Click HERE to download complete Game Notes
Long Island Ducks (66-56, 36-23) vs. Sugar Land Skeeters (80-42, 39-20)
LHP Jake Fisher (7-7, 4.03 ERA) vs. RHP Konner Wade (8-5, 3.16 ERA)
Thursday, September 13th, 2018 • Constellation Field • 7:05 p.m. CT
LAST TIME OUT: The Skeeters won Game 2 of their six-game series against the Long Island Ducks with a 5-3 victory on Wednesday night at Constellation Field. Tony Thomas provided a three-run home run -- his first with the Skeeters -- as Denis Phipps also added an RBI single. Alex Wimmers picked up the win and Felipe Paulino notched the save for Sugar Land. Chris Pike took the loss for the Ducks.
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: With their win on Wednesday night, the Skeeters clinched the second-half Freedom Division title. It marked the fifth divisional title in franchise history and second this season, as the Skeeters clinched the first-half Freedom Division title with a 41-22 record. The two divisional titles are the first under first-year manager Pete Incaviglia. It also marks the second time in franchise history that the team won both the first-half and second-half titles in one season, with the other time coming in 2013. The Skeeters' other three divisional titles came in 2013 (first and second half) and 2016 (second half). As of Thursday, the Skeeters' 80-42 overall record was 9 1/2 games ahead of the Lancaster Barnstormers for the best record in the Atlantic League.
WHO ARE WE PLAYING: If the regular season ended Thursday, the Skeeters would play the Lancaster Barnstormers in the first round of the Atlantic League playoffs. The only other possible opponent for the Skeeters in the first round would be the York Revolution. The only way the Skeeters would play the Revs would be if the Ducks did not clinch the Liberty Division title, opening a second wild-card spot, which York and Long Island were currently tied for as of Thursday. The Skeeters are 13-6 against the Revolution this year and they are 11-8 against the Barnstormers in 2018. The Skeeters will play Game 1 and Game 2 of the first round on the road and will return home for Game 3, along with Game 4 and Game 5, if necessary.
HOME SWEET HOME: The Skeeters picked up their 51st home win of the season on Wednesday night to set their single-season home wins record, surpassing the previous high of 50 wins set in 2013. The Skeeters' home record of 51-18 (.739) is on pace to set the team's best home winning percentage in a single season, surpassing the 2013 team, which went 50-21 (.704) at home. The Skeeters have won 29 of their last 34 home games and have hit .283/.362/.403 at home while the pitching staff owns a 2.54 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.
FEAR THE BEARD: Felipe Paulino picked up his 33rd save of the season in Wednesday's win, matching breaking franchise's single-season record initially set by Derrick Loop in 2016. Paulino also leads the Atlantic League with his 33 saves. The former Major Leaguer's 1.18 ERA is the lowest of any pitcher in the league with at least 50 innings pitched. Paulino has also struck out 31 batters over his last 22 innings pitched. Somerset's Jon Hunton owns the Atlantic League single-season record with 49 saves (2013).
WELCOME TO THE SWARM: Prior to Thursday's game, the Skeeters signed former Major League right-hander Jorge De Leon. The 31-year-old has spent the 2018 season with the Gary Southshore RailCats of the American Association, going 2-1 with a 2.82 ERA in 10 appearances (one start). De Leon was signed by the Houston Astros in May 2006 as an amateur free agent from the Dominican Republic. He appeared at the Major League level with the Astros in 2013 and '14, going a combined 0-1 with a 5.19 ERA in 19 appearances (17.1 IP). De Leon has appeared at the affiliated level with the Astros (2006-14), Los Angeles Dodgers (2015) and Miami Marlins (2015). Through six seasons as a pitcher at the MiLB level, he's gone 15-27 with a 4.37 ERA in 235 games (18 starts).
BIG-LEAGUE CHOPS: The Skeeters have 14 players on their 2018 roster with Major League service time: RHP Dallas Beeler (CHC), RHP Vicente Campos (ARI), RHP Jorge De Leon (HOU), RHP Jean Machi (SF, BOS, SEA), RHP Michael Mariot (KC, PHI), C Derek Norris (OAK, SD, TB), RHP Felipe Paulino (HOU, COL, KC, CHW), OF Denis Phipps (CIN), OF Daniel 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).
RECORDS WATCH: The Skeeters are on pace to set team records in batting average (.276), on-base percentage (.351), slugging percentage (.414) and ERA (3.16). The team's previous records for batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage came in 2016 (.267/.333/.412) and the previous ERA record came in 2013 (3.20).
JUANDERFUL SEASON: Juan Silverio has a hit in 25 of his last 29 games, going 39-for-112 (.348) with three home runs and 26 RBIs over that span. Silverio snapped a 25-game on-base streak in Saturday's loss to New Britain, which was the longest on-base streak from the Skeeters this season, surpassing Matt Chavez's streak of 23 games (July 30-August 25). Silverio went 35-for-98 (.357) with two home runs and 23 RBIs over the streak. Through his first 47 games with the Skeeters, Juan Silverio has hit .320/.360/.514 with 11 doubles, seven home runs and 34 RBIs.
MATTer OF FACT: Skeeters first baseman Matt Chavez is fifth in the Atlantic League with a .325 batting average and snapped his hitting streak at nine games in Tuesday's loss, going 11-for-33 (.333) with a double, triple, home run and seven RBIs throughout the streak. Chavez is also second in the league in hits (149) and is tied for fourth with 72 RBIs Chavez is on pace to set the Skeeters record for a qualifying batting average to end a season, surpassing Ricky Hague's .311 batting average in 2016. Chavez's 149 hits are fourth-most in a single season in Skeeters history. Adam Godwin owns the Skeeters' single-season hits record, with 157 hits in 2013.
2018 VS. LONG ISLAND: The Skeeters are 7-7 against Long Island this season, going 3-2 at Constellation Field and 4-5 at Bethpage Ballpark. The Ducks are the only team in the Atlantic League that the Skeeters own a losing record against this season. The Skeeters have hit .244/.320/.351 against the Ducks while the pitching staff owns a 3.94 ERA, striking out 110 batter to 35 walks (121 IP).
Skeeters mobile app rewards users: Use code 'FreedomDivision18' for 10 points!