ARLINGTON, Texas -- Will the flight from St. Louis to to Dallas-Fort Worth cause 2 offenses to magcially reappear. As David Boey sang "Ch.chhh.chhhh...changes" including temperatures that will be approximimately 20 degrees warmer in Texas than in Washington, a ballpark that was the leading offensive stadium in the majors for runs scored and home runs during the regular season and a Texas team that looks like it may have gained some "mojo".
Tony La Russa, the Cards manager, is well aware of this difference when he said that "The ball does carry here, and you're going to have some danger if you don't hit your spots."
Sprinkle the line-ups with new pitchers and you may have what will be a "day and night" series. The first two games were clearly dominated by the pitchers. The startes for Game 3 of the World Series aren't rookies by an meausre though they are a step-down from the starting pitchers in Game 1 and 2. What this indicates boys is get ready for some runs.
Harrison v. St. Louis Cardinals: A 26-year-old left-hander who was 14-9 with a 3.39 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in the regular season. He is 1-0 with a 4.22 ERA in his 2 previous postseason starts. He has never faced the Cardinals. There isn't even a large enough sample set of Cardinals that have faced Harrison to make a prediction. Harrison has pitched effectively in the postseason, although he has nevert gone more than five innings.
Lohse v. Texas Rangers: A 33-year-old right-hander who was 14-8 with a 3.39 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in the regular season.
He has faced the Rangers in 52 2/3 career innings. In those innings he has has been horrid with a 6.66 ERA, 1.67 WHIP and 14 homers. The mitigating factor is that he has not faced the Rangers since 2006. That's quite a while. Moreover the last time he got taken hard by them was in 2005. Aside from Michael Young these Texas Rangers are relatively new to Lohse. Young has faced Lohse 31 times, hitting .233 off of him Lohse. However 4 of the 7 hits were for extra-bases and include 3 homers. Other Rangers that have faced Lohse include Adrian Beltre who homered of Lohse though is 1 for 9 against him. Ian Kinsler is 0-for-2 and Mike Napoli is 0-for-5.
The Cardinals have the bullpen to cover for Lohse if the gets off to a slow start. The Cardinals bullpen has a 2.47 ERA over 47 1/3 innings in the postseason.
• Lance Berkman will be switch-hitting from the right side of the plate against the leftie. During the season Berkman hit .307 with a .998 OPS left-handed this season compared to only .277 and .804 OPS as a righty. Berkman is 0-for-3 against Harrison. Advantage Rangers
• Harrison's ERA during the regular season was almost a run worse at home than when he played on the road. Advantage Cardinals. He was 1-5 with a 6.34 ERA in 7 home game starts against teams that finished over .500 this seaso. The Rangers went 1-6 in those games.
• Lohse has been terrible in the postseason. Lohse has 13 hits and eight earned runs in just 9 2/3 innings in 2 starts. He now faces a better offense in a great hitter's park. Advantage Rangers
• Cardinals superstar 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 3 games. Craig will likely take right field and eft fielder Matt Holliday or right fielder Lance Berkman will move to DH. For Texax, Yorvit Torrealba is expected to play catcher tonight, Mike Napoli will moveg to first base and Michael Young will go back to DH. Advantage Cardinals
Odds are that coming off a 9th inning come from behind victory and playing at home the Rangers have the momentum and will win big.