There will be no freebies after all, baseball fans. Atlanta held off a late Philly rally to win 8-7 and San Francisco avoided a giant collapse with a 3-0 win over San Diego this afternoon, leaving the Padres as the odd team out in the National League. Instead of sudden-death tiebreakers, we’re forced to wait three days to get the MLB Playoffs off and running.
In the American League, Tampa Bay got by Kansas City 3-2 in 12 innings and the Yankees lost 8-4 to Boston at Fenway, giving the Rays the East by one game at 96-66. With the top seed, they draw the West champion Rangers, who finished 90-72 but got Josh Hamilton’s .359-hitting bat and 32 back Friday after he missed a month with broken ribs. New York gets the Twins (94-68), who they swept in three straight in the ALDS last season.
The Phillies grabbed the top seed in the National League, but with Atlanta being in their division, draw the Central champion Reds (91-71) in the opening round. The Giants (92-70) and Braves (91-71) miss out on playing a tiebreaker, but instead get each other for at least three games in the division series.
New York and Minnesota get the schedule underway Wednesday at 1:37 at Target Field, with the Reds and Phillies going from Citizens Bank Park at 5:07 and the Rangers and Rays from Tropicana Field at 8:37. The Braves and Giants get their series going Thursday at 9:37 at AT&T Park.