At least at the start, the parents of Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Andrew Chafin soaked in every moment of his major league debut Wednesday night. As the video shows, Tania Chafin hung emotionally on every pitch to leadoff man Jason Kipnis of the Cleveland Indians — standing with her arms raised to cheer strike one — while Darryl Chafin tried to act cool while sipping on a Miller Lite, like it was any other game.
Moms and dads are the best.
After coming close to pitching the night before amid a long rain delay, Chafin got to start Game 2 of a doubleheader at Progressive Field, not far from where he grew up and went to college at Kent State. He pitched admirably, too, giving Arizona five scoreless innings in a 1-0 victory that took 12 innings. Chafin allowed three hits and two walks, and struck out three.
It was worth the wait for the Chafins, who had scrambled to get from Ohio to Phoenix for a weekend series against the Rockies after Chafin, 24, was called up from the minors Friday. Only, he didn't pitch at Chase Field. But in time, the D-backs got him on the field.
Chafin's personal cheering section also included two sisters and his girlfriend, Shelbi, who was granted a birthday wish according to reporter Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic:
"The funny thing about all of this, a week and a half ago, before I was called up or anything, she's like, 'You know what I want for my birthday? I want you to pitch in Cleveland on my birthday.'
"I'm like, 'OK, yeah.' I'm thinking to myself, 'Good luck with that.' "
OK, here comes the downside of being a rookie: Arizona sent Chafin back to Class AAA Reno after his first outing. Manager Kirk Gibson liked what he saw from Chafin and expects to see him again in September when rosters expand. Or, heck, it could be sooner.
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