Portland Sea Dogs (10-17) at New Hampshire Fisher Cats (17-11)(

HEADING TO NEW HAMPSHIRE…As I am putting together this blog, the Sea Dogs are heading to Manchester, New Hampshire.  This is always a fun trip, and seems to feel very relaxing.  The trip is only 90 minutes, but the atmosphere at the ballpark feels like a home game, with the exception of the ‘Dogs batting first.  The Fisher Cats are located in the heart of Red Sox nation, so we should see many Red Sox and Sea Dogs’ jerseys in the stands.  I know the team is off to a 10-17 start, be have to remember this is a developing league.  Many of the first year players are getting better everyday, and this team is very exciting to watch.  I think it’s easy to assume a team under .500 is terrible, and not fun to watch.  It’s the complete opposite from my point-of-view.  Portland is number one in offense and defense, but their pitching is last.  I don’t expect the pitching to stay at the bottom for very long, so we could see a nice stretch this month.

Mustache May…I’m continuing to grow my stache, but it’s a work in progress.  The players came up with the idea last month, and have put together a plan to grow mustaches for the month of May, and tie it in with the Maine Children’s Cancer Program.  Although I might not be a “mustache guy,” growing facial hair for the MCCP is a no-brainer.  I’m honored to be involved with this, and the players deserve a lot of credit for putting this together.  I was very impressed with their plan.

NOTES FOR TODAY…

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Portland Sea Dogs head back out on the road for another seven-game road trip…It starts with a three-game series against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays affiliate) and continues with a four-game set in New Britain versus the Rock Cats…Portland is in the middle of a stretch where 14 of 17 games are away from Hadlock Field…Stolmy Pimentel gets the start today, still in search of his first career Double-A victory.

 

SEA DOGS COME UP SHORT: Bobby Lanigan outdueled Alex Wilson and the New Britain Rock Cats beat the Portland Sea Dogs 4-1 yesterday, taking the three-game series two to one…Caleb Clay (0-1) allowed his lone inherited runner to score, and then gave up three of his own, getting saddled with his first loss of the season…Che-Hsuan Lin had the only RBI for Portland on a run-scoring groundout…Portland has won only one of eight series to start the season.

TWIN KILLINGS: Portland’s offensive opportunities were few and far between thanks to four double plays turned by the New Britain defense…Rock Cats’ reliever Tyler Robertson was the main beneficiary, as three of the four were turned while he was on the hill…New Britain got a double play in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings to stifle any potential rally by the ‘Dogs.

STRETCHING IT OUT: Wilson left the game in the sixth inning after getting a pop out from New Britain’s Chris Herrmann…The righty has gone five or more innings in five of his six starts this year…Yesterday’s game was also the first time in six starts that Wilson was left with a no decision…Through five games both he and Brock Huntzinger were the only Portland pitchers to have recorded a win or loss in every start…Huntzinger left with a no decision in Saturday’s game against the Rock Cats.

QUITE A START: Alex Hassan has been ranked among the Eastern League’s top hitters the entire season and currently leads the league with a .385 average and a .487 on-base percentage…He has recorded hits in 22 of his 26 games played…He has 10 multi-hit games, and played the first 25 games of the year before getting a day off on Saturday…Hassan has the best average of any player in Double-AWill Middlebrooks is fifth in the league in batting at .337 (33-for-98).

 

WHAT’S ON DECK: Tomorrow, the Sea Dogs and New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays affiliate) meet in the second game of their three-game series…The Sea Dogs and Rock Cats start a five-game series in four days on Thursday night from New Britain Stadium…The two teams play a doubleheader on Saturday night beginning at 5:35 PM…Then, Portland will return home for stretch with 12 home games in 15 days, including a doubleheader on May 28th against the Trenton Thunder

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