Baseball playoffs: Win and you're in on Wild Card Friday

The Braves, Cardinals, Orioles and Rangers all have a one-game shot to continue playing meaningful baseball games this weekend.

Patrick Semansky/AP
Baltimore Orioles' Robert Andino, from left, Manny Machado and Mark Reynolds high-five teammates after a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Baltimore, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.

Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig got his wish this season: Several MLB teams in both leagues, beyond the division leaders, had a chance to reach the postseason. That means, as the quest to play in the World Series continues, the number of teams still in contention bodes well for keeping enthusiasm, as well as the TV ratings, high.

Now Texas, Atlanta, St. Louis, and Baltimore will compete in a pair of "one-and-done" wild-card games Friday. The winner of the Baltimore-Texas matchup will meet the Yankees in one American League divisional series, while the Atlanta-St. Louis victor gets Washington in a National League divisional series. Those two divisional series will start on Sunday.

Chicago, Anaheim, Tampa Bay in the American League and Los Angeles and Milwaukee of the National League all were in the playoff mix until the last week of the 2012 regular season.

As for Friday's games, there are some interesting pitching matchups. In the AL contest, Japanese import Yu Darvish, who went 16-9 in his first major league campaign, will start for the Rangers. He will be opposed by Joe Saunders for the Orioles, who compiled a 9-13 mark this season.

Texas had led the AL West division for much of the 2012 season, but lost seven of nine games down the stretch, including the last game of the year to Oakland. The A's clinched the division title with the win and will face the Tigers in the other AL divisional series, starting Saturday.

The Orioles chased the Yankees all season and earned a postseason berth with a phenomenal 20-11 record in September. By virtue of the O's hard work and shrewd moves by general manager Dan Duquette, postseason baseball is back in Baltimore.

In Atlanta, the Braves will host the defending World Series champion Cardinals (sans Albert Pujols) in the NL Wild Card game. Kris Medlen, who didn't make his first start for Atlanta this season until July 31, gets the ball for the Braves. Kyle Lohse, who went 16-3 on the year, will start for St. Louis.

The other NL divisional series will feature the Giants and Reds. Their series gets underway Saturday in San Francisco.

The two wild-card games Friday will be televised on cable's TBS, beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern time. TBS will also carry the divisional series games this weekend.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Baseball playoffs: Win and you're in on Wild Card Friday
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Sports/2012/1005/Baseball-playoffs-Win-and-you-re-in-on-Wild-Card-Friday
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe