The St. Louis Cardinals added first baseman Allen Craig to their World Series roster on Tuesday, and he is expected to serve as the team’s designated hitter in the games played at Fenway Park.
Craig missed the first two rounds of the Cardinals’ postseason run and has not played in a game since Sept. 4. The 29-year-old all-star batted .315 with 37 home runs and 93 RBIs in 134 games this season. He also led the majors with a remarkable .454 batting average with runners in scoring position.
The return of his offense and ability to hit in the clutch presents another challenge for the Red Sox pitching staff. Craig tallied five hits, five runs and several clutch hits for St. Louis when it pulled of a remarkable comeback to win the 2011 World Series against the Texas Rangers after facing a 3-2 series deficit, and being down to its last strike in the ninth inning of Game 6.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny also told reporters on Tuesday that rookie phenom Michael Wacha will start Game 2 against the Red Sox. The 21-year-old was the NLCS MVP against the Los Angeles Dodgers with two wins, seven hits allowed and 13 and 2/3 scoreless innings. He also won his only NLDS start against the Pirates, and has shown an amazing amount of poise, control and skill for a young player who made his MLB debut on May 30.
Eliminating the Dodgers in Game 6 has allowed Matheny to set up his ideal starting rotation. Postseason ace Adam Wainwright will pitch Game 1, with Wacha taking the mount the next night, which gives the Cardinals a strong 1-2 punch to attempt to steal one of the first two games on the road before returning to Busch Stadium for three games.