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Baseball's final four head to mid-America league playoffs

For the pundits who saw the Phillies and either the Red Sox or Yankees as the last teams standing, it's worth remembering Yogi Berra's oft-quoted line: "It ain't over till it’s over."

By Staff writer / October 8, 2011

St. Louis Cardinals' starting pitcher Chris Carpenter (2nd R) celebrates winning Game 5 of their MLB National League Divisional Series baseball playoff game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Philadelphia Friday, October 7, 2011.

Tim Shaffer/Reuters

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Brewers vs. Cardinals. Tigers vs. Rangers.

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Major League Baseball's "final four" is set on the road to the 2011 World Series. Think of them as competitors in the mid-America series.

For the preseason pundits who saw the Phillies and either the Red Sox or Yankees as the last teams standing heading into the fall classic, it might be worth remembering Yogi Berra's over-quoted line (so, yes, we'll quote it) "it ain't over till it’s over."

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The Red Sox headed into September having turned first place in the American League East over to the Yankees but enjoying a nine game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays for the American League's wild-card slot. That lead vanished as the Red Sox collapsed and the Rays surged to capture the wild card berth – only to lose to the Texas Rangers three games to one in their initial play-off duel.

In the end, Detroit sent New York to an earlier-than-expected off-season after a five-game series that saw New York breeze by the Tigers in two games. Yet Detroit regrouped after each loss and ultimately took the series three games to two.

Friday evening, the Milwaukee Brewers captured a National League Championship Series berth by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks with a dramatic walk-off single from outfielder Nyjer Morgan, a.k.a Tony Plush. His hit came in the bottom of the 10th inning, sending Carlos Gomez scampering from second base toward a successful slide at home plate.

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