The Division Series Begins

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It makes Major League Baseball seem a bit like the College World Series, but, for better or worse, baseball's month-long postseason opened yesterday. Despite the gradual morphing of leagues produced by free agency and inter-league play, the first three games conformed to stereotype: Both National League games were tense, well pitched contests, while the American League game was a hitters' showcase.

Atlanta and Florida won their games 2-1, the Marlins on a two-out, bases-loaded single, the Braves by grabbing an early 2-0 lead and holding on. Meanwhile, American League lived up to its reputation as a beer league. The Yankees hit three straight home runs in the sixth inning to take an 8-6 lead over Cleveland, and saw that lead hold up by six feet, the distance by which Matt Williams missed a grand slam that would have given the Indians a 10-8 lead.

Up today: Baltimore begins a five game series with Seattle, while the National League teams play Game 2.