The Reds clinched a third playoff berth in four years Monday night on Shin-Soo Choo’s walkoff 370-foot single in the 10th inning.

Choo’s hit wrapped up the Reds’ 3-2 10-inning victory over the New York Mets before a crowd of 21269 at Great American Ball Park. About five minutes after the Reds game ended the St. Louis Cardinals finished off the Washington Nationals 4-3.

That assured the Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates – 2-1 winners over the Chicago Cubs – of at least a wild card spot. The Reds and Pirates trail the Cardinals in the National League Central by two games.

The Reds did not celebrate. As the televisions in the clubhouse showed the Pirates spraying champagne in Chicago the Reds were dressing and leaving.

“I was rooting for the Nationals to win” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “That would get us one step closer to the Cardinals ... We’ve still got five big games to go ... There’s a lot of baseball to go.”

The Reds are still trying to work out their rotation for the rest of the regular season but Johnny Cueto has put together a pretty good two-start campaign to be considered for Game 1 of the postseason wherever that may be.

“We’ll see” Baker said when asked if Cueto could start Game 1.

Cueto would like that.

“At this point I don’t know. They’re the ones that decide” Cueto said. “I feel good. I feel that I can do that.”

Cueto went seven innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits Monday night. He walked three and struck out five. He threw 99 pitches 60 strikes. It was his second start since returning from the disabled list with a strained lat. He’s gone 12 innings and allowed one earned run on eight hits in those outings.

“The other guys have pitched great but Johnny was the man” Baker said. “Nothing against anyone else but Johnny has a longer and greater track record. It was a matter of endurance.”