Houston Astros Rookie Has Historically Disastrous MLB Debut

The Houston Astros called up Blair Henley to make his MLB debut on Monday against the Texas Rangers and it did not go well.
Blair Henley pitches for the Hooks during the exhibition game against Texas A&M-Kingsville at
Blair Henley pitches for the Hooks during the exhibition game against Texas A&M-Kingsville at / Angela Piazza/Caller-Times / USA TODAY

The Houston Astros called up Blair Henley to take the place of Framber Valdez in the starting rotation for Monday’s series finale with the Texas Rangers.

Henley drew the start on short notice. It’s not clear what the Astros were expecting, but it probably wasn’t what they got.

Henley ended up in a nightmare in which he only recorded one out and couldn’t get out of the first inning before he was relieved by Seth Martinez.

So what happened?

The Astros actually had a 2-0 lead when Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien drew a walk from Henley to lead off. After that, shortstop Corey Seager singled to move Semien to third base.

Rangers rookie Wyatt Langford singled to center on a line drive that bounced off Mauricio Dubon’s glove, which scored Semien and moved Seager to second.

After a mound visit, Rangers outfielder Adolis Garcia singled on a ground ball to Dubon, which loaded the bases. With the bases loaded, Evan Carter tied the game by drawing a bases-loaded walk.

Henley then hit Rangers third baseman Josh Smith with a pitch and the bases still loaded, bringing home Langford to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead.

Rangers first baseman Jared Walsh finally unjammed the bases with a single to left field, which scored Garcia and Carter and moved Smith to second base to make it 5-2 Rangers.

Henley finally recorded an out when catcher Andrew Knizner popped out to Dubon on an infield fly rule. After that, Rangers center fielder Leody Taveras walked to load the bases again, leading to manager Joe Espada to remove Henley from the game.

Henley’s final line was 0.1 innings pitched as he gave up four hits, five runs (all earned), and walked three while striking out none. He threw 39 pitches, 18 of which were strikes.

Henley was the Astros’ seventh-round pick in 2019 out of Texas and he was 4-10 with a 4.47 ERA in four minor-league seasons with the Astros.

Valdez was sent back to Houston for tests on a sore elbow, which led to Henley’s promotion.  

Matthew Postins


Matthew Postins is an award-winning sports journalist who covers the Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros for Sports Illustrated/FanNation. He also covers he Big 12 for Heartland College Sports.