ON JUNE 3, Tyler Zombro stepped to the mound at Durham Bulls Athletic Park and threw the 2,245th pitch of his minor league career -- a 90.6 mph sinker. He faced his first batter of the night, Brett Cumberland of the Norfolk Tides, with a 1-2 count to open the top of the eighth, a little after 9 p.m. Rain had delayed the game, and morale wasn't great. The Bulls trailed by 8 runs.
The pitch left Zombro's right hand, and the batter made contact.
What followed happened quickly and then excruciatingly slowly.