In case anyone has any doubts about the importance of pitching inside, here’s a noted baseball expert explaining why it’s so important. “I own the inside of that plate” indeed – especially for a guy with no breaking pitches, throwing inside is the only possible chance of success (though with metal bats, even getting inside on a guy is a lot harder to do). As crazy as his ways of going about it are, Miyuki is definitely trying to lead Eijun in the right direction.
I’ve been waiting for Miyuki to, I don’t know what exactly… Soften up? The guy is pretty out there – my initial reaction was that he was being exaggerated early on for effect, but clearly that’s not the case. I’m not so sure I find him likeable, frankly – though it’s a lot easier to do so as a fictional character than if I had to interact with him everyday, in which case I suspect I’d want to punch his lights out. It’s clear that he’s extremely smart, but he’s grating to both his juniors and seniors, to the point where it’s not just for comedic effect. We’ve seen that this is causing friction with Tanba, but not that the series is taking the position that Miyuki might actually be in the wrong. I wonder if there will come a point where his relentless smart-assery will prove to be a real problem for him.
As for Eijun, I’d say his results from his debutante ball with the first-team were mixed, leaning towards the encouraging side. On paper he gave up three runs in four innings, vs. 11 runs in 5 IP for Furuya. Of course this game was never about the numbers, and Eijun had a much higher bar to clear than Furuya, whose power fastball (and power bat) had already guaranteed him a role during the summer. Eijun got hit pretty hard, got a lot of help from his defense, but also kept his team in the game (literally, as I’m assuming the 10-run rule would have kicked in as normal) against one of the best teams in the country despite being in the middle of an exhausting training camp.
Will it be enough? The early indications are that Tanba is going to be the ace during the summer, but there will be roles for other pitchers – the question is how many, and which ones. And to be blunt, Tanba may be the ace but it’s clear he’s no dominant pitcher. There’ll be opportunities for someone to step up (Kawakami remains a dark horse, but we’ll see him in action next week) and Furuya will definitely get the chance to. Whather Eijun will as well remains to be seen – though it would certainly be an odd story choice if he wasn’t (and Kiryu’s coach praising him to Kataoka can’t hurt). As for Haricuhi, by all indications he never got into the game – but I suspect he too will get his chance in the double-header.
If Daiya no A has plans to wrap this up after two cours, it certainly isn’t tipping its hand. The story is still taking its time, following roughly the same pace as the manga That has 34 volumes and I think it’s a long shot we’ll see anything like that much adapted, but hopefully the anime will at least get a chance to depict the first summer, with its requisite failed (I’m assuming) attempt to get to Koushien, giving everyone the requisite motivation to try again next year. Perhaps, as with Major, we’ll get multiple seasons with breaks in-between – though to be fair, Major had well over 70 volumes so that’s a different matter altogether…