Henry’s debut acclaimed by rowdy backing band, D-backs fall on CLE

MLB debuts can be tricky for friends and family hoping to be there for one of the greatest moments of a player’s career.

Last year, Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Seth Beer flew his contingent across the country from Georgia to Washington.

Luckily for left-handed pitcher Tommy Henry, it was much 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. This allowed Wednesday’s contest to have a group of around 70 Henry supporters in the crowd cheering him on, and you could definitely hear them on TV.

Henry’s group cheered just about every strike and were on their feet most of the afternoon.

Part of that celebration for a 1-2-3 third inning included Henry’s first strikeout in the majors.

Henry got off to a nervous start in the first two runs. His pitch was off on a lot of pitches and a walk plus a slapped batter to start the second inning got him into trouble. A single then charged the bases with no outs. A sacrificed fly resulted in his first forfeited run, but Henry limited the damage to that with a late-inning double play.

It was the first of seven straight outs for Henry, who was able to settle until the same control issues arose in the fifth inning.

A walk to start the fifth was followed by a single two hits later, then Cleveland’s Amed Rosario destroyed a first-pitch slider down the middle from 450 feet to center for a 4-0 Guardians lead.

Henry finished the inning and finished his debut with four earned runs on four hits and three walks in 5.0 innings pitched.

Henry is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the 13th best D-backs 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 with Guardians starter Shane Bieber. The D-backs had just two hits and zero walks in five innings against him before a single and two-run homer from Alek Thomas in the sixth put the only two runs on the board against Bieber.

D-backs shortstop Geraldo Perdomo hit Arizona’s second two-run dinger in the ninth inning.

Virginia S. Braud