May 2010

May 10 Game Notes

May 10 Albuquerque Isotopes Game Notes

Probable Pitchers:
Sounds: LHP Chuck Lofgren (4-1, 4.33)
Isotopes: LHP Scott Elbert (1-1, 3.97)

Click here for today’s notes:

May 9 Game Notes

May 9 Albuquerque Isotopes Game Notes

Probable Pitchers:
Sounds: RHP Marco Estrada (1-1, 2.48)
Isotopes: RHP James McDonald (1-1, 3.97)

Click here for today’s notes:

May 8 Game Notes

May 8 Albuquerque Isotopes Game Notes

Probable Pitchers:
Sounds: LHP Chase Wright (2-0, 3.07)
Isotopes: RHP Tim Corcoran (1-2, 7.20)

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May 7 Game Notes

May 7 Albuquerque Isotopes Game Notes

Probable Pitchers:
Sounds: LHP Chris Waters (2-0, 4.03)
Isotopes: RHP Josh Towers (2-2, 3.00)

Click here for today’s notes:

On The Road With the Isotopes… To Memphis (Day Four)

It is an absolutely gorgeous day for baseball in Memphis.  The temperature is 86 degrees with a light breeze under a brilliant mid-south sun. Things are bit less sunny for the ‘Topes, who are in the midst of their first three-game losing streak of the season.  Not only have they been losing, but each loss seems to be closer and more excruciating than the last.  Case in point last night, where Albuquerque keep scratching back only to ultimately fall 5-4 when the Redbirds broke a 4-4 tie with a run in the bottom of the eighth. 

Still, it’s early and nobody is particularly concerned about the quality of this team long-term.  Today’s starter Josh Lindblom was joking around in the clubhouse with catcher J.D. Closser and the overall mood of the team seems to be pretty light.  Lindblom is one of those guys who is impossible not to like.  He has an easy-going manner and an off-the-wall sense of humor that keeps everyone in the clubhouse laughing.   Plus, he is remarkably down-to-earth despite the fact he’s considered one of the best young pitchers in the Dodgers’ system and is in Triple-A in just his second full professional season.  

Since today is a day game following a night game, most of the players didn’t have to be to the ballpark until around 10:30 AM for some optional light work in the cage if they needed it. That left me time to dart across the street to The Peabody Hotel to catch the famous marching ducks.  While I knew the ducks were a big deal, I was nevertheless surprised to find the lobby of the Peabody PACKED with people as early as 15 minutes before the ducks would take their walk from the elevator to the lobby fountain.  As the elevator descended from the ducks’ penthouse home on the roof of the hotel, the lobby was filled with dramatic music until the doors of the elevator opened and the ducks, in what can best be described as a “duck jog,” marched along the red carpet to their awaiting fountain. Needless to say, due to the number of people and the pace of the ducks, getting a picture of the famous fowls proved difficult (see below) Once all five ducks had reached the fountain and were swimming comfortably, the entire lobby erupted into a raucous, yet respectful, applause that normally greets war heroes or astronauts.  Scratch one more thing off the bucket list.       

After today’s game, the ‘Topes will pack up and head to the airport for a 7:05 PM flight, which should put the team back in Albuquerque around 10:50 PM. 

By the way, it’s time to get a win. Lindblom’s going to get it done.


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May 6 Game Notes

May 6 Albuquerque Isotopes Game Notes

Probable Pitchers:
Isotopes: RHP Josh Lindblom (1-1, 6.23 ERA)
Redbirds: RHP PJ Walters (No Record)

Click here for today’s notes:

On The Road With the Isotopes… To Memphis (Day Three)

Field From Dugout.jpgSpirits in Memphis are still high even though the ‘Topes are still looking for a win in this series after being held to four hits on each of last two nights. In fact, AutoZone Park is starting to become a house of horrors for the Isotopes, who have lost four straight games here, dating back to last season (including the playoffs). Overall, including last year’s post-season, Albuquerque has dropped five straight games to the ‘Birds. 

For most of the players, Wednesday was a day to relax a little since it will be the team’s last night game of the trip.  Tomorrow, the Isotopes will have to be at the ballpark early for a matinee that features a 1:05 PM first pitch local time so today was really their last chance to sleep in. Many enjoyed a late lunch at one of the many nearby restaurants before arriving at the ballpark in time for stretch at 4:00 PM. 

Despite the offensive doldrums, batting practice was lively and spirited, with Jamie Hoffmann and John Lindsey both crushing the ball.  Another highlight was hitting coach John Moses getting in the cage to take some cuts against Tim Wallach while the manager was throwing to his group.  Moses did pretty well despite not getting a chance to warm up, dumping a couple of Wallach offerings into right field.  Most of the talk around the cage centered around the enigma that is Wednesday night’s Redbirds starter Evan MacLane, who has flummoxed the Isotopes of late.  It was MacLane who authored the shutout in game three of the PCL playoffs that sent the ‘Topes home after a 1-0 loss at AutoZone Park.  As J.D. Closser mentioned during BP, “We owe this guy.”  We’ll see if payback is in the offing.

Incidentally, with due respect to good folks at Ovations who provide the nightly press box meal at Isotopes Park, the food in the press box at AutoZone Park is by far the best in the Pacific Coast League. Tonight, visitors were treated to a traditional southern meal complete with fried chicken, fried catfish, mashed potatoes and gravy, and hush puppies. Combine that with the usual AutoZone press box snacks that include chips, dips, popcorn, pretzels, and the thickest, most delicious chocolate chip cookies you ever laid eyes on, and you have a gastrointestinal dream.  It also means I’m going to have to increase the mileage on my daily run tomorrow morning.    

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May 5 Game Notes

May 5 Albuquerque Isotopes Game Notes

Probable Pitchers:
Isotopes: LHP Scott Elbert (0-1, 8.00)
Redbirds: LHP Evan MacLane (1-3, 4.01)

Click here for today’s notes: 

On The Road With the Isotopes… To Memphis (Day Two)

A good night’s sleep and a 35 minute morning run along the Mississippi River has finally shaken off any lingering effects of the travel day and the Isotopes and I are both loaded for bear as we embark on Day Two of our four-game roadtrip in Memphis.  The team had an optional workout at the gym, which is right down the street at 10:00 AM followed by lunch. With the hotel downtown, lunch options aboud, so essentially the team scattered before having to be to the ballpark in time for stretch at 4:00 PM. 

At the ballpark, one of the two main topics of conversation was the call-up of shortstop Nick Green to the Dodgers, replacing Rafael Furcal, who was placed on the DL with a strained left hamstring.  Dwarfing that topic, however, as far as the Isotopes were concerned, was the story of the kid in Philadelphia who ran onto the field at a Phillies game and got tased (Click here for the video), further cementing the sterling reputation of both Philadelphia sports fans and Philadelphia police officers. (Here is a hilarious piece The Daily Show did on Philly and New York sports fans during last year’s World Series)  

Instead of tasers, it was brought up by some of the Isotopes that unleashing a wild animal might be an effective deterrent for those that are of the mind to run out onto the field at Isotopes Park  (Law-enforcement meets Gladiator).  On a totally unrelated note, if anybody knows where to get a couple of blood-thirsty tigers on the cheap, please contact the ‘Topes front office.

All in all, spirits are high on the team.  In addition to the crack of the bat, BP was filled with laughter as players were joking with each other around the cage.  It’s amazing how BP can sometimes be an indicator of how a guy is going to swing it in the game.  Jay Gibbons, for example, was blistering the ball in batting practice and sure enough, delivered a two-run homer in the game. 

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May 4 Game Notes

May 4 Albuquerque Isotopes Game Notes

Probable Pitchers:
Isotopes: RHP James McDonald (1-0, 3.57)
Redbirds: RHP Brandon Dickson (1-1, 3.20)

Click here for today’s notes: