One-game wild-card playoffs: Dramatic, but fair?

By Ben Walker

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Oct. 4 2012 4:10 p.m. MDT

Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones takes a break in the dugout batting practice at Turner Field Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, in Atlanta. The Braves take on St. Louis Cardinals in the NL wild-card baseball game on Friday.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Brant Sanderlin) MARIETTA DAILY OUT; GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WXIA-TV OUT; WGCL-TV OUT, Associated Press

By sometime Friday night, either Chipper Jones will be out of baseball or the defending World Series champion Cardinals will be out of the playoffs.

One and done.

A pair of wild-card matchups — St. Louis at Atlanta, then Baltimore at Texas — to decide which teams advance to the next round. Part of the new, expanded postseason format, where 162 games, six months of grinding and upward of 50,000 pitches get boiled down to nine all-or-nothing innings.

Dramatic? Certainly. Fair? Well, depends on who you ask.

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