Game Notes - September 18 @ Lancaster



Sugar Land Skeeters (81-45) vs. Lancaster Barnstormers (74-52)

RHP Dallas Beeler (8-2, 2.29 ERA) vs. LHP Nate Reed (13-3, 2.74 ERA)

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018 • Clipper Magazine Stadium • 6:00 p.m. CT

YOU WANT TO TALK PLAYOFFS?: The Skeeters are making their fourth trip to the postseason in the franchise's seven-year history. Their last trip to the playoffs came in 2016 when they went on to win the Atlantic League title, the lone league title in franchise history. The Skeeters are 9-8 in the postseason in franchise history. They enter the postseason after an 81-45 record, which was seven games ahead of the Barnstormers for the best record in the Atlantic League this season.

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS: The Skeeters won both the first-half and second-half Freedom Division titles this season, joining the 2013 Skeeters as the only other team in franchise history to win both titles They were the first two Freedom Division titles under first-year manager Pete Incaviglia. The Skeeters have won five Freedom Division title in franchise history: 2013 (first and second half), 2016 (second half), 2018 (first and second half).

VS. LANCASTER: The Skeeters are 11-8 against the Barnstormers this season, going 8-3 at Constellation Field and 3-5 at Clipper Magazine Stadium. The Skeeters have hit .292/.370/.436 against the Barnstormers this year while the pitching staff owns a 3.62 ERA (159 IP), The Skeeters own an 0-3 all-time record against the Barnstormers in the postseason, with the only meeting coming in the 2014 Freedom Division Championship Series. The Skeeters own a 67-69 all-time regular-season record against the Barnstormers.

LET'S STORM THE BARN: Anthony Giansanti has hit .350 (21-for-60) with three home runs and 11 RBIs in 17 games against Lancaster this year. Matt Chavez has hit .333 (25-for-75) with a homer and 13 RBIs in 19 games. Dallas Beeler is 2-0 with a 2.04 ERA in three games against Lancaster and James Russell is 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA in three games.

WHAT A YEAR: The Skeeters ended their season at 81-45, which was the second-best regular-season record in team history. The best record in Skeeters history came in 2013 (95-45) when the Skeeters set Atlantic League records in regular-season wins and winning percentage (.679). The Skeeters eclipsed 80 wins for just the second time in the franchise's seven-year history. Along with 2013, the Skeeters also reached 80 wins in 2014, but both of those 80- win campaigns came in 140-game regular seasons while there are just 126 games in the 2018 regular season.

MATTer OF FACT: Skeeters first baseman Matt Chavez ended the 2018 regular season with a .320 batting average, which is the highest qualifying batting average to end a season in franchise history. Ricky Hague had previously held the record with a .311 average in 2016. Chavez also ended the regular season with 151 hits, which placed him in second in the Atlantic League. The 151 hits were a career high for Chavez, who's amidst his fifth professional season, and were fourth-most in a single season in Skeeters history.

RUSSELL THE MUSCLE: James Russell ended the regular season with a 2.36 ERA to clinch the Atlantic League ERA title. His 2.36 ERA is the lowest qualifying ERA in Skeeters history and he's also the first player in Skeeters history to win the league ERA title. David Pauley's 2.66 ERA in 2014 had previously served as the lowest single-season qualifying ERA in the franchise's seven-year history.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Skeeters won 51 home games this season, setting their single-season home wins record and surpassing the previous high of 50 wins in 2013. The Skeeters' home record of 52-21 (.712) 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 went on a 12-game home winning streak (June 27-July 19), which was the longest home winning streak in the league this year.

FEAR THE BEARD: Felipe Paulino collected 33 saves this season, breaking the franchise's single-season record initially set by Derrick Loop in 2016. Paulino also led 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 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).

RECORDS GALORE: The Skeeters set single-season team records in batting average (.273), on-base percentage (.349) and ERA (3.11). The team's previous records for batting average and on-base percentage came in 2016 (.267/.333) and the previous ERA record came in 2013 (3.20). The Skeeters ended the regular season leading the league in on-base percentage, which was the first time in team history that they led the league in on-base percentage. The Skeeters also led the league in ERA, which was fourth time in team history that they led the league in ERA (2018, 2017, 2014, 2013).

BIG-LEAGUE CHOPS: The Skeeters have nine players on their 2018 postseason roster with Major League service time: RHP Dallas Beeler (CHC), RHP Jorge De Leon (HOU), RHP Jean Machi (SF, BOS, SEA), RHP Michael Mariot (KC, PHI), C Derek Norris (OAK, SD, TB), OF Denis Phipps (CIN), LHP Dan Runzler (SF, PIT), LHP James Russell (CHC, ATL, PHI), RHP Matt West (TEX, LAD) and RHP Alex Wimmers (MIN).

“SHOW” TIME: The Skeeters have had 12 players from their 2018 roster have their contract purchased by Major League Baseball organizations, which is the franchise's single-season record and the second-most in the Atlantic League since the Skeeters joined in 2012: RHP Austin Adams (Minnesota Twins), RHP Logan Bawcom (Los Angeles Dodgers), RHP Dallas Beeler (Kansas City Royals), LHP Hunter Cervenka (Detroit Tigers), RHP Alejandro Chacin (Cincinnati Reds), RHP Casey Coleman (Chicago Cubs), LHP Matt Gage (New York Mets), OF Courtney Hawkins (Cincinnati Reds), INF Rey Navarro (New York Yankees), RHP Danny Reynolds (Milwaukee Brewers), LHP Paco Rodriguez (Minnesota Twins) and RHP Mitch Talbot (Cleveland Indians).


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