The Royals wasted no time getting Tyler Zuber some MLB experience putting him into the Season Opener on July 24, 2020. The Royals were behind 2-0 going into the bottom of the 7th. Zuber wore number 83 on his back.
The first pitch he threw was a curve ball to Cesar Hernandez. Hernandez decided he was swinging early at the 80.5 mph curve and hit a ground ball right to first baseman Ryan McBroom. It’s as simple as that. One pitch, one out. And Tyler Zuber cemented his place as a Major League pitcher.
The second batter Zuber faced was Jose Ramirez. Zuber threw a 93.5 mph fastball for strike one followed by an 86.0 mph change up that rolled down and away for ball one. Zuber threw another change that hit the bottom of the zone and Ramirez grounded it to second baseman Nicky Lopez for the second out of the inning.
Superstar Fransisco Lindor was the third batter Zuber got to face. Lindor took the first pitch for ball one. The pitch was 94.5 mph and just outside. Zuber got right back into the count with a good change for a called strike. The 1-1 pitch came in at a sizzling 95.8 mph for a called strike. Lindor fouled off another fastball before hitting a change up to Maikel Franco.
I thought Zuber’s night was over at that point with a line of 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, and 0 K. However, Matheny sent him back out for the bottom of the 8th. At this point, I was listening to the Cleveland Indians radio broadcast because Dish Network doesn’t want to pay Fox Sports to host the channel so I can watch Royals games. The Indians broadcast team was raving about Zuber. They really liked him and how he was attacking hitters in his debut. They also mentioned his moxie throwing a full count change up in his MLB Debut. That happened against Carlos Santana to lead off the bottom of the 8th. It didn’t go as planned and Santana earned a walk.
Zuber bounced right back from allowing his first MLB base runner to successfully inducing his first MLB double play. Franmil Reyes hit a 2-2, 94.2 mph fastball up the middle perfectly into the shift. Nicky Lopez fielded the ball, stepped on second, and threw it back to first where McBroom caught it.
Jordan Luplow was the final batter Zuber faced in his debut. Luplow hit a first pitch slider to McBroom at first for the final out of the inning.
Zuber got to see some fun stuff on his first day in the majors. He was part of a historic season starting in July during a COVID pandemic. There were no fans in the stands and the Indians were playing crowd noise over their speakers. Indians starting pitch Shane Bieber set an Indians team record for strike outs on an Opening Day when he struck out 14 Royals in 6.0 innings. As a team, the Royals struck out 18 times. The Royals started the season with a 2-0 loss.
Zuber’s final line was 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, and 0 K.
Image was taken from overtimeheroics.net. No photo credit was given.