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A TV broadcaster begins the episode by noting that it’s the bottom of the ninth, with the visiting team, the Electabuzz, ahead 3-2. There’s a full count with the bases loaded. The Electabuzz pitcher gets his sign, winds up, and makes the pitch—which the opposing batter promptly deposits in the outfield bleachers for a game-winning homerun. Watching the broadcast from a store’s display TV, our old friend Casey is extremely dismayed at her team’s loss.
A bit later, Casey sits on a park bench with her Pokemon (Meganium, Beedrill, and Elekid) nearby. Suddenly, a tired-looking Charizard runs up, pursued by a boy and a young man. Casey alerts her Pokemon and has them try to stop the Charizard, but it barrels right past them. Casey tries to cheer on her Pokemon and call out for the Charizard to stop, but it keeps coming. At the last moment, the young man who had been pursuing Charizard hits Casey with a flying tackle, knocking her out of the way and to safety. Charizard keeps running, finally stopping to stick its head inside a piece of playground equipment.
The young man who saved her asks if she is ok, and an astonished Casey recognizes him as Tsuyoshi, who had up until recently been a star pitcher for the Electabuzz. He explains that he is now helping his father run the family’s breeding center. Casey does the fangirl bit and happily introduces herself. Then the young boy who had also been running after Charizard approaches. He is Shigeo, its trainer. Shigeo apologizes for the behavior of his Charizard (named “Don”, short for its Japanese name, Lizardon). The newcomers explain that Shigeo had been having trouble training Don, and had come to Tsuyoshi’s breeding center for help.
Charizard now finally pulls its head out from the playground thingy, and is promptly intimidated by the stares of Casey’s Pokemon. After a brief staring match, Charizard puts its head back in the playground piece. Tsuyoshi explains that the problem is that it can’t use Flamethrower, nor can it fly. Casey feels sorry for it, and suddenly decides to help it. She says that the Electabuzz aren’t quitters so Charizard shouldn’t quit either. Fired up, she climbs on top of the playground piece that houses Charizard’s head and begins to sing the Electabuzz song, accompanied by her Pokemon, in an attempt to boost Charizard’s spirits. The singing brings Charizard out of its “hiding place” and Casey challenges it. Tsuyoshi tells it to use Flamethrower, but it fails. Casey scolds it, but Charizard cries and runs away. A surprised Casey didn’t expect Charizard to be so sensitive, and Shigeo runs off after it.
Later, at home, Casey and her father look at their pictures of Electabuzz players, with Casey of course focusing on Tsuyoshi’s picture. She tells her father about meeting him, and her father explains a bit about what happened to Tsuyoshi. Apparently, after a recent injury, he never regained his previous confidence, and left the game. Casey’s father suspects that if his Pokemon trainer daughter can help that Charizard that Tsuyoshi is so interested in, maybe it will give his confidence a boost as well.
Shigeo then approaches, wondering if Casey still wants to help him out. Casey and her father exclaim their agreement, and they all go outside. Apparently not wanting Tsuyoshi to see him, Casey’s father hides behind a tree and watches as Casey proposes a cheering session to boost Charizard’s confidence. Tsuyoshi is hesitant, but Shigeo likes the idea, so Casey leads them in cheers for a bit as her father watches with approval. Casey then declares that now is the time for the Electabuzz dance! She rips off her clothes to reveal a cheerleader outfit, as Charizard, Shigeo, and Tsuyoshi stare and sweatdrop. Soon, Casey is leading them all in some impromptu cheerleader training. As expected, the male humans look quite uncomfortable with this, but the Pokemon seem to be enjoying it, including Charizard. It even makes a few little jumps as it follows the cheers. The humans notice this and encourage it to jump higher. It tries to fly again, but falls flat on its back. At Casey’s encouragement, it tries several more times, continuing to fail. Seeing this, Tsuyoshi has a flashback of his parallel problem. He’s warming up in the bullpen, and his catcher scolds him because he’s not pitching like he used to. A dejected Tsuyoshi (in the flashback) leaves the scene. Shigeo snaps Tsuyoshi back to reality and asks if he’s ok. The cheer training having run its course, Tsuyoshi asks what’s next, and Casey has an idea.
Soon, they are all back at Casey’s house, and it turns out that Casey’s idea was to put Charizard right into a battle! She takes command of Charizard, pitting it against her father’s Ampharos. Tsuyoshi doesn’t think this is the best idea, but he acts as ref anyway. Ampharos starts by Tackling Charizard. Casey calls for Charizard to use Flamethrower, but it fails again, and Casey scolds it. Ampharos then prepares a Thunderpunch, and Casey tells Charizard to fly up and dodge. Charizard flaps its wings hard and rises up a bit, but lands again as the Thunderpunch connects. Charizard lands on its stomach and covers its head in its hands, and Tsuyoshi declares Ampharos the winner. Casey congratulates her father, which provokes an argument between her and Shigeo. Tsuyoshi joins the argument on Shigeo’s side, and Casey confronts him with her new knowledge of why he’s not playing, accusing him of being a quitter just like Charizard. Tsuyoshi tells Shigeo that he’s going to take Charizard into the mountains and train it himself, and the two run off. Casey feels bad over all this, but her father explains that this had been his idea all along, to get the two of them alone together.
In the nearby mountains, Tsuyoshi says to Don that their first order of business is to run to the top of the trail, which they do. Looking down the cliff at the river far below, Tsuyoshi explains that he wants Charizard to fly to the other side. As expected, Charizard looks scared, but Tsuyoshi gives it a pep talk. He remembers Casey’s words and realizes that she was right. He had in fact quit baseball, but like Casey said, the Electabuzz never quit, and neither should he or Charizard. He gives it a brief pep talk and commands it to fly across the gap. It starts off fine, but Tsuyoshi has to remind Don to flap its wings. It does, but then it looks down, gets scared, and covers its eyes, promptly starting to fall. It lands on a thick branch, and Tsuyoshi grabs a length of rope out of his pack, preparing to try and rescue it, but he loses his footing and falls off the cliff! Don cries out after him, and the scene changes back to the worried humans at Casey’s house. Tsuyoshi and Don should’ve been back by now, so the humans decide to look for them. Casey sends out all three of her Pokemon and tells them to help search. Beedrill quickly finds the cliff and leads Casey to it. Casey looks down to see Don on the branch, and Tsuyoshi, who had safely landed on a small ledge. Tsuyoshi reminds Casey of the danger: the water could seriously hurt the Fire-type Charizard if it fell in. Casey begins to climb down to them, and Tsuyoshi yells at her for being so foolish. She responds with another line about the Electabuzz, but the wind quickly proves too much for her, and she loses her grip! Screaming, she begins to fall. Tsuyoshi grabs his rope and goes into his pitching windup, dramatically firing it down towards Casey, who manages to grab it. Tsuyoshi is burdened by the sudden weight, but assures the girl that he won’t let her go. After all, the Electabuzz won’t give up without a fight! Tsuyoshi keeps repeating lines such as that to himself as, hand over hand, he pulls Casey up to the ledge. Now that she’s safe, she gets on his back, and they begin the long climb back to the top. Casey is impressed at Tsuyoshi’s newfound confidence.
Problem is, the storm that knocked Casey off the cliff has now increased in force, plus Tsuyoshi is carrying a passenger, making the going quite tough for him. Nearby, Don looks on with interest, realizing what the humans are going through for it. Suddenly, it roars and lets out a Flamethrower! Casey and Tsuyoshi are happy, but that’s short-lived because the echo from the roar seems to have set a boulder loose near the top of the cliff. It falls towards the humans, and Tsuyoshi sidles out of the way just in time.
By now, Casey’s father, Shigeo, and Casey’s Pokemon appear at the top of the cliff. Apparently, the Pokemon had gone to round up the other two humans. In any case, suddenly, Tsuyoshi loses his footing completely, and the two of them plunge towards the water below! Beedrill dives down to attempt a rescue, but it can’t get there fast enough. Casey and Tsuyoshi hit the water and are sucked into the current below. Worried, Don watches from its perch. It then makes a decision that startles those on the cliff above. It flies up from the perch and dives into the water! Shigeo cries out after it, and nothing is heard or seen for a few moments. Suddenly, Don bursts out of the water with Tsuyoshi and Casey in its arms, flying straight for the top of the cliff! The two passengers are astonished, and Tsuyoshi congratulates Don. Those on the cliff cheer as Don continues to ascend. It continues on past the storm clouds, into the sunlight where they can all dry off. Casey congratulates it, and Don lets out a happy Flamethrower. Tsuyoshi thanks Casey for her help with both himself and Don, much to her embarrassment, as the three bask in the sunlight a while longer.
Later, the Electabuzz are playing again, and this time Tsuyoshi is back on the mound. His team is ahead 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth. Casey, her father, and Shigeo cheer him on from the stands. Tsuyoshi sees them from the mound, and then notices Don flying overhead, letting out a Flamethrower in greeting. Tsuyoshi nods at Don, thinking “this one’s for you”. He thanks Casey in his heart as he goes into his windup. In a neat sequence, his pitch is combined with a picture of Don using Flamethrower, as he strikes the batter out, winning the game for the Electabuzz. (I don't know if the Japanese understand the reference or not, but at least in English, hard-throwing pitchers are sometimes called "flamethrowers".) Everyone cheers and celebrates the victories, not just in the game, but in the lives of a pitcher and a Pokemon.
Special Thanks to Geodude for writing This for us
Those Darn Electabuzz
Casey & Charizard! Intensive Fire Training!
Casey helps train the Electabuzz Team's mascott
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