Allen Craig‘s health has been something Mike Matheny and the St. Louis Cardinals have been dealing with since September. As soon as the World Series started and Craig made his return to the lineup against the Boston Red Sox, one thing was known immediately — he could still swing the bat.
However, when he hurt his left ankle while scoring the winning run in Game 3, Matheny should have used him strictly as a pinch hitter while in St. Louis and then put him back in the lineup at designated hitter when the teams return to Boston.
I guess that wasn’t good enough for Matheny and Craig was starting at first base in Game 5. That decision didn’t take long to backfire in Matheny’s face. In the top of the first, Boston was able to hit back-to-back doubles with the second one going by Craig which led to Boston’s first run of the game. One has to wonder if Craig’s ankle was 100 percent, would he have been able to range farther to his right and get the ground ball to prevent the run from scoring?
With a healthy Matt Adams on the bench and the fact that he filled in quite nicely for Craig during his entire injury, Matheny should have went with Adams instead. Although the Cardinals were able to eventually tie the game at one run a piece, this whole situation likely leaves many scratching their head wondering why Matheny would take such a risk, putting a less-than-100 percent superstar in the field with a chance to risk further injury.