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10/12: Open playoff thread

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Four games, eight teams, a series of rules and regulations designed to produce a game of skill, strategy, nuance, drama, and spectator entertainment.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

This is a good place for a Site Announcement so:

Site Announcement

I will be gone on vacation this week and very much not in front of a computer. The rest of the staff will be continuing to do the thing where they write articles, cover news, and generally be really great. There should be almost no noticeable difference in how the site runs. Maybe it will get better! Maybe I will be Wally Pipp'd. Who knows? Well only you, by reading in the past and the future, then using your own judgment.

End Site Announcement

Today is a holiday, but one of those ones that most non-federal employees don't get off. However, if you have the day off there are four games today. Do not feel obligated to watch them all, we will still think you are a Good baseball fan. You can clean the house, go for a run, work on your Excel projects (you have been putting those off. It's ok I understand. But really, they are due soon and you've got the time today); you can be both productive and a vegetative, couch-ridden slob all in the same day!

Whatever you decide, or have to, do today I really recommend figuring out how to be in front of a TV for Cubs/Cardinals. Before the Wild Card Game I called Jake Arrieta possibly the most dominant pitcher in baseball right now. I'm going to go ahead and remove the qualifier there. Over the past 110 innings or so Arrieta has pitched at a historically excellent rate, and he's not slowing down, having just shutout the Pirates on four hits.

There's not a doubt in my mind that Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher of his era, and I doubt I'd really care too much if he ends up winning this year's Cy Young, but using the old "One pitcher to pitch one game today" hypothetical? Give me Ariieta. He's the best going right now.

Enjoy the games, LL. See you in a week.