OAKLAND -- Sean Murphy's first major league at-bat didn't go quite as he had hoped Wednesday. The No. 3 A's prospect struck out swinging on an 84 mph changeup.
"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous or that I didn't have anxiety out there," Murphy said after the game. "But once I settled into the game -- and of course the home run helps -- I felt much better, much more comfortable out there. It's the same game I've been playing, so it's nothing new."
If Murphy was nervous, it certainly didn't show. The 24-year-old catcher turned around a 95 mph fastball with an exit velocity of 106, the second hardest-hit ball of the night.
"I knew I hit it right on the barrel, so I just hoped it kept carrying and at least got down for a hit, and it just went over the wall," Murphy said.
First Major League game ✅— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 5, 2019
First Major League hit ✅
First Major League homer ✅ pic.twitter.com/q0Fpu8T3ww
"That's not the last time you'll see him hit a home run to right field like that," A's manager Bob Melvin. "He's got power all the way around the field. ... He's a big kid. He's got great leverage. You look at some of the exit (velocities) and so forth and their times are off the charts."
In addition to homering, Murphy caught a shutout in his first big-league start. He and A's starter Tanner Roark teamed up for 6 2/3 scoreless innings, followed by impressive outings from relievers Yusmeiro Petit, Joakim Soria, and Liam Hendriks to shut it down.
"Tanner was great," Murphy said. "He's a vet and he's got a guy making his first start back there. Of course, I'm nervous. But he worked with me every step of the way. He let me know what I was doing and what he needed me to do. I'm glad he was there, helping me along, and I appreciate him being so patient out there."
Melvin, a former catcher himself, liked the poise Murphy showed behind the plate, despite a couple of early miscommunications.
"It just looked like he got more and more comfortable as the game went along," Melvin said. "I think he'll probably tell you he's just as proud of the shutout as he is the homer."
Murphy was most happy to be able to share the night with his parents, who were in the crowd, along with his girlfriend, sister, and brother-in-law.
"It was awesome," he said. "It's just as much their night as it is my night. They've put a lot of time into my baseball (career), a lot of effort, a lot of trips, a lot of driving me around. I can't thank them enough for all they've done because I wouldn't be here without them."
It remains to be seen how much playing time Murphy will see down the stretch, with veteran catchers Josh Phegley and Chris Herrmann also in the mix. Regardless, this was quite a performance to begin his career.
Melvin probably summed it up best: "Hit a homer, catch a shutout -- not a bad start."