PORLAND — Lockers emptied. Gear bags stuffed. Goodbyes said.

The 2019 version of the Portland Sea Dogs left town Monday after finishing the season with an 8-7 loss to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 10 innings. The announced paid attendance at Hadlock Field paid was 6,023, but early rain kept some fans away.

It was the fifth straight losing season for Portland, the 62-77 record the third-worst in the Eastern League. The franchise has had one winning season since 2008.

“It’s been good and a little disappointing,” said first-year Sea Dogs manager Joe Oliver.

The disappointment included Monday’s game, although the Sea Dogs made it interesting. Austin Rei’s RBI single tied the game in the bottom of the ninth but Christian Williams’ two-run homer in the 10th clinched it for New Hampshire. Luke Tendler and Jeremy Rivera homered earlier for Portland.

But Monday was just another loss. Where the season went wayward was at the beginning, in the cold, early weeks. Portland muddled its way to a 12-29 record, which included an eight-game losing streak.

“It was a reality check on how important it is to get off on a good start and we didn’t,” Oliver said. “I don’t want to blame the weather because both teams play in it, but I think it was an eye-opening experience for me and a lot of players who had never been here.

“I’ll have that conversation, if I’m back, with the guys next spring. They have to mentally prepare for playing in frigid weather … You’re going to deal with cold weather in (Triple-A) Pawtucket and Boston.”

The good part of Portland’s season, as always, refers to player development.

Oliver enjoyed his first experience of telling a player he’s headed to the big leagues – “something I’ll never forget” – when he informed pitcher Darwinzon Hernandez he was Boston-bound in April. Hernandez came back to Portland but eventually moved back up.

Pitchers Kyle Hart, Tanner Houck and Daniel McGrath, corner infielder Bobby Dalbec and middle infielder C.J. Chatham received promotions to Pawtucket.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: