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After struggling to find a closer, Red Sox settle on Uehara and couldn't be happier

  • Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara, rear, and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia celebrate the Red Sox 5-2 win over the Detroit Tigers in Game 6 of the American League baseball championship series on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, in Boston. The Red Sox advance to the World Series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)The Associated Press

  • Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara, front, celebrates with teammates after the Red Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 5-2 in Game 6 of the American League baseball championship series on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, in Boston. Uehara was named the series' most valuable player, and the Red Sox advance to the World Series. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)The Associated Press

  • Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara hoists the championship trophy after the Red Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 5-2 in Game 6 of the American League baseball championship series on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, in Boston. Uehara was named the series MVP, and the Red Sox advance to the World Series. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)The Associated Press

  • Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara hoists the most valuable player trophy after the Red Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 5-2 in Game 6 of the American League baseball championship series on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, in Boston. Uehara was named the series MVP, and the Red Sox advance to the World Series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)The Associated Press

  • Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara smiles after the Red Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 5-2 in Game 6 of the American League baseball championship series on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, in Boston. Uehara was named the series' most valuable player, and the Red Sox advance to the World Series. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)The Associated Press

Koji Uehara wasn't Boston's first choice to be closer this season.

Or the second.

The 38-year-old right-hander got the job after Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey were injured. But since inheriting the ninth-inning role for the Red Sox in late, June Uehara has been everything the Red Sox could have wanted.

He saved 21 of 24 opportunities in the regular season and all five so far in the playoffs. He had three saves and a win in the four victories over the Detroit Tigers that put the Red Sox into the World Series, earning the AL championship series MVP.

The World Series starts Wednesday in Boston. The Red Sox will play the St. Louis Cardinals in a rematch of the 1946, 1967 and 2004 Series.