Sugar Land Skeeters (78-40, 37-18) vs. New Britain Bees (58-59, 25-29)
RHP Michael Mariot (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Jared Carkuff (9-7, 3.56 ERA)
Saturday, September 8th, 2018 • New Britain Stadium • 5:35 p.m. CT
LAST TIME OUT: The Skeeters dropped their series opener on Friday night at New Britain with a 4-3 loss. Mark Haynes took the loss for the Skeeters while Tommy Thorpe picked up the win for the Bees and Brandon Cunniff picked up the save. Luke Dykstra drove in all three runs for the Skeeters, including a two-run homer.
JUAN OF A KIND: Juan Silverio has reached safely in 25 straight games, which is the longest active on-base streak in the Atlantic League and the longest from the Skeeters this season, surpassing Matt Chavez's streak of 23 games (July 30-August 25). Silverio has gone 35-for-98 (.357) with two home runs and 23 RBIs over the streak. Long Island's Jordany Valdespin owns the longest on-base streak in the Atlantic League this season at 32 games. Through his first 43 games with the Skeeters, Juan Silverio has hit .323/.365/.509 with 11 doubles, six home runs and 31 RBIs.
GIANSANITY: Anthony Giansanti stole his 32nd base of the season in Thursday's loss to Southern Maryland, setting his professional career high in his ninth professional season. His 33 stolen bases this year place him in a tie for fourth in the Atlantic League. Giansanti surpassed his previous career high of 31 stolen bases, which he set in 2017 with the Skeeters. Giansanti has stolen at least 20 bases in back-to-back seasons for the first time in his career. Through seven seasons in the Chicago Cubs Minor League system, Giansanti had just 25 stolen bases. Giansanti also has 16 home runs this year, and is the first player in Skeeters history with at least 15 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a single season.
IT'S KONNER: Skeeters right-hander Konner Wade allowed two runs over six innings of work to take a nodecision in Friday's loss and is fourth in the Atlantic League with a 3.17 ERA. Over his last six starts, Wade has gone 2-2 with a 1.35 ERA (40 IP), striking out 23 batters to six walks over that span
TRUE ROAD WARRIORS: The Skeeters are 28-23 (.549) on the road this season, which leads the Atlantic League. The Skeeters have won nine of their last 12 road games, outscoring opponents 88-54 over that stretch. The Skeeters' top road record came in 2013 (45-24, .652), which was the only time in the franchise's history that it led the Atlantic League in road winning percentage.
MATTer OF FACT: Skeeters first baseman Matt Chavez is fifth in the Atlantic League with a .328 batting average and is in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak, going 9-for-25 (.360) with a double, triple, home run and six RBIs throughout the streak. Chavez is also second in the league in hits (146), tied for fifth with 71 RBIs and is tied for 10th with 21 doubles. 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 146 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.
CHASING THE MAGIC: The Skeeters enter Saturday's game with a magic number of three over the York Revolution to clinch the second-half Freedom Division title. Any combination of Skeeters wins and York losses totaling four will result in the Skeeters clinching the second-half title. The only time in Skeeters have clinched both the first- and- second-half titles in a season came in 2013.
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.
POWER SURGE: Derek Norris belted his 10th home run of the season in Wednesday's win over Southern Maryland, giving the Skeeters six players with at least 10 home runs this season. It's the first time in franchise history that the Skeeters have six players with at least 10 home runs in a season. The Skeeters are the only team in the Atlantic League to accomplish the feat this season. The last Atlantic League team to accomplish the feat was the 2017 New Britain Bees, which had seven players with at least 10 home runs. The Skeeters are second in the Atlantic League with 103 homers as a team this season, trailing Long Island (110).
CHANCE AT HISTORY: The Skeeters enter Thursday's game with a 78-40 overall record, equaling a .661 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 their final eight games of the season to surpass their 2013 winning percentage.
2018 VS. NEW BRITAIN: The Skeeters are 11-5 against New Britain this season, going 8-1 at Constellation Field and 3-4 at New Britain Stadium. The Skeeters have hit .274/.341/.422 against the Bees while the pitching staff owns a 2.61 ERA, striking out 119 batter to 51 walks (137 IP).
BIG-LEAGUE CHOPS: The Skeeters have 13 players on their 2018 roster with Major League service time:
RHP Dallas Beeler (CHC), RHP Vicente Campos (ARI), 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).
Skeeters mobile app rewards users: Use code BeatTheBees for 25 points!