Sunday was supposed to be a day Lyon Richardson would never forget.
Richardson saw his first MLB action on Sunday, getting the start against Washington. But just two pitches into his debut, the Nationals were up 2-0.
Thanks to a pair of home runs.
Shortstop CJ Abrams swung at the first pitch of the game, a 95-mph fastball, and launched it into the right-field bleachers for a home run. Richardson dialed up the velocity on the very next pitch, sending a 97-mph fastball towards Lane Thomas.
Which Thomas promptly deposited over the center-field wall.
You can watch both blasts here:
CJ + LANE. BACK-TO-BACK. FIRST TWO PITCHES.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 6, 2023
~EXTENDED CUT~ pic.twitter.com/dqPz95o6KI
That made Richardson the first player in the last 50 years to have his first two pitches in the majors belted for home runs.
The rookie allowed two more runs in the top of the first, as Washington took an early 4-0 lead. Richardson did settle down in the next two innings, holding the Nationals hitless in the second and third innings, but his day ended after just three innings of work.
Richardson was called up on Sunday to make his first MLB start, as the former second-round pick had been working his way through the Cincinnati minor league system this year. After missing the entire 2022 campaign due to Tommy John surgery, Richardson began the year at Single-A Daytona, working his way up to Cincinnati’s Triple-A affiliate Louisville. In 19 minor league starts this year, with the bulk of them coming at Double-A Chattanooga, Richardson had an 0-2 record with an ERA of just 1.86, and a WHIP of 1.103.
As you might expect, his MLB numbers look a little different, given how his debut unfolded.