First Half Review by Ben Altsher
Here’s a latest blog entry by my assistant Ben Altsher…we’d love to hear from you during the broadcast at firstname.lastname@example.org
With the first half of the season in the books, I thought it would be fitting to go back and took a look at some of the more memorable moments of the season so far. Obviously, 25-47 is not the ideal record through the first 72 games, but as always fans should remember that this particular team is a young one, with a lot of guys getting their first taste of Double-A ball. Plus, that’s why the minor league system exists, so that players can progress and learn from struggles like these. Without further ado, the highlights of 2011 (so far):
Don’t Call It a Comeback: Odds on favorite for game of the year, the Portland Sea Dogs rallied from a 9-1 deficit to beat the New Britain Rock Cats 18-9. Stolmy Pimentel last just an inning and a third, allowing eight runs, as New Britain looked like it was headed for another romp of Portland. The Sea Dogs offense turned the tables though, scoring 17 unanswered runs from the fifth inning on for the win. The ‘Dogs capped off the win with a six-run ninth inning, featuring home runs from Ryan Lavarnway and Jorge Padron.
Thick As Pea Soup: More than any other sport, weather affects baseball. There are often rain outs, sometimes snow outs, even the occasional bug out. This year though the Sea Dogs experienced something different, a fog out. Not just once, but twice, Portland games (both at Hadlock) were shortened due to a thick blanket of fog over the field. Only once did it work out in the Sea Dogs’ favor though, a 9-4 win in seven innings against Binghamton. On May 27, the game was suspended and eventually called with the Sea Dogs ready to send the go-ahead run to the plate in a 4-2 loss to the Trenton Thunder.
Hassan Chop: Not even considered a prospect prior to this year, Alex Hassan has been one of the standout hitters not just on the Sea Dogs, but in the Eastern League. The outfielder started the year red hot with a 12 game hitting streak. Since then he’s come back down to earth, but is still hitting .320 and has been among the top ten in the league all season. Plus, he’s got a .433 on-base percentage and is on pace to have the second best single-season OBP in franchise history.
Wild, Wild West: After playing solely Eastern Division opponents through the first two months of the year, the Sea Dogs finally met up with teams from the Western Division. Portland took on five of the six teams (not Harrisburg) over a fourteen game stretch from June 3-19. The Sea Dogs finished 7-7 over that time, including the team’s first series win in Akron since 1999. While .500 doesn’t seem overly impressive, consider that last year Portland finished 17-27 against the West, and the team hasn’t had a winning record against the other division since 2007.