Scouting Playoff Matchups: Harrison vs. Lohse

Starting pitchers are perhaps the biggest factor in whether a team succeeds in the postseason. For that reason, some of the most detailed scouting reports are compiled on these opposing starters. Here's a look at the pitching matchup in game three of the World Series between the Cardinals' Kyle Lohse and the Rangers' Matt Harrison.

Matt Harrison


Fastball: 92-94 MPH
Changeup: 82-84 MPH
Curveball: 76-80 MPH
Slider: 85-88 MPH

The Skinny: Harrison's velocity is as good right now as it's ever been in his relatively young big league career. He relies heavily on his plus left-handed fastball and he has some good life through the strike zone. You will see him get a number of swings and misses on the heat and he's not afraid to elevate or pitch inside on righty hitters.

His ability to work inside has been key in 2011, as it allows him to work his good changeup down and away from those right-handed hitters. His big curveball then gives him a weapon to go to in order to combat the lefties. Given the righty power in the St. Louis lineup, I'd look to see a steady diet of working in and out, and particular a steady dose of changeups just off the plate outside. Harrison's command has improved tremendously in 2011, and if he's spotting his fastball he'll be very difficult to beat.

Kyle Lohse


Fastball: 89-91 MPH
Changeup: 78-81 MPH
Slider: 82-84 MPH
Curveball: 73-76 MPH

The Skinny: Kyle Lohse does not possess the fastball he once had in the early days of his career. But, he's become much more crafty as an older pitcher. He still has an outstanding changeup, a pitch that gets him swings and misses as well as groundballs.

Lohse needs to be careful about locating his slider and curveball, as these pitches will get him into trouble if starts to hang them. The same can be said for his fastball. He does not have the velocity to make mistakes in the zone. He'll probably throw even fewer fastballs than usual to this fastball happy Texas lineup. If that's going to work, he needs to be spot on with his changeup command. And, he'll need to establish that early on.

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