Somerset Patriots (55-42) vs. Sugar Land Skeeters (64-32)
RHP Nate Roe (4-1, 3.55 ERA) vs. RHP Dallas Beeler (6-1, 2.06 ERA)
Tuesday, August 14, 2018 • Constellation Field • 7:05 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT: The Skeeters took Game 4 of their seven-game series against the Somerset Patriots with an 8-0 win on Monday night. Yasutomo Kubo threw seven shutout innings to collect the win while Ross Vance took the loss for the Patriots. Matt Chavez homered and drove in two runs and Albert Cordero went 3-for-3 with two runs.
WELCOME TO THE SWARM: Prior to Tuesday's game, the Skeeters signed former Major League outfielder Dan Robertson. The 32-year-old is a veteran of four Major League seasons, having appeared with the Texas Rangers (2014), Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2015), Seattle Mariners (2016) and Cleveland Indians (2017). Through 148 career games at the Major League level, Robertson has hit .262/.314/.328 with 16 doubles, a home run and 36 RBIs. The San Diego Padres selected Robertson in the 33rd round of the 2008 MLB Draft out of Oregon State. He began the 2018 season within the Arizona Diamondbacks Minor League system and has hit a combined .263/.361/.407 with nine home runs and 47 RBIs in 98 games between the Double-A and Triple-A levels.
BIG-LEAGUE CHOPS: The Skeeters have 13 players on their 2018 roster with Major League service time: RHP Austin Adams (CLE), RHP Dallas Beeler (CHC), RHP Vicente Campos (ARI), RHP Jean Machi (SF, BOS, SEA), C Derek Norris (OAK, SD, TB), RHP Felipe Paulino (HOU, COL, KC, CHW), OF Denis Phipps (CIN), OF Dan Robertson (TEX, LAA, SEA, CLE), LHP Paco Rodriguez (LAD), LHP Dan Runzler (SF, PIT), LHP James Russell (CHC, ATL, PHI), Matt West (TEX, LAD) and RHP Alex Wimmers (MIN).
SHUT THE DOOR: The Skeeters picked up their 12th shutout of the season with Monday's win and lead the Atlantic League in shutout wins. Somerset is second in the league with nine shutout wins. The Skeeters 12-4 record in shutout contests is also tops in the league. Three of the Skeeters' last seven wins have been shutout victories. The Skeeters' 12 shutout wins are the second-most in a season in franchise history, trailing the 2014 squad, which had 15 shutouts.
MR. 100: Yasutomo Kubo threw seven shutout innings to pick up the win on Monday night, giving him his 100th professional career win. Kubo, 38, has gone 3-0 with a 1.78 ERA through his first six starts with the Skeeters, including a winning decision in each of his last three starts. Prior to joining the Skeeters in 2018, Kubo spent 13 seasons in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball, going 97-86 with a 3.70 ERA in 304 career appearances (231 starts). Kubo's career high in wins came in 2010 when he went 14-5 with a 3.25 ERA with the Hanshin Tigers.
BARNES BASH: Barrett Barnes is in the midst of an 11-game hitting streak and has gone 16-for-40 (.400) with 13 runs, two doubles, four home runs and 11 RBIs over the streak. The 11-game hitting streak is the longest from a Skeeters hitter this season. Barnes has also homered in three of his last seven games and eight of his last 22 games. The seventh-year pro has set his professional single-season career high with 12 home runs, surpassing his previous high of nine home runs, which he's accomplished twice, with the last time coming in 2016 with Double-A Altoona (PIT). Barnes' 12 home runs place him in a tie for ninth in the Atlantic League. Barnes also leads the league with 57 walks, is tied for second with 68 runs and second with a .411 on-base percentage.
GIANSANITY: Anthony Giansanti went 1-for-4 in Monday's win, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. Giansanti has gone 17-for-41 (.415), with 11 runs, five doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs over that span. Giansanti set the Skeeters franchise record with a 26-game hitting streak in 2017. Giansanti is also fourth in the Atlantic League with 15 home runs, third with 65 runs, sixth with a .478 slugging percentage and seventh with 25 stolen bases.
HOT CHAVY: Skeeters first baseman Matt Chavez has a hit in 24 of 30 games since the Atlantic League All-Star Break, including 12 multi-hit games, and has gone 42-for-119 (.353) with five home runs and 21 RBIs over that span. Chavez, a 2018 Atlantic League All-Star, leads the Skeeters with 12 games with at least three hits this season and is fourth in the league in hitting (.336), fifth in RBIs (60) and eighth with a .387 on-base percentage.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Skeeters own a 42-12 (.778) record at Constellation Field this season, which is the best home record in the Atlantic League. The Skeeters have won 20 of their last 23 home games and have hit .293/.372/.427 with 43 home runs through 54 home games this season while the pitching staff owns a 2.43 ERA. The Skeeters went on a 12-game home winning streak (June 27-July 19), which is the longest home winning streak in the league this year. The Skeeters' best home record in franchise history came in 2013 when the team went 50-21 (.704) at Constellation Field.
2018 VS. SOMERSET: The Skeeters have gone 6-7 against the Somerset Patriots this season, going 4-3 at Constellation Field and 2-4 at TD Bank Ballpark. The Skeeters have hit .267/.329/.391 with 13 homers in 13 games against the Patriots while the pitching staff owns a 3.60 ERA against Somerset. Denis Phipps has gone 13-for-34 (.382) with a homer and an RBI in 10 games against Somerset and Matt Chavez has gone 14-for-42 (.333) with a double, three home runs and nine RBIs in 12 games.
FIRST-HALF CHAMPS: With the Skeeters' victory over Lancaster on July 1, they clinched the first-half Freedom Division title -- their first division title under manager Pete Incaviglia. The only other time the Skeeters have won a first-half title came in 2013 when they won the Freedom Division with a record of 47-23. The Skeeters' last division title came in the second half of 2016 when they went on to win the Atlantic League Championship. The Skeeters have now won four Freedom Division titles in franchise history (2013 X2; 2016 (second half), 2018 (first half). They also appeared in the postseason in 2014 via a Wild Card berth.