Baseball officials in Japan debate pitch limits

Posted at 7:34 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 19:34:44-05

TOKYO (AP) — Amateur baseball officials in Japan are debating the introduction of pitch limits aimed at preventing injuries to high school players.

Marathon pitching performances have long been a trademark of The National Summer High School Baseball Tournament which is held every August and is arguably the country's most popular sporting event.

As a teenager, Daisuke Matsuzaka threw 250 pitches in 17 innings in the quarterfinals of the 1998 Summer tournament, one day after a 148-pitch complete game shutout.

He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011 while with the Boston Red Sox.

Kosei Yoshida threw 881 pitches over six games in last year's tournament and Yuki Saito threw a record 948 pitches in one tournament.

Both Yoshida and Saito now play for the Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan's professional league.

The Niigata baseball association had planned to introduce a limit of pitches starting in prefectural tournaments this spring.

But the Japan High School Baseball Federation pushed back on Wednesday, asking the Niigata association to reconsider its plan so that a national debate can take place.


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