Allen Craig turned the World Series in the St. Louis Cardinals favor, controversy or not, but now the status of Game Two’s hero is in under question.
Sliding into home for the game-winning run after an obstruction call on Boston Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, the first baseman was carried off the field at the conclusion of the 5-4 win. The Cards are up 2-1 now in the best-of-seven series.
Craig received treatment immediately following Game Three, and told CBS Sports he hopes to play in Sunday night’s Game Four at Busch Stadium. According to reports, Craig hasn't re-aggravated the injury too much, a good sign he might continue to at least hit in this series. During the regular season the first baseman hit .315 for 13 home runs and 97 RBI, but had missed the postseason up until the Boston series.
The Cardinals have the chance to go up 3-1 in the series, and close it out at home in Game Five, or face the Fenway crowd at least one more time.
The Red Sox were incensed and confused on the rarely used obstruction call, but umpires and Major League Baseball have said it was the correct decision to make, even if Boston pleaded Middlebrooks lack of malicious intent.
Boston manager John Farrell’s decision to start Daniel Nava paid off huge dividends in Game Three. The left fielder started in place of Jonny Gomes, and knocked in two runs, and his ground out into a fielder’s choice at second created another Red Sox run.
Still neither team made the most of their opportunities in Game Three. Boston went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position, and the Cards went 4-for-15, with Matt Holliday driving in three runs off a single and a double.
Boston’s Clay Buchholz will try to get his club back on track, and squares off against Cardinals starter Lance Lynn in Game Four.
In three starts these playoffs, Buchholz has been tagged for 10 runs, including three home runs, and struck out 15 batters. He’s yet to earn a decision or go further than the sixth inning, but the Red Sox won both of his games against Detroit’s more potent lineup.
Lynn’s been one of the least heralded Cardinals starters, despite giving up the second fewest hits (14) and runs (7) for a 2-1 record. He’s likely also fresher that most any starter in this series, throwing just two innings in Game One of the NLCS and picking up the victory.
Las Vegas Betting Odds: Boston+150, St. Louis-170
Where To Watch Online: Postseason.TV (International only)
Audio Live Stream: MLB.TV
First Pitch: 8:15 PM Eastern Time
TV Channel: FOX
Prediction: Boston 7, St. Louis 3