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Pinch-hitting hero Allen Craig will be a starter in Texas

Oct 21, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

Allen Craig Getty Images

After delivering RBI hits off the bench in each of the first two games Allen Craig will move into the starting lineup for the next three games as the World Series shifts to Texas and American League rules.

Craig is expected to serve as the Cardinals’ designated hitter for Games 3, 4, and 5, although it’s possible manager Tony La Russa could decide to use him in the outfield at some point while shifting Matt Holliday or Lance Berkman to the DH spot.

During the regular season Craig made at least five starts in all three outfield spots in addition to 10 total infield starts at third base and second base, hitting .313 with nine homers and a .917 OPS in 47 total starts. He batted .324 with a .920 OPS in 36 appearances off the bench.

And with Craig in the starting lineup at least Alexi Ogando can begin planning ahead for their next matchup.

  1. sportsdrenched.com - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    Allen Craig, better than the Allen Gregory Show!

  2. paperlions - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    Kudos to LaRussa for using his best player as a starter. Most managers would keep such a player on the bench for key PH opportunities, but TLR is smarter than that….he knows that you need to play your best players as much as possible…oh…wait…

    • Jonny 5 - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:17 PM

      Hey PL, go back here

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/10/21/albert-pujols-didnt-speak-with-reporters-after-game-2-loss/

      I left you some interesting info in reply to the button pushing “mistake”.

  3. bigleagues - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Allen Craig has waited long enough to prove his worth and is making his case with a big phat post-season style exclamation point.

    He was on a tear during the regular season before being sidelined by that injury. At the time, TLR was easing him into taking over 2B duties. It should be interesting to see how he is utilized next year.

  4. Kyle - Oct 21, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    The next Ogando/Craig match-up will be interesting. I think it’s fair to say that Ogando didn’t really make any mistakes the first two times, it was more a function of Craig having excellent ABs.

    • astrozac - Oct 21, 2011 at 1:21 PM

      Craig is a fastball hitter and is starting to come around overall. Against Philadelphia(I’m pretty sure it was in the regular season) he was down 0-2 and miffing on 2 bunt attempts, then wound up knocking a towering a home run to deep center. Right now he’s hitting better than the 3 in the middle. Me thinks hitting second might not be a bad idea…

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