MLB debuts can be tricky for friends and family hoping to be there for one of the biggest moments of a player’s career.
Last year, Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Seth Beer had his contingent fly across the country from Georgia to Washington.
Luckily for left-handed pitcher Tommy Henry, it was a whole lot easier in a 7-4 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.
The Michigan native made his first career start in Cleveland, a four-hour drive from his hometown of Portage. That allowed Wednesday’s contest to have a group of roughly 70 Henry supporters in the crowd to cheer him on, and you could definitely hear them on the television broadcast.
Henry’s group was cheering for just about every strike and was on their feet most of the afternoon.
Tommy Henry’s family is bringing it today. pic.twitter.com/H2k7fVEx0N
— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) August 3, 2022
Part of that celebration for a 1-2-3 third inning included Henry’s first strikeout in the majors.
Tommy Henry’s first Major League strikeout! pic.twitter.com/mImY7VRJPD
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) August 3, 2022
Henry got off to a nervy start in the first two innings. His location was off on numerous pitches and a walk plus a hit batter to begin the second inning put him in trouble. A single then loaded the bases with no outs. A sacrifice fly resulted in his first surrendered run but Henry limited the damage to just that with an inning-ending double play.
That was the first of seven straight outs for Henry, who was able to settle until the same control issues came up in the fifth inning.
A walk to begin the fifth was followed by a single two at-bats later, and then Cleveland’s Amed Rosario destroyed a first-pitch slider right down the middle 450 feet to center for a 4-0 Guardians lead.
Henry finished out the inning and ended his debut at four earned runs on four hits and three walks in 5.0 innings pitched.
Henry is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the D-backs’ 13th-best prospect. The 74th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft has a 3.83 ERA and 1.341 WHIP for Triple-A Reno this season.
Arizona’s offense struggled against Guardians starter Shane Bieber. The D-backs had only two hits and zero walks through five innings off him before a single and Alek Thomas two-run homer in the sixth put the lone two runs on the board against Bieber.
D-backs shortstop Geraldo Perdomo hit Arizona’s second two-run dinger in the ninth inning.