Blog Entry

World Series Game 3: Offense on the way

Posted on: October 21, 2011 9:49 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2011 4:04 pm
 


By Matt Snyder


Rangers at Cardinals, 8:05 p.m. ET, Rangers Ballpark, Arlington, Texas. Series is tied 1-1.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Can two slumping offenses magically reappear to what they were heading into the World Series? Of course they can, simply by taking the flight from St. Louis to Dallas-Fort Worth. First of all, the temperature will be about 20 degrees higher, give or take a few. Secondly, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington was the top offensive stadium in the majors for both runs scored and home runs this season, while Busch Stadium rated out as a pretty significant pitcher's park this year.

The Cardinals aren't denying the difference.

"The ball does carry here, and you're going to have some danger if you don't hit your spots," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said Friday in Arlington.

"It's a tough place to pitch, especially when you see those flags blowing in," said St. Louis' Game 3 starter Kyle Lohse. "It usually means that jet stream is going out to right-center. I think everyone in the league knows that. Coming in you've got to keep the ball down, especially against this lineup."

Oh, and of course the pitchers look a bit different. While we've seen recent struggles from C.J. Wilson of the Rangers and Jaime Garcia of the Cardinals, there wasn't much question the two had the ability to provide some quality innings. Colby Lewis has a great postseason history and Chris Carpenter is, well, Chris Carpenter. So when you factor in the weather and ballpark, it shouldn't seem a complete shock that the first two games were mostly a pitcher's paradise. The Game 3 starters aren't awful by any stretch, but they're a step down from what we saw in the first two games. And the conditions for them are the complete opposite of what the pitchers had in St. Louis.

Simply: The scoreboard operator is likely to be busy. 

World Series Coverage
PITCHING MATCHUP

Harrison vs. Cardinals:
The 26-year-old left-hander was 14-9 with a 3.39 ERA and 1.28 WHIP this season and he's 1-0 with a 4.22 ERA in two postseason starts. Like I said, he doesn't suck. He has never faced the Cardinals and no St. Louis hitter of relevance has a large enough sample size to draw any conclusions.

Lohse vs. Rangers: The 33-year-old right-hander was 14-8 with a 3.39 ERA and 1.17 WHIP this season. Eerily similar numbers to Harrison.

In 52 2/3 career innings against the Rangers, Lohse has been dreadful. He has a 6.66 ERA, 1.67 WHIP and has coughed up 14 homers.

But.

He hasn't seen them since 2006 or gotten hit hard by the Rangers since 2005. He doesn't really know these Rangers well, other than Michael Young. Young vs. Lohse has taken place 31 times. Young is hitting just .233 off Lohse, but four of his seven hits are of the extra-base variety, including three homers. Adrian Beltre has homered of Lohse, but it's his only hit in nine tries. Ian Kinsler is 0-for-2 and Mike Napoli is 0-for-5. 

LINEUPS

Cardinals Rangers
No. Name Pos No. Name Pos
1 Rafael Furcal SS 1 Ian Kinsler 2B
2 Allen Craig RF 2 Elvis Andrus SS
3 Albert Pujols 1B 3 Josh Hamilton CF
4 Matt Holliday LF 4 Michael Young DH
5 Lance Berkman DH 5 Adrian Beltre 3B
6 David Freese 3B 6 Nelson Cruz RF
7 Yadier Molina C 7 Mike Napoli 1B
8 Jon Jay CF 8 David Murphy LF
9 Ryan Theriot 2B 9 Yorvit Torrealba C
SP Kyle Lohse RHP SP Matt Harrison LHP


NOTES

• With Harrison being left-handed, that means switch-hitting Lance Berkman will be hitting from the right side of the plate. Berkman hit .307 with a .998 OPS left-handed this season, but just .277 and .804 as a right-hander. Berkman is 0-for-3 against Harrison in his career.

• It's worth noting that Harrison's ERA during the regular season was nearly a run worse at home than on the road.

• Lohse has been terrible this postseason, racking up 13 hits and eight earned runs in just 9 2/3 innings pitched across two starts. And he now gets to face a better offense in a better hitter's park. 

• Cardinals supersub Allen Craig is 5-for-10 with a home run and five RBI in the NLCS and World Series. He's now going to be in the lineup for three games as things shift to the AL ballpark, with Craig taking right field and Berkman moving to DH. That is a huge advantage for the Cardinals, as they add Craig's bat to the lineup while the Rangers only get to add either Mitch Moreland or Yorvit Torrealba. So the designated hitter rule ends up helping the National League team, who is only using it because the American League team is at home. Definitely an interesting twist as the games shift to Texas for three.

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Comments

Since: May 5, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 6:33 pm
 

World Series Game 3: Offense on the way

You are right about good defense and pitching for that matter.  I like the Rangers in every matchup except when Carpenter is on the mound.  Pujols' sloppy lazy play aided the Rangers comeback win - a defensive play that cost the Cards the game and will likely prove to cost them the series. 



Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: October 22, 2011 4:56 pm
 

World Series Game 3: Offense on the way..not!!!

Everyone with even half a brain knows that defense rules in the playoffs. In the NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB championships are decided by who can hold the other team to the fewest amont of points/runs. No championship has been decided by the AFL style of play...all scoring and no defense.

Did I predict this WS matchup. No, but Fox Sports sure did......and they were hoping that it would not happen as evidenced by the low ratings. 



Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: October 22, 2011 12:04 pm
 

World Series Game 3: Offense on the way

Odds are in Texas favor tonight....But the "smart money" in April had this a Redsox / Phillies Series....It's why they play the game.

Just an observation:

Managers...play a bigger role than given credit (or blame) for, especially in Post-Season. 

Smart Managers stick with what got them there....but adjust if what got them there, isn't available anymore.  

It's understandable why loyal Ron Washington continues to play Josh Hamilton in the OF and hit him in the 3 hole...but considering Hamilton's groin injury (or hernia) is no secret, any "lineup protection" he used to offer, is gone, like his power... while  fastball feaster Nelson Cuz continues to be breaking balled to death in the 7 hole...surrounded by non steal threat in front of him, and an 8 hitter behind him, the Cardinals don't have to throw him a fastball.  

It looks like Wash's loyalty is clouding a better opportunity to win by not switching Hamilton and Cruz in the lineup. I'm sure LaRussa will try to exploit this obvious weakness.



Since: Oct 11, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 1:59 am
 

World Series Game 3: Offense on the way

Newly-released Nostradamus release has Texas Rangers a Game 3 lock ...
http://placeitonluckydan.com/2011/1

0/wikileaks-defector-rangers-win/


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