2013 NLCS: Allen Craig's Absence May Doom St Louis Cardinals

By Sara Lefebvre
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

St Louis Cardinals‘ first baseman Allen Craig is supposed to take batting practice at Busch Stadium in his ongoing attempt to be ready in case his team makes it to the World Series. Without him in the lineup in this NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cardinals might not make it that far.

Craig had amassed 97 RBIs before his injury at the Cincinnati Reds on Sept. 4. Although Matt Adams stepped up and produced down the stretch of the regular season, he has fallen off considerably in the playoffs. Craig’s bat is sorely missed, especially against the Dodger lefties Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu.

What Cardinals fan wasn’t thinking of Craig when Mike Matheny sent Adron Chambers up to the plate in Game 5 yesterday as the potential go-ahead run? As a pinch-hitter in Game 6 of the 2011 NLCS against the Milwaukee Brewers, Craig hit a triple that scored two runs. Chambers has one hit in 12 at-bats with seven strikeouts while on the Cardinals; postseason roster the last three years.

Craig’s injury was initially thought to be a foot sprain, but things became complicated when it was diagnosed as a lisfranc injury. His arch and the middle joint of his foot could be compromised in the long term if he attempts to return too quickly without proper rehab. The Cardinals had hoped he could be on the roster for the NLCS, but they don’t want to jeopardize him for the future.

It’s possible that the Cardinals could’ve won this series already with Craig on the roster. It’s also possible that even he couldn’t help them if they fall into a funk like they did in last year’s NLCS. Craig had only three hits in seven games in that debacle. What is certain is that Cardinals fans would feel a lot better if Craig was on the bench.

Sara Lefebvre is a St Louis Cardinals writer for RantSports.com. Connect with her on Google.

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