(Portland) You want hot?
That was Hadlock Field Sunday afternoon during the end-of-series Eastern League game between Portland and Erie.
The temperatures were in the 90’s and there were plenty of very warm empty metal seats.
The Sea Dogs dropped the game, 6-4, as their relief pitching betrayed them. Sounds like a certain major league team south of here, doesn’t it.
I was planning to get my first look at two newcomers to Portland: Ceddane Rafaela and Nick Northcut. I also wanted another look at the Eastern League’s top base stealer, David Hamilton.
None of them were in the starting lineup!
But I knew them by number and figured out which ones they were as they sat in the dugout. I probably got better shots of them in the dugout than I would have in the field.
It was the last game of a six-game series so I shouldn’t have been surprised by some backups getting some playing time.
Pitcher Ty Madden made his AA debut for Erie. Ty was drafted in the first round by the Tigers last year.
Ty went 4 2/3 innings before being pulled. He gave up three earned runs, on four hits including two homers. He did strike out six Sea Dogs.
Catcher Stephen Scott went deep for the Sea Dogs as did Izzy Wilson. I was interested in how the home team would celebrate the homer in the Portland dugout. What they did was teammates put a UMass football helmet on Stephen as he entered the dugout which he wore as he worked his way thought the dugout.
Quincy Nieporte homered twice for Erie. His homers in the 7th and 8th innings were responsible for the two-run separation at the game’s end.
Quincy (27) was one of those fill-the-roster older players given, in this case, a chance to compete by Detroit. He has run with the opportunity currently leading the EL in homers (26) and RBI (69).
Quincy was up early in this game with the bases loaded and two outs and sent Portland LF Wil Dalton to the warning track. Later in the game, the Sea Dogs weren’t as lucky!
Christian Koss has been Portland’s best player this season. His numbers get your attention. He leads the team in five offensive categories. The 24-year-old is an infielder who can hit. I would expect him to get promoted to Worcester (AAA) soon. He’s earned it.
Had trouble figuring out Slugger today. Was he a prince or a princess? The Sleeping Beauty routine would suggest princess, at least for this afternoon.
In the race with the youngster, Slugger was in costume wearing a skirt. I promise you; you can’t do your best running when you’re encumbered with a bulky outfit. The race today was never close. Once they passed second base, the kid was long gone. Slugger, as he sometimes does, took a very wide turn between second and first, and gave the outcome away entirely in the process.
Slugger, however, does seem to be in good shape, so a win in the future is possible. However, he can’t show up in a bulky costume and expect much.
I got into a seat just behind home plate and the backstop to get some shots of Ty Madden. Those metal seats were nearly at the “grill” level! I was wearing long pants, thankfully.
I met an adult male on the elevator coming down from the sky-view seats. He was wearing a baseball glove and I asked him how that had worked out for him. I’m thinking he’ll tell me about catching a foul ball. He said he had it to protect his family from foul balls. He reported that someone up there today had gotten hit in the face! There isn’t much of a warning in those foul balls and they come fast.
Couldn’t have been happier afterwards to find a free-sample truck in front of Hadlock Field giving out ice cream sandwiches. Perfect ending to my visit to a Sea Dogs’ game!
Thanks, as always, to Chris Cameron for arranging my visit.
This coming Monday-Sunday will have Richmond at Hadlock. They are in the San Francisco Giants farm system.
The price at Hadlock is always right. Well worth a visit.