April 17, 2013

2007: A glimpse into the future

Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz started in Portland, then helped Boston win another title.

A second World Series title for the Red Sox was still months away, and once the field cleared from an opening-day storm that dropped a foot of snow on Hadlock Field, fans got a preview of what was to come for Boston as Jacoby Ellsbury and Clay Buchholz shined for the Sea Dogs.

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John Ewing/ Staff Photographer: 20070725 Wednesday, July 25, 2007.....Sea Dogs starter Justin Masterson pitched 6 2/3 strong innings against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, allowing only 3 hits.

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Staff photo by John Patriquin. Monday, April, 9, 2007. Portland Sea Dogs #3 Jed Lowrie hits a single during action at the Portland Sea Dogs season opener against New Britain Rock Cats at Hadlock Field in Portland.

Affiliation: Boston Red Sox
Manager: Todd Claus
Attendance: 396,277 (6,290 average)

Final standings

Northern Division
Team Aff W L Pct. GB
Trenton NYY 83 59 .585
PORTLAND BOS 71 72 .497 12.5
New Hampshire TOR 70 73 .490 13.5
New Britain MIN 69 72 .489 13.5
Connecticut SFG 63 78 .447 19.5
Binghamton NYM 61 81 .430 22
Southern Division
Team Aff W L Pct.
Erie DET 81 59 .579
Akron CLE 80 61 .567 1.5
Altoona PIT 73 68 .518 8.5
Bowie BAL 72 68 .514 9
Reading PHI 70 71 .496 11.5
Harrisburg WSN 55 86 .390 26.5

Notable hitters

Player HR RBI SB Avg.
Andrew Pinckney 14 64 4 .264
Jay Johnson 5 64 5 .265
Jeff Natale 5 64 5 .270

Notable pitchers

Player W L SV ERA
Clay Buchholz 7 2 0 1.77
Beau Vaughan 1 3 6 3.34
Mike James 2 3 22 3.77

Ellsbury was named the Eastern League player of the month for April (.455, 10 doubles, 2 triples, 12 RBI, 6 SB). On May 4, Ellsbury was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket and on June 30, he made his first appearance in a Red Sox uniform.

Then there was Clay Buchholz. On May 1, he worked six perfect innings against Bowie before giving up a leadoff single in the seventh. He was promoted to Pawtucket on July 10, and then on Sept. 1 found himself making his second major league start. But his game at Fenway Park against Baltimore was special as he became the first Red Sox rookie to toss a no-hitter.

Ellsbury would join six other Sea Dogs (Josh Beckett, Manny Delcarmen, Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis) on the Red Sox World Series roster. Each former Sea Dog would play a key role in the Red Sox’s second world championship in four years.

Although the Red Sox World Series win was the ultimate highlight of the 2007 season, there were several other special moments for the Sea Dogs. On May 23 in Trenton, N.J., Buchholz faced Roger Clemens, who was preparing to return to the Yankees. Jed Lowrie had two hits against Clemens and Iggy Suarez provided the first hit with a triple down the line.

Portland got a pitching boost just prior to the All-Star break as Justin Masterson joined the club from Class A Lancaster. In his Double-A debut July 9, Masterson fired 62/3 innings of hitless ball on two walks and nine strikeouts. Masterson won four straight and was named Eastern League player of the month for July (4-0, 1.36 ERA, 35 Ks, 8 walks).

In addition to Buchholz, three Sea Dogs were selected to play in the Eastern League All-Star Game: Jeff Corsaletti, Jed Lowrie and Charlie Zink.

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