Talk about dedication (or insanity).
Two Japanese high school baseball teams battled in what had to be the most intense extra innings game of all-time during the 59th National High School Rubber Baseball Tournament. Think that’s a bit dramatic? Here are some numbers for you.
50 Innings. Four days. Two pitchers.
Wait, two pitchers?! Incredibly, both teams starting pitchers went the distance in this marathon to end all marathons of a baseball game according to Yahoo! Sports.
Amazingly and ridiculously, both starting pitchers went the distance during the marathon. Chukyo starting pitcher Taiga Matsui threw 709 pitches and allowed 26 hits over his 50 innings.
“This game was the physically hardest ever for me,” Matsui said after the semifinal game. “But I showed my (fighting) spirit. As my teammates scored three runs (in the 50th inning), I was able to throw in a relaxed manner in the bottom of the inning. Ishioka was a good rival for me.”
His counterpart, Jukiya Ishioka of Sotoku, totaled 689 pitches and allowed 22 hits.
Ishioka said, “Though I was beaten in the end, it was a good experience for me to pitch until the last. I had fatigue not only today (Aug. 31) but also yesterday and the day before yesterday. But I asked our coach to use me as a starter today.”
Yeah I’m not too sure about all that throwing almost 1400 combined pitches being a ‘good experience’ but to each their own I guess.
Someone needs to seriously reconsider allowing the coaches of these teams to stay in their positions. There’s zero way two teenagers should throw that many pitches in that many days. Those pitch-counts and innings totals are numbers you see from pitchers over an entire month or two. Hopefully their arms don’t feel some serious after-effects from the decision to stay on the mound.