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In Praise of Baseball’s One-Game Playoff

A one-game baseball playoff is an unnatural thing. Teams are built around a five-game cycle, and the best of them still lose 1 in 3 games. This year’s Chicago Cubs—the best team in baseball—won just 64 percent of their games. After a six-month season, a nine-inning trial feels as disjointed from the flow of baseball as a penalty shootout is from the rhythms of soccer. It’s an abbreviated finale that also rewards a slightly different set of skills.
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