MLB Playoff Preview: 5 Stories to Watch This Postseason

Will the Phillies live up to their promise? Will the Wild Card darlings make it past the opening round? And more questions about the coming month in baseball.

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Wow. Just ... wow. After the five-hour madness that was Wednesday night, the MLB playoffs have a lot to live up to. Baseball fans just witnessed the two largest September collapses in baseball history, both of which culminated in last-inning losses to fall one game short of the wildcard. At least the Braves' extra-inning loss was to the MLB-best Philadelphia Phillies - Boston Red Sox fans could only watch in horror as the Orioles' Chris David, Nolan Reimold and Robert Andino closed the door on the Red Sox's coffin. Literally three minutes later, the Rays' Evan Longoria nailed that coffin shut, clubbing a walkoff home run in the 12th inning to complete a stunning 8-7 win over the Yankees that featured the most unlikely comeback you may ever see—down 7-0 in the eighth, Tampa Bay got a two-out, three-run homer from Longoria to cut the deficit to 7-6, then tied it with two outs and two strikes in the ninth on a pinch-hit home run from Dan Johnson, who came into the at-bat hitting .108. Just like that, the Rays were in, while the Red Sox—nine games up on Sept. 2—were out.

It'll take quite a bit for the 2011 playoffs to match the intensity of this Wild Wednesday. Here are five storyline to follow as the postseason kicks off:

That said, I don't think it'll happen. My prediction for the postseason's opening rounds: Phillies over Brewers in 5 (NLCS), Tigers over Rangers in 6 (ALCS).

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Jake Simpson is a New York-based writer.

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