Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

St. Louis Cardinals lose 3-1 to Reds, clinch Wild Card berth anyway

The St. Louis Cardinals' loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday didn't keep them from celebrating.

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Cardinals to get look at top prospect Miller

Now that Game 162 won't determine the St. Louis Cardinals' postseason fate, they'll take it as an opportunity to see what their top pitching prospect can do against major league competition.

Shelby Miller will make his first career start Wednesday night when the Cardinals take on the Cincinnati Reds at 7:15 p.m. CT in St. Louis. The Cardinals will skip Adam Wainwright, leaving their ace available for either Friday's Wild Card play-in game with the Atlanta Braves or for Game 1 of the National League Division Series.

Miller last started Aug. 31 in Triple-A and has allowed two earned runs in 7⅔ innings out of the Cards' bullpen since. He entered the season as the Cardinals' top minor league prospect, though he struggled to a 4.74 ERA in his first season in Triple-A in 2012.

The Cardinals (87-74) clinched a playoff berth Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the San Francisco Giants, 4-3.

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MLB Standings: Cardinals clinch Wild Card

The Wild Card race is finally over in the National League. After a loss by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night, the St. Louis Cardinals clinched their spot in the postseason with an 87-74 record, two games better than LA's 85-76 record with one game remaining.

With every postseason spot clinched, October's picture is nearly complete in the National League. The Washington Nationals (97-64), Cincinnati Reds (97-64), San Francisco Giants (94-67) and Atlanta Braves (93-68) will join the Cards in the race for the 2012 World Series title. The only issue yet to be determined is seeding. Washington and Cincinnati enter the final day tied for the best record in the league.

Things aren't quite as settled in the American League, and the big game to watch will be the season finale between the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers for the AL West title. Both teams sit at 93-68 going into the final game of the year.

A full set of MLB standings can be found over at SI.com.

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Matheny won't talk postseason rotation just yet

St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny won't talk about his team's postseason pitching staff as of now, mostly because they haven't clinched a spot yet.

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Cardinals must wait on Dodgers following loss

The St. Louis Cardinals fell to the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday, 3-1, and will have to wait on the result of the night's contest between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants to see if they can officially clinch the second National League Wild Card spot.

If the Dodgers win on Tuesday, the Cardinals' magic number will remain at one going into the regular season's final day on Wednesday. If Los Angeles were to lose, however, St. Louis will clinch a spot in the NL Wild Card showdown against the Atlanta Braves.

After grabbing a 1-0 lead in the first inning after a sacrifice fly from left fielder Matt Holliday, the Cardinals offense went silent while the Reds scored all of their runs off St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter (L, 0-2). Carpenter went six innings, giving up seven hits and Cincinnati's three earned runs.

Third baseman Scott Rolen blasted a solo homer in the fourth to tie the game, then RBI singles from Jay Bruce and Dioner Navarro in the sixth inning gave the Reds the deciding advantage.

Cincinnati closer Aroldis Chapman pitched a perfect ninth to tally his 38th save of the season.

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The Reds don't rest rotation against the Cardinals

The Cincinnati Reds clinched the NL Central division championship a while ago, but on Wednesday the St. Louis Cardinals, looking to eliminate the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Wild Card race, will still face Mat Latos, their No. 2 starter. For good or ill—it depends, I guess, on how concerned you are about winning The Right Way—the Reds aren't resting their starters for their last regular season series of the year. The Cardinals have dodged Cy Young contender Johnny Cueto, but the rest of the gang is lined up in order to make final regular season starts against Jaime Garcia, Chris Carpenter, and—well, it depends.

The Cardinals, who will have a winner-takes-all play-in-game to prepare for even if they do clinch, don't yet have the luxury to think about resting their starters. If they manage it ahead of Wednesday's game, against erstwhile no-hitter Homer Bailey, we might see a member of their extended pitching staff, like Shelby Miller, getting the start to keep the rotation intact for the play-in against the Atlanta Braves.

If they don't—well, I can assure you that you'll probably hear some angry people wishing that the Reds were just a little more worried about the health of their postseason starters.

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Cards vs. Reds: Magic number at 1 after win

The St. Louis Cardinals are guaranteed at least a tie for the second NL Wild Card after a 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night. A loss by the Los Angeles Dodgers or another St. Louis win would guarantee the Cards a trip to Atlanta to face the Braves for entrance into the playoffs.

Jamie Garcia picks up the win for St. Louis, improving to 7-7. He threw 6-2/3 innings, giving up two runs on six hits while striking out six. Edward Mujica, Mitchell Boggs and Jason Motte combined for 2-1/3 innings of hitless relief.

In addition to his strong pitching performance, Jamie Garcia got the Cardinals' offense started with a solo home run in the third. Allen Craig and Yadier Molina both added another run in the third, giving St. Louis a lead they never released. Daniel Descalso added an insurance run with a triple in the sixth.

Game 2 of the series is 7:15 p.m. CT on Tuesday.

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Matt Kemp is back, unfortunately

Just a couple of weeks ago, Matt Kemp was holding the Los Angeles Dodgers back.

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