Major league baseball had a day Sunday unlike any it’s ever had. Two playoff spots were determined on the final day of the season and a third - the A.L. West - wound up undecided. Seattle will play California this afternoon in baseball’s first one-game playoff since 1980.
There were five games with playoff implications, a scattered mix that came about because of an expanded playoff system that was supposed to take effect in 1994 but didn’t because of the strike. Rather than having four playoff teams, as had been the case since 1969, there were eight spots up for grabs. Four of them, the A.L. East (Boston), A.L. Central (Cleveland), N.L. East (Atlanta) and N.L. Central (Cincinnati) had been decided weeks ago, and a fifth, the N.L. West, was won Saturday night by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
That left the A.L. West and the two wild-card spots to be determined Sunday. The first berth to be clinched was the A.L. wild card, which went to the New York Yankees when they beat Toronto 6-1. Next to be clinched was the N.L. wild card, which went to Colorado, 10-9 winners over San Francisco.