There won’t be a postseason for the Albuquerque Isotopes in 2017, but they did manage to close out the home schedule with a bang.
Three Isotopes hit solo home runs, three pitchers combined on a shutout and Albuquerque sent a large crowd announced at 12,234 home happy with a 3-0 win over the Reno Aces on Thursday night.
Jordan Patterson’s 25th blast of the season — a prodigious shot that landed two-thirds of the way up the berm beyond the right-field fence in the fourth inning — proved all the offense the ‘Topes would need. It came after Patterson was named the team’s Power Hitter of the Year in a pregame awards ceremony.
“That was a long homer,” Isotopes manager Glenallen Hill said. “Jordan’s made some adjustments this year and the results have been impressive — and he’s not done.”
Ryan Howard and Anthony Bemboom added solo shots to make a winner of pitcher Yency Almonte, who pitched five scoreless innings. Tyler Anderson followed with three scoreless rehab innings, and Shane Carle completed the shutout with a scoreless ninth.
Reno eliminated the Isotopes from playoff contention a night earlier, but Hill was glad to finish the home slate with a strong performance.
“Our fans have shown up all year long,” he said. “They were great tonight and it feels good to leave them with that memory.
PLAYER AWARDS: Outfielder Mike Tauchman was named Isotopes MVP in a vote of players. Tauchman, who hit .331 this season with 16 homers, 80 RBIs and 16 steals, was not on hand to receive his trophy in the pregame ceremony, though he was still on Albuquerque’s roster. Perhaps by coincidence, major league rosters can be expanded today.
Albuquerque’s Austin House received the annual “Fan Favorite” award in what was described as a landslide fan vote.
Other award winners were as follows: Power Hitter of the Year: Patterson; Defensive Player of the Year: Daniel Castro; Pitcher of the Year: Ryan Carpenter; Mr. Hustle: Rosell Herrera; Most Community-Minded: Matt Flemer.
DRAWING A CROWD: With Thursday’s crowd, the Isotopes averaged 7,978 for 69 home dates this season. The number was up from 7,795 per game in 2016.
“Fifteen years in, I’m still humbled and amazed by how consistent our fan base is,” Isotopes general manager John Traub said.
Traub credited his staff and the Colorado Rockies’ organization for helping to make the ‘Topes a big draw. Coming into Thursday’s game they ranked fourth in home attendance in the PCL.
PROMOTIONS, ANYONE? The Isotopes’ Friday theme night promotions drew crowds in 2017 but the season’s big winner was undoubtedly the one-night appearance of the Albuquerque Green Chile Cheeseburgers — the Isotopes’ alter-egos, who prompted considerable merchandise sales.
Traub declined to confirm another Green Chile Cheeseburgers appearance for 2018 on Thursday, but fans can almost certainly expect a second helping.