NPBTracker posted a great article about the different approach on pitch counts. Now I have never thrown a baseball, so I don’t know anything about how fast your arm will tire if you keep on throwing for a long time, but I just don’t see the point of taking out a pitcher as soon as a certain number of pitches is reached. Especially when the guy on the mound keeps throwing good stuff. I my opinion you rob yourself of winning a game if you hand it over to another pitcher.
Chiben Wakayama 智弁和歌山 (Wakayama) – Shiga Gakuin 滋賀学園 (Shiga) 2-0
With that in mind, both pitchers in the first game of the day delivered great performances. Especially Chiben Wakayama‘s starter Okada, who surrendered a double to the lead off batter in the first and kept Shiga hitless until the 9th inning. His opponent Tanoue was sharp as well though. He kept his team in the game and in the bottom of the 9th they had a runner on 2nd and threatened to level the score, but Okada struck out the final batter. His final line of 9IP, 2H, 0ER, 13K must be the best performance in the tournament so far. So Chiben‘s big red “C” advances to the next round.
Tottori Jyouhoku 鳥取城北 (Tottori) – Sapporo Dai-Ichi 札幌第一 (Minami Hokkaidou) 3-9
While we were having a nice chat over at japanesebaseball.com we realized that of all the teams who hit a homerun so far none of them reached the next round. That streak was broken with this game as Sapporo were able to go deep and still advance. Both teams were rather new to this making their second and first appearances. Sapporo seemed to handle the pressure better as they kept on piling up runs. Their biggest blast came in the 8th when the hit a ball out of the park, but everybody’s attention was turned to Tottori‘s left fielder who in his valliant effort to catch the ball chrashed into the wall and wasn’t able to get back up. He had to be carried off the field by his coach, creating a nice picture of a caring coach.
Kenritsu Gifu Shougyou 県岐阜商 (Gifu) – Yamanashi Gakuindai 山梨学院大 (Yamanashi)
This one was decided by the time the 1st inning was over. Gifusho absolutely slaughtered Yamanashi‘s starter with a 7-run 1st and added up run after run after run in the following innings. This game dragged on and on as they were at 13-2 in the bottom of the 5th. A complete blowout. Yamanashi was commting way too many errors.
What was interesting were the parents of one Yamanashi player, 3B Hatta, who were interviewed during the 5th inning break. The announcer was talking to them in sign language, but I didn’t get whether they were really deaf or if they were teachers of sign language or if their son was deaf. Maybe someone can fill me in on that. Yamanashi were able to make the scoreboard look a little less sad with a 4-run 8th, but in the end they had to give in.