April 2011

Saturday Stat Line

The Sea Dogs enter Saturday’s game 3-5, and look to snap a 2-game losing streak against the red hot New Britain Rock Cats.  Last year, New Britain started the season 0-12, and dropped the first 10 games in the season series to Portland.  I think having 20 players who played in the Eastern League last season, has helped immensely for the ‘Cats.  Portland has 13 players that saw action in the EL in 2010.

Portland is young, and it’s nice to see they’ve started the season with only 3 errors in 8 games, and paces the league with a .990 fielding percentage.  Through 8 games, their .269 team batting average ranks third, but their pitching is 11th (4.14 ERA).  The Rock Cats have a league-leading 2.22 ERA, and rank second in team batting at .276.

Sea Dogs leaders through 8 games

Games: Hassan, Middlebrooks and Padron, 8

At-bats: Padron, 32

Runs: Middlebrooks, 5

Hits: Hassan, 14

Alex Hassan has an 8-game hitting streak to start his Double-A carer

HR: Middlebrooks, 2

RBI: Federowicz & Hassan 6

Saves: Maxwell, 2

IP: Wilson, 11.0

SO: Wilson, 8

Hassan has hit safely in all eight games, and ranks second in the league in average .467

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Notes for tonight’s game

CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR: The Portland Sea Dogs took a 1-0 lead into the 8th inning, but the New Britain Rock Cats battled back for a 2-1 walk-off win yesterday…The Rock Cats picked up a run in the eighth and ninth innings off Sea Dogs’ closer Blake MaxwellSteve Singleton had the game-winning hit (single to right field) to drive in Yangervis Solarte…Portland’s lone run came on a run-scoring single by DH Ryan Lavarnway.

 

YOUTH IS SERVED: 21-year old starting pitcher Stolmy Pimentel bounced back after a rough first outing in Double-A…Pimentel tossed five scoreless innings, and took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before allowing a single to Solarte…The #6 prospect in the Red Sox organization, Pimentel, finished his outing in fine fashion by getting out of a jam with two runners on and only one out.

BULLPEN STREAK COMES TO AN END: Maxwell’s two runs allowed snapped a ten inning scoreless streak for Portland relievers, going all the way back to Monday’s loss to Trenton…Tommy Hottovy allowed a hit with two outs in the bottom of the 7th inning…That ended a streak where Portland relievers had retired 29 straight hitters.

QUITE A START: Quincy, Massachusetts native Alex Hassan (Hass-un) went 1-for-4, 2 walks last night, and has hit safely in all eight starts, going 14-for-30 (.467)…Hassan is one of three Sea Dogs to have played in all eight games…Will Middlebrooks and Jorge Padron are the others.

NOW YOU SEE ME, NOW YOU DON’T: One of the biggest strengths of Portland’s offense in the first eight games has been their speed…Portland is 11-for-12 in steals on the year…The team was 9-for-9 in stolen bases until Che-Hsuan Lin was caught stealing third base last Sunday…Dent, Hassan and Lin have each have two steals…Jon Hee’s stolen base Tuesday against Trenton makes him the 7th Portland player to record a steal in 2011…New Britain and Binghamton lead the league in stolen bases with 12

COMPLETING FIVE: Alex Wilson is the only starter to notch a quality start, hurling six scoreless frames on two hits in Tuesday’s 7-0 win against the Trenton Thunder at Hadlock Field…Pimentel became the first Portland starter to go five innings and not pick up the victory on Friday.

 

WHAT’S ON DECK: Tomorrow, the Sea Dogs and Rock Cats (Twins affiliate) finish their four game series at 1:05 PM…Portland’s second leg of the roadtrip begins Monday night at NYSEG Stadium against the Binghamton Mets, all three games in the series begin at 6:35 PM.

Today’s Notes in New Britain

DAY BASEBALL TO KICK OFF THE WEEKEND: This afternoon the Sea Dogs continue their four-game series in New Britain, CT, taking on the Rock Cats in a special 12:05 PM start from New Britain Stadium. The Rock Cats drew a sellout crowd of 6,684 for the series opener on Thursday night.

THEY SCORED EARLY: New Britain scored six times in 2.2 IP off Brock Huntzinger, en route to a 6-2 victory in the series opener. Former Sea Dog Ray Chang kicked off the scoring with a two-out, solo-homer in the first inning. Joe Benson went 2-for-4 with 2 doubles and 3 RBI, and Evan Bigley and Marc Dolenc added run-scoring singles. Will Middlebrooks blasted a solo-homer in the second inning, his second of the season…Portland had one hit after the fifth inning, a ninth-inning single by Middlebrooks.

THAT MAKES IT 24 STRAIGHT: Portland’s bullpen duo of Eammon Portice and Seth Garrison retired all 16 batters in last night’s game…Jeremy Kehrt sat down the final eight batters on Tuesday night, making it eight straight perfect frames for the relievers…Garrison has worked three scoreless outings, pitching two innings in each appearance.

QUITE A START: Quincy, Massachusetts native Alex Hassan (Hass-un) went 1-for-2, 2 walks last night, and has hit safely in all seven starts, going 13-for-26 (.500)…Ryan Dent had two hits last night, his first multi-hit game in Double-A…Oscar Tejeda extended his hitting streak to four games with a double to lead off the fifth inning.

NOW YOU SEE ME, NOW YOU DON’T: One of the biggest strengths of Portland’s offense in the first seven games has been their speed…Portland is 11-for-12 in steals on the year…The team was 9-for-9 in stolen bases until Che-Hsuan Lin was caught stealing third base last Sunday…Dent, Hassan and Lin have each have two steals…Jon Hee’s stolen base Tuesday against Trenton makes him the 7th Portland player to record a steal in 2011…New Britain and Binghamton lead the league in stolen bases with 12

COMPLETING FIVE: Alex Wilson is the only starter to notch a quality start, hurling six scoreless frames on two hits in Tuesday’s 7-0 win against the Trenton Thunder at Hadlock Field…Huntzinger has lasted just 6.1 innings over his first two starts, allowing 12 runs (11 earned) on 15 hits, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts and 2 home runs.

WHAT’S ON DECK: Tomorrow, the Sea Dogs and Rock Cats (Twins affiliate) play at 6:35 PM, but the finale is 1:05 PM on Sunday…Portland’s second leg of the roadtrip begins Monday night at NYSEG Stadium against the Binghamton Mets, all three games in the series begin at 6:35 PM.

My assistant Ben Altsher checks in

Back in the Saddle

By Ben Altsher

Last time I wrote on here, I talked a lot about the nervousness and the excitement in getting ready for the season.  Well, now that we’re seven games in, all that has washed away and it’s weird to say, but everything feels like it’s old hat.  I feel like I’ve been doing this for years instead of days.  I think a lot of that goes to the front office staff with the Sea Dogs and especially Mike, all of whom have made me and the other seasonal assistants feel welcome.

I’ve had a chance to talk to a lot of the players by this point and all of them are great.  Blake Maxwell and Kyle Fernandes are two of the funniest guys I’ve met.  I’d say if this baseball thing doesn’t work out for them, they should start a comedy act.  They’d definitely get some laughs, even if it’s just because of Maxwell’s old-school mustache.  We’ll have to figure out an idea for a funny promo.  Send ideas to me or Mike at seadogsradio@gmail.com.  For the most part, everyone seems to be adjusting to the season well, especially some guys who haven’t been here before.  I’ve been really impressed with Alex Hassan, Tim Federowicz and Will Middlebrooks.  They all have come in and put up solid numbers despite not having played at this level before.  All three are uber-professional and are great to work with.

As for me, I’ve had a lot of fun handling the pregame and postgame shows for Mike.  The team’s solid play to start certainly has made things enjoyable as well.  Hopefully, they’ll be able to keep up this kind of hitting on the road.  Also, wanted to make sure all of Mike’s readers were aware about our new video page on the team website.  My goal is to start getting highlights from games up there as soon as possible, so keep an eye for that.  Otherwise, just keep listening to me and Mike on the U.S Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network and thanks for all your support.

Sea Dogs Postponed

Wednesday’s Sea Dogs’ Game Postponed
Doubleheader Scheduled for Saturday, May 28th at 1:00 PM
Portland, Maine- Wednesday’s (April 13th) Eastern League contest between the Portland Sea Dogs and the Trenton Thunder has been postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a single admission doubleheader on Saturday, May 28th at 1:00 PM.

Fans with tickets to Wednesday’s postponed game, may exchange their tickets for tickets of equal or lesser value to any remaining 2011 Sea Dogs home game, subject to availability. Any questions regarding rained out tickets should be directed to the Sea Dogs Ticket Office at 207-879-9500 or tickets@seadogs.com.

The Portland Sea Dogs and Trenton Thunder will play a single-admission doubleheader, consisting of two seven inning games on Saturday, May 28th at 1:00 PM. Tickets dated May 28th are good for both games of the doubleheader.

This is the Sea Dogs first rain out of the 2011 season.

The Sea Dogs embark on their first road trip of the season on Thursday; a seven day trip with stops in New Britain, Connecticut and Binghamton, New York. Portland will take on the New Britain Rock Cats Thursday night at 6:05 PM in New Britain.

The Sea Dogs return to Hadlock Field for a seven game/ eight day homestand on Thursday, April 21st. Tickets are available for all 2011 Sea Dogs’ home games and can be purchased by calling the Sea Dogs Ticket Office at 207-879-9500 or online at http://www.seadogs.com.

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I’ve heard of a switch-hitter, but switch pitcher?

That’s right.  The Trenton Thunder have the only ambidextrous pitcher in professional baseball, his named is Pat Venditte.  On Monday night April 11, Venditte faced left-handed swinging Mitch Dening, and struck him out looking on a 68 mile-per-hour curveball.  During his warm-up tosses, Venditte was throwing in the high 80′s from the right side, but only in the low 70′s left-handed.  The former standout at Creighton University (was teammates with former Sea Dog Zach Daeges) caused so much controversy in his first season, the rules had to change, and a “Pat Venditte rule” was instituted.

Here it is below:

* The pitcher must visually show to the umpire, batter and runner(s) which way he will begin pitching to the batter. Engaging the rubber with the glove on a particular hand is considered a definitive commitment to which arm he will throw with. The batter will then choose which side of the plate he will bat from.

* The pitcher must throw one pitch to the batter before any “switch” by either player is allowed.

* After one pitch is thrown, the pitcher and batter may each change positions one time per at-bat. For example, if the pitcher changes from right-handed to left-handed and the batter then changes batter’s boxes, each player must stay that way for the duration of that at-bat (unless the offensive team substitutes a pinch hitter, and then each player may again “switch” one time).

* Any switch (by either the pitcher or the batter) must be clearly indicated to the umpire.
There will be no warm-up pitches during the change of arms.

* If an injury occurs the pitcher may change arms but not use that arm again during the rest of the game.

On Monday, DJ Abisalih sat down and talked with Pat, go to http://lexy.com/my_posts for highlights, post-game reports and interviews .

I think it’s pretty cool to see a pitcher actually go through with the process of throwing with both arms.  Back in the 80′s, Boston’s Greg Harris was toying with the idea, but never tried it.

Pat Venditte's Glove - photo courtesy of DJ Abisalih's cell phone

I know he had the glove, and would practice throwing with both arms, and I’m wondering if he regrets it.

 

 

 

Sea Dogs Game Notes for Monday

FIVE FOR FIFE: The Portland Sea Dogs managed a split of their four-game series with the Reading Phillies after yesterday’s 2-0 shutout at Hadlock Field. Stephen Fife notched the win in his first start of the season, hurling five scoreless frames on three hits, one walk and one strikeout. Seth Garrison earned the hold with two scoreless innings, and Blake Maxwell secured his second save of the year by retiring all six batters faced. Portland scored single runs in the first and second innings. Tim Federowicz delivered a sac-fly, and Will Vazquez produced a run-scoring ground out.

HOME COOKING: Quincy, Massachusetts native Alex Hassan (Hass-un) had two hits yesterday, and has hit safely in all four starts, going 8-for-14 (.571)…Will Middlebrooks extended his hitting streak to four with a second-inning triple…Federowicz has an RBI in all four games

NOW YOU SEE ME, NOW YOU DON’T: One of the biggest strengths of Portland’s offense in the first 4 games has been their speed…Portland was 9-for-9 in stolen bases until Che-Hsuan Lin was caught stealing third base in yesterday’s game…Ryan Dent, Hassan and Lin have each swiped two bases.

INTRODUCING THE TEAM: Eastern League rosters consist of 24 players for the entire season…Portland has 13 players returning from the 2010 season and two players on Boston’s 40-man roster: Starting pitcher RHP Stolmy Pimentel and INF Oscar Tejeda, both are ranked as Top 10 prospects (Pimentel #6 & Tejeda #10)…The Sea Dogs have seven of Boston’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America.
Top Prospects on Portland’s roster according to Baseball America: Pimentel, Tejeda, Will Middlebrooks (# 11), Ryan Lavarnway (# 16), Alex Wilson (# 19), Tim Federowicz (# 21), and Che-Hsuan Lin (# 25)…Lavarnway, Lin and Wilson made their Double-A debuts last season in Portland.

NEW ADDITION TO THE STAFF: Kevin Boles begins his first season as manager of the Sea Dogs…Last year, he managed Salem Red Sox and posted a 73-65 record…Boles served as the Sea Dogs’ bullpen catcher in 1997, and his father John Boles is a member of the Portland Sea Dogs Hall of Fame…Hitting coach Dave Joppie, Pitching coach Bob Kipper, coach Mickey Jiang, and Trainer Paul Buchheit all return…Chris Jones is the new assistant trainer.

WHAT’S ON DECK: The Sea Dogs and Trenton Thunder (Yankees affiliate) meet tomorrow night in game two of their three-game series; game time is 6:00 PM…On Thursday, the ‘Dogs hit the road for the first time this season, and open up a four-game set against the New Britain Rock Cats (Twins affiliate).

Sea Dogs Notes for Sunday

TOUGH DAY AT THE OFFICE: The Reading Phillies hammered Portland Sea Dogs starting pitcher Stolmy Pimentel early, jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning en route to a 13-5 win. Will Middlebrooks helped get the Sea Dogs back in the game with his first career Double-A home run. The third baseman finished the day with four hits and three runs batted in.

HOME COOKING: Quincy, Massachusetts native Alex Hassan (Hass-un) has enjoyed his time playing in New England. In his first year with the Sea Dogs, Hassan has made a quick impact with the team, hitting .545 (6-for-11) and leading Portland with 4 RBI through the first three games.

NOW YOU SEE ME, NOW YOU DON’T: One of the biggest strengths of Portland’s offense in the first three games has been their speed. Thus far, the Sea Dogs are 7-for-7 in stolen base attempts, and six different players have at least one steal. Che-Hsuan Lin leads with a pair of steals while Chih-Hsien Chiang, Ryan Dent, Alex Hassan, Will Middlebrooks, and Oscar Tejeda each have one.

INTRODUCING THE TEAM: Eastern League rosters consist of 24 players for the entire season…Portland has 13 players returning from the 2010 season and two players on Boston’s 40-man roster: Starting pitcher RHP Stolmy Pimentel and INF Oscar Tejeda, both are ranked as Top 10 prospects (Pimentel #6 & Tejeda #10)…The Sea Dogs have seven of Boston’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America.
Top Prospects on Portland’s roster according to Baseball America: Pimentel, Tejeda, Will Middlebrooks (# 11), Ryan Lavarnway (# 16), Alex Wilson (# 19), Tim Federowicz (# 21), and Che-Hsuan Lin (# 25)…Lavarnway, Lin and Wilson made their Double-A debuts last season in Portland.

NEW ADDITION TO THE STAFF: Kevin Boles begins his first season as manager of the Portland Sea Dogs…Last year, he managed the Salem Red Sox and posted a 73-65 record…Boles served as the Sea Dogs’ bullpen catcher in 1997, and his father John Boles is a member of the Portland Sea Dogs Hall of Fame…Hitting coach Dave Joppie, Pitching coach Bob Kipper, coach Mickey Jiang, and Athletic Trainer Paul Buchheit all return to Portland…Chris Jones is the new assistant trainer.

WHAT’S ON DECK: The Sea Dogs will start the final three games of their homestand with the Trenton Thunder (Yankees) tomorrow evening…Monday will be Turn the Clock Ahead night as the Sea Dogs will wear Red Sox uniforms with the Thunder sporting Yankees apparel…All three games of the series start at 6:00 PM.

Notes for Saturday afternoon

R-PHILS PHIGHT BACK: The Portland Sea Dogs were unable to run their winning streak to two in a row as the Reading Phillies escaped Hadlock Field with a 7-5 victory last night. Cody Overbeck led the way for Reading with a three-run homer off of Portland starter Brock Huntzinger. Reading almost let the 7-1 lead slip away though as the Sea Dogs picked up a run in the 7th off a Tim Federowicz (Fed-ur-oh-vitch) home run, and three more in the bottom of the ninth. Justin De Fratus managed to quiet the late rally.

HOME COOKING: Quincy, Massachusetts native Alex Hassan (Hass-un) has enjoyed his time playing in New England. In his first year with the Sea Dogs, Hassan has made a quick impact with the team, hitting .625 (5-for-8) and leading Portland with 4 RBI through the first two games.

SIGH OF RELIEF: Through the first two games of the season, Portland’s relief corps have done a fantastic job. Combined the bullpen has allowed just one run over 9.1 IP. Seth Garrison and Blake Maxwell combined to fend off Reading on Opening Day, and Jeremy Kehrt nearly went 4.1 perfect innings in last night’s game.

INTRODUCING THE TEAM: Eastern League rosters consist of 24 players for the entire season…Portland has 13 players returning from the 2010 season and two players on Boston’s 40-man roster: Starting pitcher RHP Stolmy Pimentel and INF Oscar Tejeda, both are ranked as Top 10 prospects (Pimentel #6 & Tejeda #10)…The Sea Dogs have seven of Boston’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America.
Top Prospects on Portland’s roster according to Baseball America: Pimentel, Tejeda, Will Middlebrooks (# 11), Ryan Lavarnway (# 16), Alex Wilson (# 19), Tim Federowicz (# 21), and Che-Hsuan Lin (# 25)…Lavarnway, Lin and Wilson made their Double-A debuts last season in Portland.

NEW ADDITION TO THE STAFF: Kevin Boles begins his first season as manager of the Portland Sea Dogs…Last year, he managed the Salem Red Sox and posted a 73-65 record…Boles served as the Sea Dogs’ bullpen catcher in 1997, and his father John Boles is a member of the Portland Sea Dogs Hall of Fame…Hitting coach Dave Joppie, Pitching coach Bob Kipper, coach Mickey Jiang, and Athletic Trainer Paul Buchheit all return to Portland…Chris Jones is the new assistant trainer.

WHAT’S ON DECK: The Sea Dogs and Reading Phillies conclude their opening series of the season tomorrow afternoon at Hadlock Field…After four games with the R-Phils, Portland entertains the Trenton Thunder (Yankees affiliate) on Monday night to start a three-game series.

Some notes for tonight’s game against Reading

STARTING STRONG: The Portland Sea Dogs opened their 18th season yesterday with a 4-3 win over the Reading Phillies.  Chih-Hsien Chiang reached base in all four plate appearances and scored a pair of runs.  Alex Hassan (Hass-un) went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI, including a sacrifice fly to snap a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the 5th inning.  Seth Garrison and Blake Maxwell each pitched two innings of scoreless relief to seal the victory for Opening Day starter, Alex Wilson.

 

OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: A number of new faces with the Sea Dogs contributed to yesterday’s 4-3 win…Hassan had a pair of hits and 2 RBI, including the game-winner on a sacrifice fly…Will Middlebrooks drove in the first Portland run of the year with an RBI single in the bottom of the 2nd inning and stole a base…Tim Federowicz (Fed-ur-oh-vitch) also had an RBI single, and Ryan Dent singled, scored a run, and stole a base.

 

TOUCHING THIRD: Che-Hsuan Lin picked up the team’s first triple of the season, beginning the fifth inning with a 3-bagger off losing pitcher Josh Zeid…Lin has reached base safely in 104 of 120 games with Portland.

 

INTRODUCING THE TEAM: Eastern League rosters consist of 24 players for the entire season…Portland has 13 players returning from the 2010 season and two players on Boston’s 40-man roster: Starting pitcher RHP Stolmy Pimentel and INF Oscar Tejeda, both are ranked as Top 10 prospects (Pimentel #6 & Tejeda #10)…The Sea Dogs have seven of Boston’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America.

Top Prospects on Portland’s roster according to Baseball America: Pimentel, Tejeda, Will Middlebrooks (# 11), Ryan Lavarnway (# 16), Alex Wilson (# 19), Tim Federowicz (# 21), and Che-Hsuan Lin (# 25)…Lavarnway, Lin and Wilson made their Double-A debuts last season in Portland. 

 

NEW ADDITION TO THE STAFF: Kevin Boles begins his first season as manager of the Portland Sea Dogs…Last year, he managed the Salem Red Sox and posted a 73-65 record…Boles served as the Sea Dogs’ bullpen catcher in 1997, and his father John Boles is a member of the Portland Sea Dogs Hall of Fame…Hitting coach Dave Joppie, Pitching coach Bob Kipper, coach Mickey Jiang, and Athletic Trainer Paul Buchheit all return to Portland…Chris Jones is the new assistant trainer.

WHAT’S ON DECK: The Sea Dogs and Reading Phillies continue their opening series of the season tomorrow afternoon at Hadlock Field…After four games with the R-Phils, Portland entertains the Trenton Thunder (Yankees affiliate) on Monday night to start a three-game series.

 

Game One versus Reading!

I agree with many fans who say that Opening Day should be a holiday.  I’ve gotten so many e-mails and text messages, wishing me a Happy Opening Day.  This is truly one special day.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS: The Portland Sea Dogs begin their 18th season in the Eastern League, as they open up a four-game series against the Reading Phillies at Hadlock Field…Portland finished last season 70-71 (3rd place), and missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season…Reading went 69-72 (4th place), but 10-4 against the Sea Dogs, including seven straight wins at First Energy Stadium…Ryan Kalish led off last season with a homer in Reading, leading the ‘Dogs to their lone win at First Energy Stadium.

LET’S START THE SHOW: The Sea Dogs are 8-9 All-Time in season openers after last year’s win in Reading…Portland opened the 2009 campaign at Hadlock Field, but suffered a 3-0 loss to the Connecticut Defenders (now the Richmond Flying Squirrels).

INTRODUCING THE TEAM: Eastern League rosters consist of 24 players for the entire season…Portland has 13 players returning from the 2010 season and two players on Boston’s 40-man roster: Starting pitcher RHP Stolmy Pimentel and INF Oscar Tejeda, both are ranked as Top 10 prospects (Pimentel #6 & Tejeda #10)…The Sea Dogs have seven of Boston’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America.

Top Prospects on Portland’s roster according to Baseball America: Pimentel, Tejeda, Will Middlebrooks (# 11), Ryan Lavarnway (# 16), Alex Wilson (# 19), Tim Federowicz (# 21), and Che-Hsuan Lin (# 25)…Lavarnway, Lin and Wilson made their Double-A debuts last season in Portland. 

NEARLY PERFECT: The 2011 active roster features 23 of the 24 players that were originally signed by the Boston Red Sox…RHP Santo Luis was acquired off waivers by Boston last April from the Chicago White Sox and spent most of the season with Portland, before being promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket.

NEW ADDITION TO THE STAFF: Kevin Boles begins his first season as manager of the Portland Sea Dogs…Last year, he managed the Salem Red Sox and posted a 73-65 record…Boles served as the Sea Dogs’ bullpen catcher in 1997, and his father John Boles is a member of the Portland Sea Dogs Hall of Fame…Hitting coach Dave Joppie, Pitching coach Bob Kipper, coach Mickey Jiang, and Athletic Trainer Paul Buchheit all return to Portland…Chris Jones is the new assistant trainer.

WHAT’S ON DECK: The Sea Dogs and Reading Phillies continue their opening series of the season tomorrow night at Hadlock Field…After four games with the R-Phils, Portland entertains the Trenton Thunder (Yankees affiliate) on Monday night to start a three-game series.

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