SEATTLE (AP) — A long, long start for a Washington state high school pitcher caught the attention of Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price.
Rochester's Dylan Fosnacht threw 194 pitches as he took a shutout into the 15th inning of a tournament game Tuesday, as The Chronicle of Centralia reported (http://is.gd/zTKhzT ). The right-hander wound up with a no-decision when his team beat La Center 1-0 in the 17th inning.
Fosnacht struck out 17 while allowing seven hits and three walks. Price took notice of the performance on Twitter, telling Fosnacht "you're a beast ... but let's be a little smarter brotha!!" The 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner suggested his coach should be fired for letting the young pitcher risk injury by staying in the game so long.
The comments fueled an online debate about the wisdom of the decision. Rochester coach Jerry Striegel told The Associated Press he was amazed by the attention and that while the final pitch count surprised him, he had been checking with Fosnacht every inning to make sure he was OK.
"Maybe 194 pitches is a little outlandish," Striegel said. "But in the time and the moment, I thought it was a good situation. He never seemed to be tiring. "What I feel bad about is drawing attention to Rochester and Rochester High School for something I did, for something it shouldn't be known for."
Former major leaguer pitcher Tommy John, who underwent the pioneering elbow ligament transplant procedure now known as Tommy John surgery, saw no reason for a prep player to throw that many pitches. "The guy should lose his job. He should be fired right now," John told the AP. "He would be collecting his last paycheck if I were the athletic director, unless he was tenured."
Fosnacht said he's not a major league prospect or even a regular pitcher. He's an infielder who pitches every now and then, and he's happy he gave his team a chance to win. He said he wouldn't want any other coach.
"I personally loved every minute of it and it's a great memory to have," he wrote on his Twitter feed. The opposing starter was pretty sharp, too. La Center's Trevor Roberson worked the first 12 innings, striking out 13 and allowing two hits without a walk.
AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.
Follow Johnson at https://twitter.com/GeneAPseattle