May 28 2046: Old Man Lauretti's Walk-Off Grand Slam - by Holmes on July 16th, 2020
If Manhattan ends up not being demoted and the bot ends up not winning the championship, this will have been the at bat when it all started turning:
Harrisonburg was leading 5-1 going into the bottom of the ninth. Two singles, a fielder's choice and a walk later, it's 5-2, the bases are loaded with one out, Harrisonburg's closer has taken the mound, and our future hall of famer, who has been limited to a platoon role because he is really declining at age 34, comes in to pinch hit...
Goosebumps, folks, goosebumps. http://brokenbat.org/game/3758068
Who cares that we were shut out in the next game?
Aug 09 2041: Apodaca Shows he Belongs - the Perfect Way! - by Holmes on July 17th, 2019
The Manhattan Isotopes' rookie starter Hector Apodaca proved he belongs in the bigs on August 8th by sitting down all 27 Columbus Patriots he faced. The 24 year old needed 114 pitches to mow through the lineup with the highest batting average in the league, striking out five and getting as many groundouts as he got flyouts. Owner HG Holmes congratulated his former top prospect on the perfect outing: "We always believed in Hector's talent; early this season we believed he's ready to help us, and today, he's proven it the perfect way. He should draw a lot of confidence from that for his future starts. Just remember Alonzo [Quiles] took the turn from top talent to ace starter by throwing his no-hitter against Roanoke five seasons ago."
Apodaca getting a rotation spot for the Nukes this season had drawn a lot of criticism, with scouts stating he seemed "a little overmatched at this level of competition." In spite of his non-catastrophic ERA of 4.49, the young southpaw is 5-12 in 20 starts this season, having trouble keeping the ball out of the air and being hit hard by lefty hitters. After a couple of rough outings, the perfect game may indicate that he is figuring things out.
As Holmes stated in the post-game press conference, he believes that Apodaca can be as good as Quiles, if not better. With Quiles being only 28 this season, that would give the Isos a duo of dominant lefties at the top of their rotation for seasons to come.
May 20 2033: Gil's No-Hitter Robs Margate's Magic - by Holmes on August 22nd, 2017
Manhattan Isotopes' starter Carmelo Gil threw a no-hitter in the team's May 20 game against the Margate Magicians at Isotope Stadium. In a 97-pitch effort that included 10 strikeouts and just one walk, Gil took a perfect game into the 6th inning, when Margate's Bannon drew a two-out walk. Behind Gil's shoutout performance, two runs, both on Tomas Nava sacrifice flies, were enough for Manhattan to seal the win.
32 year old closer-turned-starter Gil has been throwing fire this season, owning a 2.93 ERA and 0.957 WHIP after nine starts. The one thing Gil usually can't provide is length: He has been averaging little over five innings per start in his five seasons as a starting pitcher, and the no-hitter is also the first complete game of his career.
Aug 14 2031: Cox Takes the Loss in his Final Isos Start - by Holmes on April 13th, 2017
Grant Cox left to a standing ovation in the sixth inning of the Isos August 13 game against Seattle, in spite of having just finished a lukewarm performance. The big man had allowed four runs on nine hits, two walks and a hit batter in 5 2/3 innings, receiving little run support from a lineup that has been punchless all season. His career stats are much more impressive: 131 wins in 351 games across 11 seasons with the Isos. He is leaving the nukes in a rebuild by the last place team that has also sent veteran sluggers Brett Eaton, Hugh Clymer and Don Chapman packing. Cox has been the team's workhorse and most consistent starter over several seasons, but with his fastball velocity decreasing, keeping up in the competitive division has become harder for the 34 year old.
In the post game press conference, Cox appeared upbeat about the end of his near-hall-of-fame career with the team he has spent all of his pro years with: "Retiring with the Isos next summer, like Max did last season, was clearly on the table, but I feel I have much more than a season of possibly pitching out of the bullpen left in my arm. If I want to continue starting beyond this season, now, in the title race, is the best time to seek greener pastures."
Sep 06 2030: No more Boom Boom: Max Hudson Retires - by Holmes on February 1st, 2017
An era comes to an end for the Nukes: After a total of 14 seasons, Max Hudson has declared his retirement. He wrapped up his career manning first base one last time in a home game against the Cambridge Colonels. Hudson went out in style, making five plays at first base while collecting a single, two runs and an RBI before being relieved by pinch hitter Dan Myles in the bottom of the eighth.
After being a constant factor in the lineup over 11 seasons with an .865 career OPS, Hudson had been mostly relegated to the bench this season, batting .211/.262./.342 in only 12 appearances.
Hudson's 1643 games are the sixth most in franchise history and the most in the Manhattan Isotopes era. In these games, Hudson hit 385 home runs, more than any other player in team history, and his .530 slugging is also unbeaten among Isos players. He ranks second in team history behind Brandon Howard in both runs scored and RBIs.
The end of "Boom Boom"'s stellar career overshadows another longtime Iso who is leaving the team along with Hudson. Kurt Dean was with the team over a total of 12 seasons, initially as a starting pitcher and moving into a swingman role later in his career. The lefty finesse pitcher appeared in seven games (five starts) this season, pitching to a 4.50 ERA after going 4.14 throughout his career. Only 32 years old, Dean appears determined to continue his career elsewhere next season.