August 2011

Sea Dogs at Reading for a twinbill

Portland plays their seventh doubleheader of the season on Tuesday night in Reading…The ‘Dogs are 1-3-2 in twinbills this season.

New Guy: For the second straight day, the Red Sox have signed a player from the Independent Leagues…Catcher Jeff Howell is here from the Lincoln Saltdogs (American Association). He played a bit last year in New Britian…Howell is wearing #29.

Matt Rusch starts tomorrow for Portland. He was signed from the Can-Am League on Tuesday

LET’S PLAY TWO: The Sea Dogs and Phillies play a doubleheader tonight at First Energy Stadium…Portland has a 1-3 record in doubleheaders away from Hadlock Field…The only two twinbill splits have come in the ‘Dogs home doubleheaders this year…Portland is 37-34 since June 1st, the R-Phils have dropped 8 of 13 this month after going 17-12 in July.

GOING DEEP IN BASEBALLTOWN: The Phillies took the first game of the series last night 7-4 thanks to home runs from Brett Clevlen, Carlos Rivero and Tuffy Gosewisch…Clevlen and Rivero each had a solo shot, but it was Gosewisch’s three-run bomb in the sixth inning that knocked Sea Dogs starter Brock Huntzinger out of the game…Ryan Khoury also had a two-run homer as part of a late comeback bid by Portland.

THE BAKER AND THE BUTLER: Jeremy Hazelbaker and Dan Butler joined Khoury as Sea Dogs with a multi-hit effort last night…Butler drove in Hazelbaker on a double in the fifth inning for Portland’s first run of the game…That was the catcher’s first RBI in Double-A…Hazelbaker twice led-off an inning with a single and scored runs both times.

MAKE SURE YOU’RE COMFORTABLE: Last night’s contest turned out to be another three-hour affair for the Sea Dogs…Each of Portland’s last three games has been over the three-hour mark…The ‘Dogs have not played a nine-inning game in under 2:30 since a 2-1 loss at New Hampshire on July 22nd.

IT’S BEEN A WHILE: Prior to last night’s game Portland and Reading had not played since the two teams split an abbreviated two-game series at Hadlock Field on May 17-18…The Sea Dogs have an 11-game losing streak at First Energy Stadium with their last win coming in the 2010 season opener…Two teams have split six games at Hadlock Field this season.

ANOTHER MILESTONE: Khoury passed Iggy Suarez for the most games played in franchise history (305) after his start at shortstop last night…Khoury is currently playing for Portland for the fourth consecutive season…He is already the franchise leader in runs scored (172), walks (158) and plate appearances (1,262)…With two more at-bats Khoury (1,073) will pass Fletcher Bates (1,074) for the most in team history…His double last night gave him 69 for his career, three behind Chih-Hsien Chiang.

WHAT’S ON DECK: The Sea Dogs and Reading Phillies conclude their four-game series tomorrow night…The Sea Dogs and Binghamton Mets will play at Fenway Park in three days as part of a six-game homestand against the Mets and the first meeting with the Harrisburg Senators (Nationals affiliate).

Notes for today…thoughts on Strasburg

After tonight, the Sea Dogs have one more Saturday game at Hadlock Field this season – September 3rd against New Hampshire. Next week, the ‘Dogs and B-Mets will play in the annual Future’s at Fenway. I’ve been asked this question a lot, does it get old after already being at Fenway to broadcast the game? My answer: Never! I’ve been waiting for this day since the winter. I can’t explain in words, the emotions and excitement I have sitting atop the most historic park in the world.

I watched highlights from Stephen Strasburg’s outing in High-A Potomac. The hard-throwing righty doesn’t look like he’s missed anytime. His fastball topped out at 99 and his change-up hit 90. He threw all three pitches (fastball, curveball and change-up) during his 3-inning stint. Strasburg allowed 2 hits, no runs and fanned 5. I talked with someone in the Potomac organization (my first broadcasting gig) and the Nationals want Strasburg to pitch in a home environment. We were looking at the August 22-24 series at Hadlock when the Senators come to down, but that might not happen….Looking forward to Bryce Harper that week. He hit a walk-off homer on Friday night that traveled about 480 feet.

Sea Dogs look to snap a three-game losing streak on Saturday night….Some notes for today.

TWO MORE TO GO: The Sea Dogs and SeaWolves play the second of their three-game series tonight at Hadlock Field…Portland needs to win the final two games to avoid the season-series loss to the ‘Wolves…Their current three-game skid is their longest losing streak since dropping six straight games from June 23-28…The Sea Dogs are currently 6‐9 on their 17‐game stretch against teams from the Western Division

HEY, MR. WILSON: Alex Wilson takes the mound tonight for the Sea Dogs…His 2.93 ERA is fourth best in the Eastern League…Wilson has only allowed more than three earned runs in a start just twice in 20 previous starts this year…Last time out, he surrendered just six hits and one earned run against the Richmond Flying Squirrels…A win tonight, would make him the second Sea Dog with double-digit wins, joining former teammate Stephen Fife (11).

SWING AND A MISS: L.J. Gagnier and Luis Marte combined for 14 strikeouts as the SeaWolves beat the Sea Dogs 6-2 last night…Gagnier’s 10 strikeouts established a new season-high for him at Double-A…It was also only the second time this season that a single pitcher has piled up double-digit strikeouts against Portland…The only other pitcher to do it was Binghamton’s Mark Cohoon (11 K’s) back on April 20.

HERE ON HOLADAY: Bryan Holaday finished 3-for-4 last night for Erie…Holaday had two singles and an RBI double…He also scored a run…The catcher had been 0-for-8 prior to last night’s game…It was Holaday’s first three hit game since June 20th against Reading.

A BIG FLY SHY: Justin Henry also had three hits in the SeaWolves win last night…Henry picked up a single, double and triple in that order, finishing a home run short of the cycle…The outfielder is still looking for his first home run in Double-A this season.

ANOTHER MILESTONE: Ryan Khoury needs to appear in just three more games this season to become the Sea Dogs all-time leader in games played…The Utah native has suited up 302 times for Portland, two shy of Iggy Suarez’ 304…Khoury is already the franchise leader in runs scored (166), walks (154), and plate appearances (1,247)…He is second in at-bats (1,062) and is tied for second with Brandon Moss in doubles (67).

WHAT’S ON DECK: The Sea Dogs and SeaWolves play their final game of 2011 tomorrow afternoon…Portland has Monday off before a four-game, three-day series in Reading (Phillies affiliate)…The Sea Dogs and Binghamton Mets will play at Fenway Park one week from today as part of a six-game homestand against the Mets and the first meeting with the Harrisburg Senators (Nationals affiliate).

Chiang named Player of the Month

Portland, Maine- The Eastern League of Professional Baseball Clubs has selected Portland Sea Dogs’ outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang as the Eastern League Player of the Month for July.  Chiang batted .430 (43-for-100) with 5 homers, 25 RBI, 16 doubles, 27 runs scored, 25 RBI, 7 walks, 3 stolen bases and a .740 slugging percentage in 26 games.  This marks the second consecutive month that Chiang has received Eastern League Player of the Month honors and he is the first player in team history to win the award twice.

Chiang hit safely in 23 of the 26 games in July, leading the league in average (.430), hits (43), doubles (16), runs (27), on-base percentage (.500), and slugging percentage (.740). He also ranked among the league leaders in home runs (5,  T- 3rd) and RBI (25 -T-4th ), and  hit safely in a team-high 16 straight games from July 15-31. The 23 year-old established franchise records for most doubles (16) and total bases (74) in a single month and his .430 average and 27 runs scored set franchise records for July.

Additionally, Chiang participated in XM Futures Game (0-3, BB, RS) on July 10th in Phoenix, Arizona and the Eastern League All-Star Game (0-for-1) on July 13th in Manchester, New Hampshire.

On July 31st, Chiang was sent to the Seattle Mariners in a three-team traded that sent left-handed pitcher Erik Bedard to the Boston Red Sox.  Chiang is hitting .231 (3-for-13) in 3 games with the Jackson Generals (Double-A affiliate) of the Seattle Mariners.

At the time of the trade, Chiang was leading the Eastern League in batting average (.340, 109-for-321), RBI (76), doubles (37), extra-base hits (59), runs scored (68) and slugging percentage (.648). In 88 games with the Sea Dogs, he had 18 home runs and 4 triples.

Chiang’s torrid July helped the team set franchise marks for the month of July in wins (17), runs (175), and RBI (158). The Sea Dogs also set the franchise record for doubles (76) in any month, mostly due to Chiang’s personal input of 16.

Chiang , who began his Sea Dog career in 2010, holds the franchise record for career doubles (72)  and grand slams (3).  He ranks fourth all-time in slugging percentage (.524), seventh in home runs (29) and eighth in RBI (141).

A native of Taitung, Taiwan, Chiang was signed by the Red Sox as an international free agent on October 20, 2005. Chiang is the eighth different Sea Dog to earn an Eastern League Player of the Month choice in franchise history and the first to win the award twice.

The Sea Dogs begin a six-game homestand on Tuesday, August 9th against the Akron Aeros (Indians affiliate) at Hadlock Field. The ZOOperstars will make their last appearance at the ballpark.  Tickets are available online at seadogs.om or by calling 207-879-9500.

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