boston Red Sox

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 30: Koji Uehara #19 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates with David Ross #3 after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 in Game Six of the 2013 World Series at Fenway Park on October 30, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

By Matt McCarthy,

Koji Uehara, who turned in one of the most masterful seasons ever by a relief pitcher in a Red Sox uniform, announced his retirement from baseball Sunday.

The 44-year-old Uehara pitched in Boston from 2013-2016 and helped lead the Red Sox to the 2013 World Series championship.

Uehara will forever be remembered by Red Sox fans for recording the final out of that World Series, a strikeout of Matt Carpenter to seal the first championship clinched at Fenway Park in 95 years.

The crafty right-hander was one of the faces of a team that seemingly came out of nowhere to win the World Series. He put up a 1.09 ERA, struck out 12.2 batters per nine innings, and recorded 21 saves after entering the season as the fourth in line to close games.

Uehara, who was 38 at the time, took over the ninth inning in June of that year and never looked back.

He dominated in October, allowing just one run in 13 postseason appearances. He picked up seven saves in the playoffs, two in the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays, three in the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers, and two in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Uehara recorded a 2.19 ERA over his four seasons in Boston. He returned to his native Japan two years ago and had been pitching there until announcing his retirement.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Hardcore Baseball podcast and on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.