Chris Carpenter wipes his face in the first inning at Busch Stadium. Carpenter was throwing at home for the first time. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Cardinals clinched the final postseason berth early Wednesday after the Los Angeles Dodgers lost 4-3 to San Francisco. Following their 3-1 loss to Cincinnati, the players stuck around the clubhouse to watch the Dodgers game. With the second National League wild card, the Cardinals will play at Atlanta on Friday in the new one-game playoff.

Manager Mike Matheny said Kyle Lohse (16-3, 2.68 ERA) will get the ball in that matchup with the Braves. It was a proud moment for the first year manager of a team on any level of baseball.

AUDIO Chris Carpenter talks about the postseason and Lohse (1:36)

“I think they realized how special this is,” Matheny said. “You can’t take these for granted. We were talking about it being kind of subdued and it was, but they’re still proud. And had every right to be.”

Adam Wainwright was scheduled to pitch if needed in the season finale on Wednesday night, but instead will be held back for the Divisional Series. Prized recruit Shelby Miller will make his first major league start against the Reds who are tied with the Nationals for the best record.

Chris Carpenter took the loss on Tuesday in his third start of the season. He gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings. He had seven strikeouts, two more than his total for the first two starts which covered 11 innings.