World Series Game 5: Red Sox (2-2) @ Cardinals (2-2)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Minutes after telling local reporters that “it would have been a pretty far stretch” to put Allen Craig in the field for Game 5 on Monday, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny watched as Craig came out for batting and fielding practice to make his case. Craig would end up successful in that attempt.

Craig lobbied for inclusion in the lineup and then proved to the Cardinals that he had adequate mobility in the field. It was enough for St. Louis to make a late lineup change and replace Matt Adams with Craig in the sixth spot of the batting order.

“He pushed and wanted to,” Matheny said. “We took him out and he responded well. He said, ‘I want to do what I can to help this team. I think I can do this. I’m going to go out.’ And we let him go. He felt pretty good.”

Craig took a series of groundballs at first base and simulated moving to the bag to cover on a throw. It was the first time Craig had done any work in the field since his adventurous trip around the bases in Game 3. Before that, he had worked defensively just twice since suffering a Lisfranc foot injury on Sept. 4.

Before Craig re-aggravated his foot while running the bases on Saturday, the Cardinals had been eyeing the possibility that the first baseman would be ready to return for this game. With left-hander Jon Lester starting for the Red Sox, the much preferred matchup was to have the right-handed hitting Craig in the lineup over the left-handed Adams.

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Matheny made some other lineup tweaks as well in Game 5, as he tries to find a spark for a sluggish offense. Shane Robinson is back in against the lefty and this time will fill the second spot in the lineup. That allows Carlos Beltran to move into the cleanup spot for the first time this postseason. It will be tough for the Red Sox to pitch around him with Yadier Molina (6-for-16 in the World Series) up next. And having Craig behind Molina certainly deepens this lineup.

Red Sox manager John Farrell made his own lineup changes, too, moving Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz up a spot with Shane Victorino still dealing with back stiffness.

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If Cardinals fans are looking for a good omen, perhaps this will do: The Red Sox have been tied 2-2 in a World Series three times before. They lost all three of those series in seven games. The Cardinals, on the other hand, have been in a 2-2 tie 10 times and have won eight of those World Series.

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CARDINALS LINEUP:

  1. Matt Carpenter (2B)
  2. Shane Robinson (CF)
  3. Matt Holliday (LF)
  4. Carlos Beltran (RF)
  5. Yadier Molina (C)
  6. Allen Craig (1B)
  7. David Freese (3B)
  8. Pete Kozma (SS)
  9. Adam Wainwright (RHP)

RED SOX LINEUP:

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury (CF)
  2. Dustin Pedroia (2B)
  3. David Ortiz (1B)
  4. Jonny Gomes (LF)
  5. Daniel Nava (RF)
  6. Xander Bogaerts (3B)
  7. Stephen Drew (SS)
  8. David Ross (C)
  9. Jon Lester (LHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

5 Comments

Wow. After what we saw last night, this seems very foolhardy for Craig. He could injure himself worse than before or harm the team with problems in the field. Lets hope it pays off.

The worst thing about the WS is Tim McCarver on Fox. He is pro Red Sox.

McCarver is the best color guy ever, and as you’ll remember, won two world series rings while with the Cardinals. I think he does a great job of calling it like he sees it. What’s good to see from our guys??? I’m going to miss his insight after he retires. I love them but the Cardinals are really trying to give this series away. Carpenter has been called out on strikes four times and Kozma couldn’t hit a bull in the butt with a banjo. Never could. We could sure use Furcal. Anyway, The Bosox are playing well………our Cardinals are not. It will take a miracle (meaning they will have to start swinging instead of staring) if we are going to win another game. The pitching is OK, it’s the pathetic defense and bats. They’re playing like they did when they fell out of first place this summer. Bad timing for team wide slump.

Miriale one: score a man from thirdbase with less than two-outs without the help of a Red Sox error.The offense has s#$% the bed thus far.Now we have to win two in Boston………….I don’t see it.Miracle two” have a ‘lefthanded specialist pitcher acually get a left-handed batter out.Miracle three: play defense; i.e.,Pedrioa

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