The New York Yankees are probably coming close to putting a list of September call-ups together. Kei Igawa may have just lost his spot on that list. The Japanese right-handed pitcher pitched for his country in the Little League World Series but did not perform to the high expectations that were set for him.
Igawa entered the game as one of Japan's most hyped up pitchers and one of the best in the tournament, and his last start proved so. In his previous start, Igawa pitched five scoreless innings with only one hit allowed and 9 strikeouts. His fastball was measured at 120 mph (on the Little league to Major League radar used).
The result would be a little bit different as Chinese Taipei would rip him right from the start. His first pitch of the game was killed into the crowd and measured in at 523ft. It wouldn't get any better as the next five batters would be walked.
The crowd was also tearing Kei Igawa apart. After his second inning of work, a great camera shot was able to catch a glimpse of him crying behind his pair of sunglasses. The coach had to go over and console him.
It may have worked as in the third inning after he hit the first batter of the inning, he struck out the next two before giving up a two-run home-run. That was the last batter that Igawa faced before being relieved.
His final line score was 2 2/3 innings pitched, two strikeouts, and 9 earned runs. The Yankees have not commented on the performance by their developing starter.
Brian Cashman was the only one who commented on Igawa saying, "I still don't understand the documentation show that has Igawa in the tournament, but as long as he is pitching and not representing the New York Yankees franchise, I am fine with it."
Kei Igawa still has one more year left on his contract with the Yankees, but the front office is rumored to be trying to deal him to a Little League team in Japan.