Making his first start in seven weeks after recovering from a severe left foot sprain, Craig finished 1-for-4 on Wednesday. He did not have much opportunity to run the bases, but he said after the Cardinals' 8-1 loss that his body responded well following the extended layoff.
Added Matheny a day later: "I thought he took good at-bats, looked like he was seeing the ball pretty well, and didn't see a lot of apprehension. But he's still going to be guarded a little bit. But everything came out pretty good."
The rib injury to Carlos Beltran initiated another wave of questions on Thursday about Craig's potential readiness to play the field when the Series shifts to St. Louis. Craig has still not resumed defensive work, which lessens the likelihood of that possibility. Right now, the Cardinals are preparing to use him solely as a pinch-hitter in their home park.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.