Seeing the Sea Dogs
Saturday, June 25, 2016 – Hadlock Field, Portland
Fightin’ Phils 8, Sea Dogs 3
While the Red Sox were on the road in Texas, I made my annual trip to Portland to see the Double A Sea Dogs. Late June seemed to be the perfect time – top prospects Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada had both been promoted earlier in the month after tearing it up in Single A, and yet it was early enough that the best players hadn’t been called up to Pawtucket yet. Not only that, but it was a perfect sunny day, unlike the rainy, foggy nights we’ve had in past years.
It turned out that Yoan Moncada was not in the lineup, but we would get to see Benintendi bat third and play center field. He’s the number 3 prospect in the whole organization, and he’s one I’m following closely, not just because of his rapid ascent from the first round of the 2015 draft to playing in Double A just a year later, but because I got an autograph and a picture with him in Spring Training this year.
Unfortunately the game got off to a start that was a little too familiar for Red Sox fans in the past few weeks. Teddy Stankiewicz gave up a walk and a home run to the first two batters, then gave up another run before getting pulled with two outs and two on in the first. Ben Taylor did a good job getting out of the inning and then pitched three more, but the Sea Dogs were already in a hole.
In the end, the game was too much like some of the Major Lague Red Sox’ games of the recent past. They fell behind in the first, started to climb back in the middle innings, and then had the bullpen give up a bunch more late. But it was a perfect night for baseball, and a good chance to see some of the team’s best prospects.