October 3: Reds (97-64) @ Cardinals (87-74)

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

This year, Game 162 won’t matter.

The Cardinals earned the chance to defend their World Championship in the early hours of Wednesday morning when the Giants defeated the Dodgers, 4-3. Despite manager Mike Matheny’s instructions to go home after their own loss on Tuesday, everyone stuck around (or returned to the stadium after briefly going home) in order to celebrate clinching the second Wild Card.

This means the Cardinals will travel to Atlanta after Wednesday’s game to begin to prepare for a one-game Wild Card playoff against the Braves. Major League Baseball announced that the game will have a 5:07 pm ET start time on Friday. The contest will pit Atlanta’s Kris Medlen against St. Louis’ Kyle Lohse. Lohse, a 16-game winner, was announced as the Wild Card starter by Matheny last night.

Because the Cardinals clinched last night, Matheny was able to pull Adam Wainwright from Wednesday’s start and save him to start Game 1 of the NLDS (if the club advances that far). Shelby Miller will make his first Major League start in Wainwright’s place. Matheny also put out a lineup that looks more like one we’d be privy to seeing in the early days of Spring Training. Matheny wanted to take advantage of the day to rest nearly all of his starting position players.

The Cardinals will hold a workout at Turner Field at 3 pm ET on Thursday. The club will announce its roster for the Wild Card game at the workout. Remember, a 25-man roster can be set for that one game and then changed if the Cardinals advance to the NL Division Series.

CARDINALS LINEUP:

  1. Adron Chambers (LF)
  2. Shane Robinson (CF)
  3. Skip Schumaker (RF)
  4. Matt Carpenter (3B)
  5. Tony Cruz (C)
  6. Bryan Anderson (1B)
  7. Ryan Jackson (2B)
  8. Pete Kozma (SS)
  9. Shelby Miller (RHP)

REDS LINEUP:

  1. Brandon Phillips (2B)
  2. Zack Cozart (SS)
  3. Joey Votto (1B)
  4. Ryan Ludwick (LF)
  5. Jay Bruce (RF)
  6. Scott Rolen (3B)
  7. Ryan Hanigan (C)
  8. Drew Stubbs (CF)
  9. Homer Bailey (RHP)

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

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