It’s fall, and it’s still the Triple-A baseball season. Paradoxical as that reads, here we are.
It means one final five-game home series on the regular-season schedule for the Albuquerque Isotopes beginning Thursday vs. Reno. Then the Isotopes finish in Sacramento next Wednesday through Oct. 3.
The reason for the late ending is in part because major league rosters expanded to only 28 players this September instead of 40 as in the past, when minor league seasons usually ended in the first week of September. Extending the regular season by 10 games – a decision made public in July – allows each major league organization to keep players game-ready, just in case.
This call came after the season’s delayed-until-May start, a month later than usual, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Division champions in both Triple-A leagues (East and West) have been determined – and the Colorado Rockies-affiliated Isotopes (52-68) never really have been in the hunt. (Click here for Triple-A West standings.)
But MLB is calling the last 10 games the “Final Stretch” and says it will reward the team with the best record down that final stretch. It hasn’t said what that might be, yet it is donating $50 per homer to local charities, and the team that hits the most in the 10 days gets $5,000 to donate to a local charity. The Isotopes, who play the next give games in hitter-friendly mile-high altitude, have chosen Enlace Comunitario.
Anyway, it means five more opportunities to see the Isotopes in slightly cooler weather, fan appreciation days Friday and Saturday, and one more Mariachis de Nuevo Mexico game to wrap up the home schedule on Monday.