ST. LOUIS -- The Dodgers' loss to the Giants on Tuesday night erased the potential for any drama in the Cardinals' final regular-season home game. It also gave manager Mike Matheny a chance to rest his regulars. Of that, he took full advantage.
Knowing that the second National League Wild Card is already theirs, the Cardinals trotted out a lineup on Wednesday that looked like one more appropriate for Grapefruit League play than a Major League game. But the fact that nothing was riding on this game -- the Reds are no longer in contention to have the NL's best record -- eased Matheny's concerns about sending out a less-experienced bunch.
Matheny noted that this offered fans the opportunity to watch players that they may not know as much about. The much larger intent, though, was to give everyone else a night to rest. With the Wild Card race going down to the final days of the season, Matheny has had little opportunity to give his starters a break. Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran are among those who have played through nagging injuries during the stretch run.
Three of the organization's September callups -- Adron Chambers, Ryan Jackson and Bryan Anderson -- all started on Wednesday. Another September callup, Shelby Miller, made the start, the first of his Major League career. That allows the Cardinals to keep Adam Wainwright rested going into the postseason.