The Cardinals finally clinched the second National League wildcard spot overnight when the Giants beat the surging Dodgers by a run in Los Angeles.
Manager Mike Matheny announced that he will send starter Kyle Lohse to the mound against Atlanta for the one-game wildcard playoff.
Statistically, Loshe has been the Cardinals' most consistently successful starting hurler this season with a 16-3 record and a 2.86 ERA. But he had one of his worst starts of the year in his only time pitching at Turner Field this year. Lohse was pounded for nine hits and five runs over five innings in that game. He struck out three and walked one while giving up a pair of home runs.
In his career against Atlanta, Lohse is 3-1, but he has an unsightly 4.97 ERA with 71 hits allowed in 54 1/3 innings. Two of those three wins came in 2007 before Lohse became a member of the Cardinals.
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Atlanta has already announced that Kris Medlin is expected to start breakthrough pitcher Kris Medlin.
Medlin, 26, is 10-1 with a 1.97 ERA in 2012. He's allowed 103 hits in 138 innings pitched and has has struck out 120 while walking 23. Medlin only pitched in two games in 2011. For his career, he's 19-8 with a 2.75 ERA. His previous high total in the win column was 6 in 2009.
In one start against the Cardinals in his career, Medlin has no record and a 4.76 ERA with six hits and three earned runs allowed in 5 2/3 innings.
The Redbirds need to be sure to keep their intensity level high against the Braves who are especially motivated to play St. Louis because the Cardinals ejected them from the playoffs on the last day of the season in 2011.
Retiring Atlanta star Chipper Jones has griped that he thinks it's unfair the two wildcard playoff system started in 2012. If it started last year, Atlanta wouldn't have been on the outside looking in at the post season, Jones said.