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2014 N.L. Division Series Sunday Morning Recap

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These playoffs are crazy!

H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

What's written above bears repeating, in slightly different wording:

This postseason might already be one of the best ever, and we're barely past the halfway mark of the first round.

Consider that 10 games have been completed in the 2014 playoffs and:

  • Seven have been decided by one run
  • Six have had blown leads in the eighth inning or later
  • Four have gone into extra innings

To cap off Saturday's wild day of play, we had all three of those in one game, the incredible 18-inning, 2-1 Giants win over the Nationals, which had a blown lead with two out in the ninth inning. By the time it was over it had set an all-time record for longest postseason game by time (just eight minutes shorter than the Cubs' 16-inning win over the Rockies last July); it was just the second postseason game to go 18 innings. (The other: Astros over Braves in the 2005 NLCS, also won with a home run, that one a walkoff.)

And not long after Brandon Belt won Game 2 for the Giants with a home run, Matt Kemp's homer in the eighth inning broke a tie with the Cardinals for another one-run win, with the Dodgers evening up their series at one win each.

Just two of the 10 games haven't been close -- the 8-0 blowout of the Pirates by the Giants in the N.L. Wild Card game, and the 12-3 thrashing of the Tigers by the Orioles in Game 1 of their series, and even that one was a one-run affair until Baltimore's eight-run eighth. If any of the other games this fall had been World Series games, they would be legendary forever. Even as early-round games, almost all are instant classics.

One last note: the Royals, now likely the favorite team in these playoffs for anyone without a rooting interest in the other seven, have won three straight extra-inning games... for the first time in franchise history.

Here's hoping for more of the same today. This has been one of the best postseasons in many,many years. The scene will shift later Sunday to the A.L., where both series could possibly wrap up, with the Orioles and Royals both having 2-0 leads. Sunday's game thread will post at 2 p.m. CT.