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Allen Craig injury: The St. Louis Cardinals are hurting, it's just hard to tell

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Allen Craig is out for the season—so why does it not feel that way?

Dilip Vishwanat

No team reaches the postseason completely unscathed; even the impressively sturdy 2004 Cardinals suffered a potentially World-Series-changing loss when Chris Carpenter dealt with his first mysterious season-ending injury that September. So I'm not complaining—in fact, I'm specifically against injury complaints. But I am a little surprised how little I've felt the Allen Craig injury. Losing one of the best hitters on your favorite team—well, it's usually more of a blow.

I don't want to overgeneralize from my own flat affect, but it feels like this has been happening all year; most of the Cardinals' injuries have been targeted in some way to minimize fan angst.

The most theoretically painful one, Chris Carpenter's inability to return from his latest mysterious season-ending injury, felt almost inevitable in hindsight. The biggest blow to the Cardinals' postseason chances, the loss of Rafael Furcal, completely felt inevitable in regular sight. When Oscar Taveras's time on the disabled list drifted past the edge of the minor league season, it was in the middle of a season that was already a minor disappointment.

Jason Motte's injury was disappointing on a fandom level, but it was cushioned by the emergence of Trevor Rosenthal the year before—and much later in the season, where the Allen Craig injury finally fell. Rosenthal and Matt Adams each ended up having exactly the season we hoped for when we crossed our fingers and talked about depth.