KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bottom of the eighth, two outs, runner on second, 1-0 count.
Up to this point in the game, Kansas City Royals rookie Bobby Witt Jr. was hitless at 0 for 3 but made contact with the ball each time with a flyout and two groundouts.
But with a high pitch coming at him, Witt took one of his sweet swings and drove in Michael Taylor for the go-ahead run. The Royals went on to win 3-1 over the Cleveland Guardians.
“It’s incredible,” Witt Jr. said in the postgame interview. “I have no words. It’s awesome.”
Those words were met with a water bath from teammates right after as a sort of ‘baptism’ into this new phase of his career.
Every at-bat was met with chants of “Bobby, Bobby, Bobby,” especially before his go-ahead hit in the eighth. It was almost as if the crowd knew that he was going to drive in that run. As if it were destiny.
With this start, many are expecting Bobby to keep up this play for years to come.
“Couldn’t script it any better right,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “You love to hear that buzz in the stadium. I never really heard it right from the very beginning.”
“It’s hard to have nerves when you got all your teammates are rooting for you, all the fans rooting for you so it just felt like any other game,” Witt Jr. said.
“Just went up there trying to get the guy in from second and luckily did the job.”
Witt Jr., the son of 16-year MLB pitcher Bobby Witt, was a second overall pick in the 2019 draft, and fans had been waiting for him to be called up since his early Rookie-level days.
At 21 years old, Witt Jr. flashed his hitting ability and some defense in his first big league game. If his trajectory continues, he could be the best to ever hit Kansas City.
“Honestly, I had more nerves last night, and today was nothing,” Witt Jr. said. “It just felt like another day in the ballpark.”
“We’re gonna continue to give them things to be excited about,” Matheny said. “Today was very special. I know it’s one that he specifically will never forget and neither will I.”
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