Braves’ upcoming opponent: About the Cardinals

Braves' opponent: St. Louis Cardinals

Keep an eye on: The playoff picture: The Cardinals clinched the N.L. Central Wednesday night in Pittsburgh and are bound for the playoffs for the fifth straight season, a franchise record. They have baseball's best record at 100-59 despite key injuries this season to Adam Wainwright, Matt Holiday, Matt Adams and more recently Yadier Molina.

Who's hot: Shortstop Jhonny Peralta is 10-for-23 (.435) with a home run and seven RBIs over his past seven games including a pair of two-hit games in Wednesday's doubleheader against the Pirates.

Who's not: Brandon Moss is 2-for-16 (.125) over his past 10 games.

Braves connection: Jason Heyward makes his first trip to Turner Field as an opponent, and he comes in as an N.L. Central champion. He did more than his share in the clincher, hitting his second career grand slam in the second game of the Cardinals' doubleheader against the Pirates and making a couple of highlight catches in right field. Heyward is leading the Cardinals in batting average (.292) and stolen bases (23), he's second in hits (159) and doubles (33) and has played Gold Glove caliber defense in right field.

In the news: Wainwright, the former Braves first round pick and Brunswick, Ga. native, returned to action Wednesday night for the first time since rupturing his Achilles in April. He pitched an inning in relief, allowing two hits and a run to the Pirates, and flashed his 94 mph fastball. He figures to be a key piece in the Cardinals' bullpen during the postseason. Stephen Piscotty was released from the hospital after a collision in the outfield with Peter Bourjos Monday left him briefly unconscious. Molina (torn thumb ligament) hopes to return in the postseason.