The 2009 Albuquerque Isotopes season is officially underway and if the first homestand is any indication, it’s going to be terrific year. More than 10,000 people were on hand to witness the beginning of a new era of Isotopes baseball and were treated to an appearance by Tommy Lasorda as well as a ‘Topes win! The excitement that reached a fever pitch on Opening Night carried over throughout the eight-game homestand. Thanks to everyone who came out (sometimes braving some iffy weather conditions) and we look forward to seeing you when the team returns to play arch-rival Round Rock on April 30.
A couple quick thoughts on the team through eight games:
Once the pitching comes around, this team is going to be pretty formidable. Coming out of Spring Training most members of the Albuquerque pitching staff entered the season unable to throw that many innings, which has caused some juggling (especially in the bullpen) by manager Tim Wallach. Slowly but surely, though, starters are beginning to throw five innings an appearance, and relievers are starting to log more than just one inning. Once things settle in, the experience of this staff (a total of 1,469 Big League games) should kick in.
Xavier Paul is worth the price of admission. In his last three games Paul has racked up 10 hits in 13 at-bats and currently leads the PCL with a .571 batting average and leads the team with eight RBI. Not only has he been excellent at the plate, Paul has played excellent defense and even swiped four bags.
Dee Brown is the quintessential professional hitter. Brown has gotten a hit in each of the six games he’s played, racking up a .444 average with a double, a homer, and five RBI. Even when he doesn’t get a hit, he usually turns in a valuable at-bat. Case in point, in the Isotopes’ thrilling comeback victory against Iowa on Wednesday, Brown came off the bench as a pinch-hitter and, after quickly going down 0-2, worked a six-pitch walk to prolong a five-run eighth inning that propelled Albuquerque to a 7-4 win.
Don’t forget that video of Isotopes games is now streaming on our site. If you’ve gotten a MiLB.TV subscription to see the Isotopes play at home, you can follow the ‘Topes on their road trip as well. While Omaha and New Orleans don’t have video streaming capabilities, you can catch each of Albuquerque’s games at Iowa from next Tuesday through Friday.