In this week in Albuquerque Isotopes baseball, they lived up to the mantra that their parent club (the Colorado Rockies) lived up to in years past, at least in eyes of the national media: “You just know they’re going to hit.”
Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque is nearly at the elevation of Coors Field (roughly 5,100 feet in Albuquerque and 5,186 feet at home plate at Coors Field) so it’s part of the reason why the Rockies are affiliated with them: having their players get used to playing at elevation.
With that, the theory is that the ball flies with the thinner air and that was apparent this week in the Albuquerque Isotopes’ first home series of 2022.
The Albuquerque Isotopes had a lot of high-scoring games this past week.
This past week, the Albuquerque Isotopes (and their opponent, the Tacoma Rainiers, to a lesser extent) were mashing the baseball. In the six-game series against the Rainers (the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, the Isotopes scored 9, 7, 11, 5, 10, and 11 runs in the games.
Total, they went 4-2 as they won the middle four games but lost both the first and last games of the series. The Rainiers scored 10, 6, 8, 2, 3, and 11 runs in games in the series as well.
For the Isotopes’ offense, they were spearheaded by Colton Welker, Tim Lopes, and Elehuris Montero. Welker was called up to the major leagues on Sunday to replace Garrett Hampson on the roster as Hampson is on the 10-day IL with a right hand contusion.
In the first four games of the series, Welker hit .412 (7-for-17) with two homers and five RBI in the series, including a grand slam on Thursday.
Lopes (an MLB vet who has spent time in the majors with the Mariners and Brewers) went 12-for-23 in the series (.522 batting average) with four doubles, a triple, a homer, and six RBI. His best game came on Thursday when he went 5-for-6 with four singles, a triple, and two RBI.
Montero (the Rockies #4 prospect, per MLB.com) hit .316 in the series with one homer and four RBI. He has four straight games with an RBI.
For the starting pitching staff, only their Opening Day starter Ryan Feltner has pitched well overall for them. He made two starts in the last series so he only made one start in the Tacoma series.
On Saturday, he went 5 1/3 innings allowing five hits, three runs (two earned), three walks, and five punchouts. He has a 3.52 ERA on the season. He is the only Albuquerque starter with an ERA below 6.48.
MLB relievers Lucas Gilbreath and Robert Stephenson (who started the 2022 season on the COVID-IL) have been on a rehab assignment there and both threw scoreless innings on Sunday in the club’s 12-11 win.
Starter Frank Duncan was bombed for seven earned runs in just 1/3 of an inning. Reliever Julian Fernández also struggled in the game as he allowed two runs in 1/3 of an inning. He has allowed a run in four of his five appearances on the year and he has an ERA of 23.63.
After an off-day today, the Isotopes head back out on the road to face the Round Rock Express (the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers) in Round Rock, Texas on Tuesday for the first of a six-game series before they return home next week.