PORTLAND — Saturday, it was Daisuke Matsuzaka pitching for the Portland Sea Dogs at Hadlock Field against the Reading Phillies. Monday, it was supposed to be Andy Pettitte pitching for the Trenton Thunder against  the Sea Dogs at Hadlock Field.

The New York Yankees’ 39-year-old lefty is on the comeback trail and was scheduled to pitch here Monday. But New York General Manager Brian Cashman decided Saturday that Portland’s weather would be too cold for Pettitte, who will start for Class A Tampa instead.

It’s an opportunity missed for the Sea Dogs, who say they’ve appreciated big-name players coming through town.

Sea Dogs shortstop Derrik Gibson spoke about playing behind Matsuzaka on Saturday, noting that there was “a whole new aura to the game today.’’

After taking batting practice, he said, “We were just talking about playing behind him. Everyone is amped up. He’s a great pitcher, he brings fans to the ballpark. It’s just a great aura surrounding the game and we’re all excited about it.’’

Manager Kevin Boles said before Saturday’s game that Matsuzaka represents everything his players are competing for.

“Our guys are striving to be major league players,’’ said Boles. “He’s a good example of that. He’s had success at the highest level. He’s a World Series champion.”