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In the National League Wild Card game, the St. Louis Cardinals advanced past the Atlanta Braves, but not without some help from a questionable infield fly ruling that short circuited a Braves rally in the eighth. However, what really led to Atlanta's demise was sloppy defense. Whatever the reason, the Braves' early exit also brought down the curtain on Chipper Jones' Hall of Fame career.
The Yankees needed 162 games to hold off the Baltimore Orioles in the A.L. East, but if the Bronx Bombers want to advance to the ALCS, they'll need to beat the birds in a best of five division series. The Orioles advanced to the ALDS by beating the Texas Rangers, who completed a late season collapse that the Yankees were able to avoid.
While the Cardinals and Braves were playing in Atlanta, the Yankees held an evening workout at Yankee Stadium. However, despite being the number one seed, the team will now have to hop on a train to Baltimore instead of opening up the postseason in the Bronx.
Because the Yankees won't play their first playoff game until 6:15PM on Sunday, Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman have been in no rush to finalize the playoff roster. Players who figure to be on the bubble include Brett Gardner, Andruw Jones, Jayson Nix, Ivan Nova, and Derek Lowe, but a final decision wont be announced until Saturday afternoon.
Nick Swisher has had four very good regular seasons with the Yankees, but his playoff performance has left something desired. In 114 postseason plate appearances, the high strung Swisher has managed only 16 hits and five RBIs, but this time around, the outfielder has a secret weapon at his disposal: meditation.
The last time Ichiro Suzuki experienced the postseason in 2001, he was being serenaded by the Yankee Stadium crowd with a chant of "Sayonara". This time around, "Kon'nichiwa" will be the operative word. In two months, Ichiro has transformed himself from an aged platoon player to a revitalized veteran who figures to play a prominent role in the Yankees' pursuit of another championship.
An effort is underway by Minnesota politicians to make the medical records of Lou Gehrig available to the public. The documents are still held by the Mayo Clinic, the hospital that treated Gehrig during his bout with the debilitating disease that now bears his name. The lawmakers hope that a closer examination of the records will provide new insights into the cause of Gehrig's death, but the Mayo Clinic has fought to uphold their confidentiality.
To celebrate the start of the postseason, the Hall of Fame has put several pieces of Yankees' memorabilia on display at the MLB Fan Cave. Included among the artifacts are a pocket watch given to the 1923 World Series team, the bat Babe Ruth used to belt three home runs in the 1926 World Series, and the mitt Yogi Berra used to catch Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series.