Red Sox closer Koji Uehara, who set the record for the lowest WHIP in baseball history while also becoming the first pitcher ever with at least 100 strikeouts and fewer than 10 walks, finished seventh in American League Cy Young balloting, an award claimed handily by Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer.
Uehara, 38, had a 1.09 ERA while striking out 101 and walking nine in 74 1/3 inning spanning 73 regular season games. His 0.565 WHIP was the lowest ever by a pitcher who worked at least 50 innings in a year, surpassing the prior standard of 0.607 set by Dennis Eckersley in 1989. He recorded 21 saves, stabilizing the back end of the Red Sox bullpen. His efforts were recognized with one second-place and two third-place votes in Cy Young voting, becoming one of just two relievers to receive votes this year. (The other was Royals reliever Greg Holland, who received a fourth-place and two fifth-place votes.)
Still, in a strong year for starters, Uehara was well behind winner Scherzer, who went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA while punching out 10.1 batters per nine innings and walking just 2.4. He received 28 of 30 first-place votes, finishing with 203 points, and was the only pitcher who appeared on all 30 ballots for AL pitchers. Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish finished in second place with 19 second-place votes and 93 points, while Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma finished third with 73 points. The non-Scherzer first-place votes went to Tigers right-hander Anibal Sanchez, who led the AL in ERA, and White Sox lefty Chris Sale.