Scouting Playoff Matchups: Lewis vs. Garcia

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 six of the World Series between the Cardinals' Jaime Garcia and the Rangers' Colby Lewis.

Jaime Garcia


Fastball: 89-92 MPH
Cutter: 85-87 MPH
Changeup: 81-84 MPH
Curveball: 72-74 MPH

The Skinny: Jaime Garcia is the type of pitcher that a hitter might feel like they can square up but just can't. He rarely throws a pitch that stays on the same plane, and when he's right his fastball movement is as good as any pitcher in baseball. He's another pitcher who uses the scissor effect to his advantage, having his primary two-seam fastball move sharply down and away from righties, and his good cutter moving in. This makes him highly unpredictable even when he's not using his good secondary offerings.

Those secondary pitches and that fastball movement makes him the right type of pitcher to shut down a potent Texas offense. Garcia gives hitters a lot of different speeds, including his slow curveball and plus changeup. That plus changeup will be a huge weapon for him against the dangerous righty hitters in the Rangers' lineup.

Colby Lewis


Fastball: 88-92 MPH
Slider: 82-85 MPH
Curveball: 75-77 MPH
Changeup: 81-84 MPH

The Skinny: When a team goes up against Colby Lewis they are thinking about that slider at all times. While he wasn't quite as effective in 2011 as he was in 2010, he's been in top form this postseason and his slider is still a big weapon for him that hitters need to be aware of. It's a true slider that can be read as a fastball out of his hand and can be effective against lefties as well as righties.

Lewis will also try to sneak in the slow curveball, often dropping it in through the back door against left-handed batters. It's how he uses it and not so much the downward snap that makes it a usable pitch. You'll also see some changeups on the outside corner to keep lefties honest, but he'll primarily go to that plus slider against righties. The key for Lewis against the St. Louis lineup will be establishing his fastball inside early on. They will come out looking for his good breaking stuff early on, and it will be important for Lewis to mix those secondary pitches in later now that the Cardinals are getting a second look at him.

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