I took in the Portland Sea Dogs, New Hampshire Fisher Cats game on Saturday, and it turned out to be a pretty good game, with the Fisher Cats edging out the Sea Dogs late in the game, 6-3.
We got there as early as possible and, to my dismay, no Hanley Ramirez in the lineup. I was a little frustrated, but came to learn that Ramirez was flying to Detroit to play in the Futures game. Stud Anibal Sanchez, who was just promoted to Portland, also traveled to Detroit to take part in the game. So that right there is two of Portland's best players (we can't forget Jon Lester) gone.
I also had an opportunity to interview some Sea Dogs players, but ran out of time at the end of the ballgame. I plan on going back to another Sea Dogs/Fisher Cats game and getting another shot at it.
The biggest prospect in the game itself probably was New Hampshire's starter, Dustin McGowan. McGowan was a huge prospect last year, and was about to be promoted to AAA Syracuse before he blew out his arm and lost the rest of the season sitting on the disabled list. If McGowan didn't get hurt last season, he'd probably be a fixture in the Blue Jays rotation as we speak. This was his third start of the season, and it was a solid one, as he went 7 innings, gave up 3 runs (only two earned) on five hits and struck out five for a no-decision.
The game itself was pretty exciting, and had a lot of big plays in it, including back to back home runs by Raul Nieves and Jim Buckley that gave the Sea Dogs a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning. New Hampshire's designated hitter Maikel Jova went 2-for-4 with both hits being triples.
The game was decided in the 8th inning when NH's Ryan Roberts scored the go-ahead run to break a 3-3 tie. The Fisher Cats ended up scoring two more to make the final 6-2 over the division-leading Sea Dogs. Tracy Thorpe came in for the ninth and saved out the game for his first save as a Fisher Cat.
I took a lot of pictures of yesterday's game, so I plan to upload those tonight. I'll post the best ones here for you. I also plan to send some to John Sickels of Minor League Ball, so he can keep them for file or to show off at his site. So keep checking back for those photos.