3 World Series Stars Who Need to Step Up Before It's Too Late

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2013

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 21: Allen Craig #21 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits an RBI single against the San Diego Padres in the third inning at Busch Stadium on July 21, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Cardinals beat the Padres 3-2.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

So far in the 2013 edition of the World Series, the likes of David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Michael Wacha have stepped up to deliver key performances for their respective teams. 

As the Fall Classic shifts to St. Louis for the next three, there will be plenty of attention on the players who have not contributed in the first two games of the series. 

Here is a look at three players who will have to step up over the weekend at Busch Stadium before it's too late. 


Shane Victorino, OF, Boston

Shane Victorino may still be trying to bask in the glory of his heroics from Game 6 of the American League Championship Series, but his grand slam in the clinching game of that series is fading fast as a memory in the minds of Red Sox fans.

The Flyin' Hawaiian has gone 0-for-8 out of the No. 2 hole for Boston in the first two games of the series.

Victorino is also 0-for-1 with runners in scoring position, and he struck out twice in Game 2. 

If the hero of the ALCS can find his rhythm at the plate over the next few games, the Red Sox will have no problem getting runners on base for the heart of the order. 


Allen Craig, DH/1B, St. Louis

As the series shifts over to the format of the National League, it will be interesting to see how the Cardinals use Allen Craig. 

While the first baseman may not be entirely healthy to field grounders at his usual position as of now, he is able to swing the bat, and he could end up being a late-inning threat off of the bench in Games 3, 4 and 5.

During the regular season, Craig hit .454 with runners in scoring position, and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny will surely take advantage of that if the situation presents itself in the latter innings of a close game in St. Louis. 

In Game 1, Craig hit in the cleanup spot and went 1-for-4 while he hit in the No. 6 hole and went 1-for-3 in Game 2. 


Jonny Gomes, OF, Boston

Jonny Gomes' lack of production in the Boston lineup has been easily overshadowed by the performances of Mike Napoli and David Ortiz. 

/Getty Images

Out of the No. 6 hole for the Red Sox, Gomes has not recorded a single hit in seven at-bats. 

Oddly enough, the player who pinch-hit for Gomes in Game 1, Daniel Nava, doubled off of Carlos Martinez and eventually scored the eighth Boston run Wednesday night. 

While it is a long shot that Nava replaces Gomes in the lineup, one does have to think that manager John Farrell will not be afraid to turn to Nava once again if his regular left fielder in the postseason fails to deliver once more in Game 3. 


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