The St. Louis Cardinals lost their penultimate game of the 2012 regular season to the Cincinnati Reds, but later that night—early Wednesday, depending on your time zone—they clinched the National League's first-ever second Wild Card berth anyway, when the Los Angeles Dodgers lost 4-3 to the Giants on the West Coast. So the clinching pitcher wasn't Chris Carpenter, who looked sharp against the Reds but took the loss, but Sergio Romo.
It might not be how anyone wants to get into the postseason—and a sudden-death Wild Card game might not be how anyone wants to start the postseason—but the 2012 Cardinals, unlike the 2007 or 1983 versions, have given themselves a chance to defend their World Series championship.
The immediate results of the win: Cardinals top prospect Shelby Miller will make his first career start on the last day of the regular season, with nothing on the line except his place in the crowded rotation pecking order for 2013. Kyle Lohse, meanwhile, seems set to make the all-important play-in start, which is a controversial decision to say the least.