Craig headed to St. Louis for an MRI
The Cardinals’ 5-4, 16-inning win came at a cost tonight, as Allen Craig had to leave the game in the fourth with a left foot sprain. Hours later, he was hobbling around the visitor’s clubhouse with crutches and a walking boot.
Craig underwent X-rays at the ballpark, but they were too inconclusive for a definitive diagnosis. As a result, he’ll fly back to St. Louis on Thursday for an MRI. That will provide a better read of the severity of the injury.
Craig suffered the injury on an awkward play at first base in the fourth inning. He hit a sharp groundball that was first baseman Joey Votto stopped on a diving attempt. Votto’s flip to pitcher Bronson Arroyo was well over Arroyo’s head, which eliminated the Reds’ chance at throwing Craig out. Craig touched first and made a brief move toward second as he watched to see if the ball got far enough away from Arroyo to allow him to advance. As Craig did, his foot turned. (click here for video of the play)
“It scared me because my foot has never bent like that before,” Craig said after the game. “I tried to walk it off because it was a little sore. It’s still sore. We’ll figure out the extent of it tomorrow. Hope it’s good.”
The Cardinals replaced Craig with Matt Adams, who later became the first Cardinals player to ever hit two home runs in extra innings. But – with no disrespect meant toward Adams — losing Craig for any substantial period of time will sting a Cardinals team that sits just one game behind the first-place Pirates. With yet another RBI hit with a runner in scoring position on Wednesday, Craig is now hitting a Major League-best .454 in those spots this season. He’s on an historic pace when it comes to RISP success.
Craig has also become the Cardinals’ cornerstone cleanup hitter and entered the day ranking near the top of the National League in several offensive categories: 6th in batting average (.314), 3rd in RBIs (97), 3rd in multi-hit games (47), 5th in hits (159) and fourth in batting average vs. righties (.326). He’s on his way to finishing in the top 10 of the MVP vote. None of this is easily replaceable, not even with the luxury of having a capable backup in Adams.
The Cardinals will know on Thursday whether they’ll have to begin contemplating a stretch run without their All-Star first baseman.
Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB