The Cardinals put rookie Shelby Miller in a role they never hoped to use this postseason, and, in self-fulfilling fashion, got their wish.

Miller, a 15-game winner during the regular season, went so long without pitching in these playoffs that Cardinals manager Mike Matheny conceded before Wednesday night’s loss that the righty was unlikely to pitch at all in the World Series. Miller was put on the active roster as a long-relief option, but Matheny said only an extreme situation would bring Miller out of the team-imposed mothballs.

“It would have to be a situation where we were pushing into a tight spot, and that’s just not fair to him without having much action to this point,” Matheny said. “He’s been exactly what we’ve needed up to this point. Fortunately we haven’t needed that long outing. He’s that safety valve for us at the end of the game, and we had a couple games that were right there, just about ready to go. We were fortunate to have a pitcher of his ability sitting there, waiting if that happened.

“The unfortunate side of that,” Matheny added, “is you sit and grow cold.”

Matheny used starter Lance Lynn in long relief in Game 6, further pushing Miller down the depth chart. Lynn did not record an out in his fourth-inning insertion into Game 6.

Miller warmed up with one out remaining in the Cardinals season.

He did not appear in the game.