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Japan high school baseball looks to save pitchers

AP - Sports

TOKYO (AP) -- The marathon pitching exploits of Japan's high school baseball players may soon be a thing of the past.

Japan's High School Baseball Federation is considering introducing measures such as a tiebreaker and pitch counts limits in order to protect the health of the country's future stars.

New York Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who was recently placed on the 15-day disabled list with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, was a standout in Japanese high school baseball. He led his high school team to a championship in 2005.

New York Mets pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who had elbow surgery in 2011, gained notoriety for throwing 250 pitches in 17 innings at the summer high school tournament in 1988 after a 148-pitch complete-game shutout the previous day.

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