As the Boston Red Sox opened up the 2013 MLB World Series with a 8-1 win against the St. Louis Cardinals, the return of Allen Craig to the red birds’ lineup was one of the biggest story lines. Craig’s comeback to the Cardinals’ squad was just as poor a performance as anyone ought to have expected.
Don’t get me wrong. Allen Craig is an excellent ball player and the Cardinals owe their presence in the postseason in part to his bat and glove. Craig put up a 2013 season that can rival the best of MLB players. His .315 batting average, 13 home runs, 97 RBI and .373 on-base percentage make him one of the most dangerous hitters around. Craig’s single error in 906 defensive chances while playing first base, left field and right field this season prove him to be a well-rounded ball player.
Despite his solid season, it is difficult for even elite players like Craig to return from an injury after having been out of the Cardinals’ lineup since Sept. 5. Matt Adams filled in well for Craig and manager Mike Matheny will have a difficult decision to make when the World Series heads back to St. Louis and the games are played under National League rules.
Matheny was able to utilize the DH at Fenway Park to allow Craig to ease his way back into the lineup but will not have that luxury at home. It will be interesting to see which first baseman gets the starting time and which has to come off the bench as a pinch hitter. As Craig went one for four in Game 1 while Adams managed to go 0-4, Craig’s return was more ineffective than the Cardinals hoped. Adams will likely get the nod at first base in St. Louis if Craig cannot turn things around in Game 2.