Southern Maryland Blue Crabs (42-66, 16-29) vs. Sugar Land Skeeters (73-36, 32-14)
RHP Brett Marshall (4-8, 4.83 ERA) vs. RHP Dallas Beeler (7-1, 2.14 ERA)
Thursday, August 30th, 2018 • Constellation Field • 7:05 p.m. CT
LAST TIME OUT: The Skeeters took Game 2 of their three-game series against the Blue Crabs on Wednesday night at Constellation Field with a 4-3 win. Lucas Irvine picked up the first win of his Skeeters career while Felipe Paulino notched the save. Right-hander Craig Stem took the loss for the Blue Crabs.
WINNING STREAKS: The Skeeters have won four games in a row, which is the longest active winning streak in the Atlantic League. The Skeeters have outscored opponents 11-6 throughout the winning streak while the pitching staff has carried a 0.73 ERA, spanning 37 innings pitched. The Skeeters have also won six straight against the Blue Crabs, which is their second-longest winning streak against an individual Atlantic League team this season. The Skeeters won 11 straight games against the Road Warriors this year (June 14-July 19).
HOME SWEET HOME: The Skeeters own a 48-14 (.774) record at Constellation Field this season, which is the best home record in the Atlantic League. The Skeeters have won 26 of their last 31 home games and have hit .287/.364/.412 while the pitching staff owns a 2.38 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.
CHANCE AT HISTORY: The Skeeters enter Thursday's game with a 73-36 overall record, equaling a .670 winning percentage. The Skeeters set the Atlantic League records in 2013 with 95 total wins and a .679 winning percentage. The Skeeters need to win 13 of their final 17 games of the season to surpass their 2013 winning percentage.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH?: Anthony Giansanti has collected a hit in 20 of 23 games this month, going 31-for-94 (.330) with eight doubles, three home runs and 15 RBIs and seven stolen bases over that span. Giansanti ranks fifth in the Atlantic League with 16 home runs, is fifth with 30 stolen bases, is third with 71 runs. He's the only player in Skeeters history to collect at least 15 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a single season.
ON THE MOVE: Anthony Giansanti stole his 30th base of the season in Wednesday's win, giving the Skeeters two players this season with at least 30 stolen bases (Alvaro Rondon, 31 SBs). He became just the fifth player in Skeeters history to steal at least 30 bases in a season. It's also just the second time in Skeeters history that they've had two players reach at least 30 stolen bases, with the team also accomplishing the feat in 2017 (Josh Prince, 55 SB; Anthony Giansanti 31 SB). Giansanti's 31 stolen bases in 2017 were a career high for the ninth-year professional. Giansanti is fifth in the Atlantic League with his 30 stolen bases and the Skeeters rank third in the league with 123 stolen bases as a team.
FEAR THE BEARD: Felipe Paulino picked up his 30th save of the season in Wednesday's win and leads the Atlantic League in the category. He's also collected saves in three consecutive games. The former Major Leaguer's 0.56 ERA is the lowest of any pitcher in the league with at least 45 innings pitched. Paulino has also struck out 26 batters over his last 18 innings pitched. Derrick Loop set the Skeeters' single-season saves record in 2016 with 32, not including four saves in the 2016 postseason. Paulino's 30 saves are second all-time in a single season in Skeeters history, surpassing Gary Majewski, who had 24 saves in 2014.
CRAB KILLER: Albert Cordero enters Thursday's game having gone 22-for-58 (.379) with five doubles, three home runs and 14 RBIs against the Blue Crabs this season. Cordero went 4-for-5 with three runs, two doubles, two home runs and four RBIs in a May 17 contest against the Blue Crabs at Constellation Field, which still stands as the most single-game total bases from an Atlantic League player this season. Alvaro Rondon has gone 15-for-39 (.385) in 13 games against the Blue Crabs this year.
PARTY OF FIVE: The Skeeters have four players hitting over .320 in the month of August, with at least 23 games played each: Albert Cordero (.341, 30-for-88, (6) 2B, 10 RBI); Alvaro Rondon (.333, 26-for-94, (2) 2B, 3B, 9 SB); Matt Chavez (.330, 30-for-104, 4 HR, 17 RBI); Anthony Giansanti (.330, 31-for-94, (8) 2B, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 7 SB).
CHASING THE MAGIC: The Skeeters enter Thursday's game with a magic number of 12 over the Lancaster Barnstormers to clinch the second-half Freedom Division title. Any combination of Skeeters wins and Lancaster losses totaling 12 will result in the Skeeters clinching the second-half title.
AMAZING AUGUST: The Skeeters lead the Atlantic League with an 18-7 record in August. The Skeeters also lead the league with a 2.96 ERA and a .295 batting average this month. The Skeeters led the Atlantic League with a 17-8 July record as well and were tied for the league lead with an 18-10 record in June.
2018 VS. SOUTHERN MARYLAND: The Skeeters are 11-4 against the Blue Crabs this season, going 7-2 at Constellation Field and 4-2 at Regency Furniture Stadium. The Skeeters have hit .295/.384/.512 with 23 home runs in 15 games against Southern Maryland while the pitching staff owns a 3.34 ERA (132 IP).
100/100: Anthony Giansanti's two-run home run in Tuesday's win was the Skeeters' 100th home run as a team this season. The Skeeters have also stolen 120 bases as a team this season, giving them at least 100 home runs and 100 stolen bases in a season for the third time in franchise history. The other two occasions came in 2017 (121 HR/162 SB) and 2013 (126 HR/160 SB). The Skeeters' 162 stolen bases in 2017 and 126 home runs in 2013 both stand as franchise single-season records. The Skeeters are second in the Atlantic League with their 100 home runs this season and are third with the 120 stolen bases.