Brogdon picks up third win of young season

Philadelphia right-hander Connor Brogdon throws a pitch during an April 1 appearance against Atlanta. The former LCSC standout is 3-0 in the Phillies’ first six games this season.

Connor Brogdon for the National League Cy Young Award? Well, if he keeps up the pace he’s on after six games, that could become a reality.

The former Lewis-Clark State right-handed pitcher leads all of Major League Baseball in victories with three after he pitched 1ž innings of scoreless ball Wednesday to pick up the win in Philadelphia’s 8-2 victory against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park.

Brogdon, who made his major league debut on Aug. 13, 2020, has been sterling so far out of the bullpen for the Phillies, who were 14th in the 15-team National League in overall earned-run average during the pandemic-plagued season and the relievers had the highest combined ERA in the past 90 years.

Brogdon (3-0), who hasn’t surrendered a run in his three games pitched so far, has allowed three hits and a walk, striking out three. Opponents are hitting .250 off of him so far.

Most of that came against the Mets. He allowed two hits and a walk, striking out one.

This after Brogdon sustained a freak rib injury during a March spring training game against Pittsburgh in which he twisted his lower back and side.

Manager Joe Girardi praised his entire bullpen, including Brogdon, for getting through the first six games with starting pitching that hasn’t been effective.

“You think about the innings that they’ve had to give us just the last three days, and what they’ve been able to do,” Girardi said after the win against the Mets. “I think everyone has a ton of confidence. I like the arms, I like how they prepare, I like the personality of our bullpen. It’s been fun to watch, and we need it to continue.

“Brogdon has been good (throughout this stretch).”

He is the first pitcher to have three wins in the Phillies’ first six games in the modern era, according to MLB Stats. Brogdon also is the 13th pitcher to accomplish the feat, and he is the first Phillies reliever since at least 1901 to earn a win in his first three appearances of the season.

Last year for the Phillies, he allowed five hits (including three home runs) and five walks, striking out 17 in 11 innings of work. Brogdon went 1-0 with a 3.97 ERA. In his final six appearances in 2020, he allowed just one hit and two walks, striking out 14 of the 29 batters he faced across 8ž innings.

In two seasons with the Warriors (2016-17), Brogdon was 14-1 with a 2.87 ERA in 26 games, 23 starts. He struck out 147 batters in 131ž innings. Opponents hit .216 off him.

Philadelphia so far is 5-1, with a 2½-game lead on the Mets and the Washington Nationals heading into today’s games. The Phillies start a seven-game road trip with three in Atlanta beginning at 4:20 p.m. Pacific on Friday.

Walden may be reached at (208) 848-2258, dwalden@lmtribune.com, or on Twitter at @waldo9939.