April 17, 2013

2009: Playoff streak ends at four

Portland misses another playoff berth but gets a peek at Lars Anderson and Junichi Tazawa.

The Sea Dogs were attempting to become the first Red Sox affiliate to reach the playoffs in five consecutive seasons since the Scranton Red Sox from 1939-43. But the run came to an end with a fourth-place finish in the division, 151/2 games out of first and five games out of a playoff spot.

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Photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer... Thursday, April 9, 2009...Sea Dogs season opener against the Connecticut Defenders at Hadlock Field. Sea Dog starting pitcher Junichi Tazawa pitches in the first inning.

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Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer: Sea Dogs catcher Juan Apodaca shakes hands with fans before the annual Field of Dreams game at Hadlock Field. The Sea Dogs wore uniforms from the Portland Eskimos of the 1920s, and walked through the stands to thank fans for their support.

Tim Greenway

Affiliation: Boston Red Sox
Manager: Arnie Beyeler
Attendance: 404,709 (6,132 average)

Final standings

Northern Division
Team Aff W L Pct. GB
Connecticut SFG 83 59 .585
New Britain MIN 72 69 .511 10.5
Trenton NYY 69 72 .489 13.5
PORTLAND BOS 67 74 .475 15.5
New Hampshire TOR 64 78 .451 19
Binghamton NYM 54 86 .386 28
Southern Division
Team Aff W L Pct.
Akron CLE 89 53 .627
Reading PHI 75 67 .528 14
Bowie BAL 73 69 .514 16
Erie DET 71 70 .504 17.5
Harrisburg WSN 70 72 .493 19
Altoona PIT 62 80 .437 27

Notable hitters

Player HR RBI SB Avg.
Jon Still 17 89 2 .233
Jorge Jimenez 13 87 3 .289
Ryan Kalish 13 56 14 .271

Notable pitchers

Player W L SV ERA
T.J. Large 3 0 8 1.08
Junichi Tazawa 9 5 0 2.57
Dustin Richardson 2 2 4 2.70

Hopes were high to start the season with the Red Sox’s top prospect Lars Anderson and highly touted pitching prospect Junichi Tazawa in Portland, along with a core group of returning players such as Aaron Bates, Bubba Bell and Jorge Jimenez. 

Tazawa, 22, started on opening day and the former Japanese Industrial League star allowed one run over five innings while striking out seven. Tazawa picked up the loss, but went on to post a 9-5 record with a 2.57 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 18 starts with Portland.

Outfielder Ryan Kalish was promoted to the Sea Dogs from Class A Salem in early May. After getting just one hit in his first 23 at-bats, he finished the season by hitting .271 with 13 home runs and 56 RBI.

Four Sea Dogs were named to the Eastern League All-Star Game – Anderson, Tazawa, Jimenez and T.J. Large.

Large and Tazawa would both be promoted to Pawtucket after the All-Star break, while Jimenez was named team MVP after hitting .289 with 13 home runs and 87 RBI. Felix Doubront was a top pitcher, compiling an 8-6 record with a 3.35 ERA and 101 strikeouts.

The 2009 season also included three major league rehab assignments from the Red Sox. John Smoltz, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jed Lowrie all made appearances with the Sea Dogs, but unfortunately for local fans, all three appearances took place on the road.

Four Sea Dogs from the 2009 season would make their major league debut with the Red Sox that year: Aaron Bates, Josh Reddick, Dustin Richardson and Tazawa. The 2009 Red Sox would feature a total of 26 former Sea Dogs, including All-Stars Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon, Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia.

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