"What happened during the regular season is over," said Sammy Sosa, whose Cubs took six of nine from Atlanta, including five in a row before losing in their first play-off appearance since 1989.
"We only lost one game. We played poorly today and made a few mistakes," said Sosa, who became a household name when he hit 66 home runs to finish four behind Mark McGwire's record 70 homers.
The Braves, taking part in a record seventh consecutive play-off, have played 72 post- season games since the Cubs last progressed.
"They've been there so many times and this is our first time," Sosa conceded. "But the war is not over yet."
Smoltz, 17-3 during the regular season, became the most successful pitcher in post-season history.