Brogdon settles down in second outing
Tyler Takeda/the Madera Tribune Former Liberty pitcher Connor Brogdon takes the mound Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox for his second appearance of his Major League Baseball career.
After a not so great debut with the Philadelphia Phillies, former Liberty Hawks pitcher tossed an impressive inning against the Boston Red Sox in his second Major League Baseball appearance. “There was definitely a lot of nerves,” he said. “Obviously, it was not the result I would have liked. At least I didn’t hit him. I was so nervous and numb to the moment, I couldn’t even feel my body. I was just going through the motions and the next thing I knew, I was watching a line drive go out of the stadium. Welcome to the big leagues, right.”
After giving up a home run on his first pitch, Brogdon got out of the inning with a groundout and a strikeout to Pat Valaika in his debut Aug. 13.
“After the shell shock of the home run, I settled down a little bit,” Brogdon said. “I was still super nervous. I was leaving a lot of pitches up in the zone and fortunate to get away with mistakes. I calmed down more after the home run, but I was still nervous. I will definitely remember that strikeout. That pitch should have been crushed. It was a hanging change-up. I think he was surprised of how good it looked and he passed on it.”
However, he allowed a single and left the game in the ninth after giving up a two-run home run leaving him with a 21.25 ERA for his first appearance.
“I have to flush it and get back to what I was doing in the minors,” Brogdon said in a phone interview Tuesday.
However, Brogdon got a chance to redeem himself Wednesday afternoon against the Red Sox. He entered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning with no one out and runners at second and third trailing 6-2.
He struck out Tzu-Wei Lin for his third strikeout of the season. He induced a shallow fly out by Jose Peraza. After an intentional walk, he induced a flyout by Kevin Pillar to get out of the inning.
“There was a little inconsistency in the bullpen,” Brogdon said. “That’s what spurred the call up for me. They thought I could help out a little bit. I didn’t make a good first impression. I hope to lock it down from here on out.”
After getting the call-up Aug. 11, Brogdon was excited, but also saddened because he couldn’t celebrate it in person with his family.
“My thoughts were everywhere,” he said. “From being extremely excited and nervous to make the debut. But also sad and it sucks not being able to have any family here. Obviously, I wanted to share that moment with my mom and dad and people that got me this far. I was still happy, but it was bittersweet because they couldn’t make it.”
Brogdon didn’t get a chance to get into the Phillies locker room and look around to soak it in. He had to get ready for a game that night.
“It was something else,” he said. “I was kind of in a rush. They didn’t tell me what time I had to be there until about an hour-and-a-half before I had to be there and it was a hour drive from where I was to the stadium. The pitchers stretched 30 minutes after I got there so I was throwing stuff into my locker and getting out there to stretch. My locker is right in front of Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto. To have those guys within 20 feet of you is kind of surreal.”
Brogdon did give himself an opportunity to look at the players around him and be in awe of the superstars on the team.
“These are the guys I have been watching,” Brogdon said. “I remember watching Bryce make his debut 9-10 years ago. It’s crazy to say that I’m teammates with him.”
Brogdon took time to reflect on his up-and-down baseball career. From his time at Liberty to going to Fresno City and making a name for himself at Lewis-Clark College by leading the school to two NAIA championships.
“It’s obviously been a crazy, long path with a lot of ups and downs,” he said. “I’m so grateful with all the opportunities I got with Liberty. I was able to play at the next level from some of the great coaching I got at Liberty. I’m so thankful for Coach Ron Scott and Coach Eric Solberg at Fresno City College for giving me a chance. It’s really thanks to them that told me I was going to be a good fit at Lewis-Clark State. They pushed me to go there even though I heard it was a rough and tough program. I was able to get through that. I don’t know if I didn’t go to LC I would be on the phone talking to you right now. I learned a lot about baseball and how to be a good person and man off the field. I am extremely grateful for all the opportunities I have gotten.”
During the interview, Brogdon talked about the amenities for the big leaguers and is also in awe.
“I’m talking from the nicest hotel room I’ve ever been in,” he said. “The shower is probably three times the size of my shower at my house. It’s definitely the ‘Show.’ It’s definitely a crazy experience. The food is phenomenal I’ve never eaten better. The first night, I had scallops. I’ve had filets, Chilean sea bass, pretty much everything is really good.”
With time in the majors, Brogdon is also trying to relish every minute in the bigs, including trying to save as much of his big league check as possible.
“I will probably frame the first check,” he said.