Connor Brogdon
Cristopher Sanchez had a solid season debut on Monday, pitching five innings and conceding only two runs on five hits. However, relief pitcher Connor Brogdon struggled, giving up a grand slam to Spencer Steer in the 10th inning as the Phillies lost to the Reds, 6-3, at Citizens Bank Park. 
 
With the ghost runner starting on second base to open the 10th, Brogdon walked a pair before surrendering the blast to Steer on a 92 mph fastball that was belt-level and over the outside of the plate. He used 37 pitches to record two outs before being relieved by Nick Nelson. 
 
"I don't even know how many balls I threw in a row before I showed them a strike," Brogdon said. "At that point, I was like I just have to throw the ball over the zone, and you can't leave a ball there to a big league hitter."  

Nelson hadn't pitched in about a week, according to manager Rob Thomson, so that's why he started the inning with Brogdon.
 
"Nelson hadn't pitched in seven or eight days, so you really don't know what you're going to get there," Thomson said. "I thought we'd go with Brogdon for an inning, and then Nelson would have to go."

It wasn't the follow-up performance Brogdon hoped for after surrendering three runs over two appearances against Atlanta this past weekend. 
 
The 29-year-old played a significant role for the Phillies during the 2022 World Series, tossing four scoreless frames, but struggled mightily at times last year and left Clearwater this spring barely hanging on to a spot in the bullpen.
 
"Every day I feel like I'm right there, but the results are not showing it," Brogdon said. 

The Phillies jumped ahead in the first inning with an Alec Bohm double to right field, scoring Trea Turner and Kyle Schwarber. The offense then fell silent, allowing a combination of six pitchers, including Reds starter Andrew Abbott, to scatter just seven hits on the night. 
 
The Phillies scored in their portion of the 10th without putting the ball beyond the infield. Bryson Stott started on second base, and Whit Merrifield worked a leadoff walk. Turner eventually hit a comebacker to pitcher Tejay Antone that bounced off his shin, allowing Stott to come home. Bryce Harper had an opportunity to do more damage but went down on strikes to end the contest. 
 
Harper is now 0-for-11 to open the season.
 
"It's always the timing with him" Thomson said.  

The offense has become a concerning question mark for the Phillies. The club went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and Johan Rojas was picked off as a pinch-runner in a pivotal spot in the eighth as the potential winning run. 
 
The two clubs will resume their three-game set on Tuesday night, weather permitting, at Citizens Bank Park. Spencer Turnbull will make his debut with the Phillies, while the Reds counter with righty Graham Ashcraft. 

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post