Dugout Digest – what homefield advantage?

I know I said we'd have immediate recaps of every playoff game, but quite frankly, after last night's Braves-Cardinals game, the only color I saw was red…and not the red from the 50,000 waving tomahawks at Turner Field or on the Cardinals hats. Red as in pure, unmitigated rage that Bud Selig's pet wild card game would end up *exactly* how the negative nancies portrayed it, with a controversial (read: wrong) infield fly rule call cost the Braves a chance to potentially make a comeback. But Atlanta played sloppy all night, and their three errors led to no less than four unearned runs in St Louis' 6-3 victory. If only things ended differently, and Jason Heyward's incredible catch in the second inning wasn't overshadowed by Sam Holbrook's disastrous call.

As for the American League Wild Card game…well, there was really no controversy here. The Orioles controlled every facet of the game en route to a 5-1 victory. In my preview of the game yesterday, I said that if Joe Saunders could give the Orioles five or six solid innings and keep the game close, Baltimore could win. Sure enough, Saunders allowed just one run over 5 2/3 innings and left with a 2-1 lead, and that was enough for the Orioles' lockdown bullpen to play with. Baltimore tacked on insurance in the seventh and ninth innings, and an uninspired Rangers team could only put together a half-assed rally in the ninth against a shaky Jim Johnson before succumbing. Hats off to the Orioles for a tremendous effort, and as for the Rangers, this loss completes an awful collapse. Unlike 2010 and 2011, there isn't much for Texas fans to hang their ten-gallon hats on this season. No pennant, no division title…hell, no playoff wins. A 93 win team that led from wire to wire is now done, just like the Angels. 

Anyway, we've got two of the four Division Series starting today, hopefully without controversy. The A's and Tigers will begin play at 6:07 eastern, while the Reds and Giants will start at 9:37 eastern. On Sunday, all four series will be rolling, and you can watch baseball all day if your heart desires.

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

Joe Lucia

About Joe Lucia

Joe is the managing editor of The Outside Corner and an associate editor at Awful Announcing. He lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and is smack dab in the middle of some of the best (and worst) sports fans in the country.

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