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Japanese high school pitcher has thrown 22 innings and 391 pitches since Tuesday

Mar 30, 2013, 5:55 PM EST

Tomohiro Anraku AP

OK, now this is pretty crazy. According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, Japanese high school pitcher Tomohiro Anraku has logged a total of 22 innings and 391 pitches over a five-day span in “Spring Koshien,” the country’s top national high school invitational tournament. Seriously.

After throwing an eye-popping 232 pitches in a complete-game 13-inning victory on Tuesday, the 16-year-old sensation bounced back on three-days rest today and threw 159 pitches over nine innings as part of a 4-1 win. While Anraku touched 94 mph with his fastball on Tuesday, his velocity was understandably down a bit today. However, he still struck out eight and even reached 92 mph for his final pitch of the ballgame.

While this sounds flat-out crazy given how pitchers are protected these days, it’s not out of the ordinary for high school pitchers in Japan to have extreme workloads. When he was 17, Daisuke Matsuzaka infamously threw 250 pitches in a 17-inning complete game. Ryota Shimoishi, who started against Anraku on Tuesday, threw 219 pitches of his own.

And get this, Anraku might not be done. His team plays again on Monday while the semifinals are on Tuesday and the championship game is on Wednesday. He’s quickly emerging as one of the top high school pitchers in the world, so hopefully his right arm survives the week.

  1. tuberippin - Mar 30, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Next week’s header: Japanese pitcher throws 600 pitches in a week, right arm falls off of torso

  2. kiwicricket - Mar 30, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    Gritty.

  3. indaburg - Mar 30, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Somewhere, Old Hoss is smiling.

    • unclemosesgreen - Mar 30, 2013 at 7:04 PM

      Or scowling, drinking scotch and saying “Bah – three days of rest. The way they baby these kids makes me sick.” Then a faint grimace that passes for a proud smile.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Mar 30, 2013 at 8:28 PM

      Ask and ye shall receive:

  4. sleepyirv - Mar 30, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Japan takes high school baseball as seriously as Texas takes high school football. Just like there, the kids tend to be the casualties of the obsession.

  5. abaird2012 - Mar 30, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Advice to Red Sox and Rangers: when it comes time for Japanese baseball to auction this kid off to MLB, don’t bid.

    • carpi2 - Mar 31, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      Didn’t realize the workloads of these Japanese pitchers. Might explain why Dice-K almost immediately fell apart soon after signing with the Redsox.

  6. UgglasForearms - Mar 30, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    Will be youngest to receive Tommy John surgery.

    • paperlions - Mar 30, 2013 at 8:34 PM

      Unlikely, 100s of US HS pitchers have had TJS.

  7. losanginsight - Mar 30, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    Tomohiro, say hello to Dr.Jobe

  8. tfbuckfutter - Mar 30, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Good to know Dusty Baker has job prospects outside of MLB.

  9. psunick - Mar 30, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    I’m still laughing at that one, buck. Beautiful!

  10. blacksables - Mar 30, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    This tells me 3 things:

    1) you can’t judge everyone by one number.

    2) innings pitched doesn’t tell you how many pitches thrown, which is way more indicative

    3) arm strength matters more than anyone wants to admit.

  11. The Common Man - Mar 30, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    I realize it’s a different culture and different values and whatnot, but, to me, this is child abuse.

    • blacksables - Mar 31, 2013 at 8:27 AM

      That’s a ridiculous statement.

      It’s their culture, let them deal with it. You’re just a typical American who thinks the rest of the world should live their lives according to your standards,

      That’s a fairly racist attitude for someone who is always complaining about other peoples rights.

      • cur68 - Mar 31, 2013 at 11:01 AM

        Sorry, what?

        How is being concerned for the well-being of a minor racist? I don’t give a shit what a culture’s norms are: if they’re engaging in child labour its still child abuse.

        The kid’s 16 years old and is throwing more than men twice his ages as hard as he can throw. WTF is THAT about? Since when is winning a HS tournament more important that the kid’s health and long term prospects?

        This most definitely IS abuse of a minor and trying to dismiss it as “cultural” is pretty much getting in bed with the attitude that child labour is all good so long as you can demonstrate a long and proud history of doing it. There’s a fundamental disconnect between “cultural norm” and “child labour”. It might well be a norm but that doesn’t make it right.

      • blacksables - Mar 31, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        In your mind. You have no more right to tell anyone in Japan how to live their life than they have the right to tell you.

        Your opinion of what is right or wrong is not the worlds. And i f you want to be so concerned about child abuse, why not start at home and worry about the kids in Canada that have real problems, and not some kid in Japan who’s biggest worry is hurting his arm and not be able to throw a ball.

      • The Common Man - Mar 31, 2013 at 1:52 PM

        Stop. Note how heavily qualified my comment was, sables. I’m not trying to impose my views on anybody else. I’m sharing an opinion. Take your “typical American” bull, and get bent.

  12. misterchainbluelightning - Mar 30, 2013 at 10:02 PM

    There’s a whole lots funny going on here in the comments section

  13. officialgame - Mar 31, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    We sure as hell know Mike Rizzo isn’t the kids manager.

  14. latchbeam - Mar 31, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Its not child abuse… and its absolutely ridiculous to play the race card. However, the adults are destroying this kids future… about 99% of doctors would agree.

  15. 13arod - Mar 31, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    don’t see problrm here all japan ballplayers throw almoat everday

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