Brogdon succeeding in second call-up

A second trip to the Majors is proving to be successful for former Liberty pitcher Connor Brogdon with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Brogdon picked up his first Major League victory Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays. He tossed 1 2/3 innings. He allowed a hit, walked two and struck out two.

In addition, in that game, Rafael Marchan hit is first home run in 846 professional plate appearances. Also, rookie Mickey Moniak recorded his first hit while Brogdon recorded his win.

“That’s pretty incredible and it doesn’t happen all the time for relievers,” Brogdon’s mother, Stephanie, said. “It was a pretty incredible game. One player got his first Major League hit, another got his first home run and Connor got his first win. It was special to watch and I was happy for all three kids.”

Brogdon came in relief in Sunday’s game and tossed another 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball. He struck out two more.

“He started using a slider or cutter or both,” Stephanie said. “I know he was working on those at the alternate site. I know he’s confident in his fastball and change-up. One thing I noticed watching him since he’s been back is his location has been better. He’s been painting the corners more and staying away from the middle of the plate with his fastball. He strikes out a lot of guys out, but guys will hit home runs because he throws a hard fastball so location is important for him.”

After his first stint, Brogdon had an ERA of more than 16. But, he has thrown 5 2/3 innings of scoreless ball with eight strikeouts.

“If I would have to guess, he was very nervous the first time up,” Stephanie said. “He had a little bit of struggle. He went back to the alternate site and I’m sure the coaches made some adjustments. He got very determined and got back on track.”

She also saw that Brogdon seemed a little more confident during his second stint in the Majors. “He relies on his change-up as a strike out pitch a lot,” she said. “He’s not one that will shake off his catcher. He’s done that more, too and that tells me he’s more confident now.”

Brogdon made his Major League Baseball debut on Aug. 13 and it didn’t start out too well, giving up a home run on the first pitch he threw. He settled down in his next appearance, but gave up a couple more runs in his third outing leaving with a 16.88 ERA.

Unfortunately, Brogdon’s parents weren’t able to be there, although they watched everything on television.

“Obviously, we were disappointed we weren’t there for his debut or his other games,” Stephanie said. “Mike and I have been out there every season to watch him play. We were hoping Major League Baseball would make it work for the parents who were debuting, but it didn’t pan out that way. It’s still and incredible feeling watching him on TV on the mound in a Major League Baseball stadium.”

The Phillies are in a fight for a playoff spot. They are currently seventh and a half-game up over three teams in the eighth spot. If they make the playoffs, there is a chance Brogdon makes the playoff roster. He was named to the Phillies’ 40-man playoff pool, announced Sunday.

“If the Phillies can string together some wins, he may be in the playoffs,” Stephanie said. “They have a chance for the playoffs. They have a lot of talent, but have to be on the same page at the same time.”

If the Phillies make the playoffs and MLB allows a certain number of fans in the game, the Brogdon’s will be on the first flight to the stadium.

“You know it,” Stephanie said. “Absolutely in a heartbeat. Flying to Texas isn’t anything for us. We’ve flown to Philadelphia for him.”