Baseball has had a history of one-game playoffs dating to Cleveland's 8-3 victory over Boston at Fenway Park to win the 1948 American League pennant. A look back at five of the best.
YANKEES 5, RED SOX 4
Boston built a 2-0 lead against Ron Guidry on Carl Yastrzemski's second-inning homer and Jim Rice's sixth-inning RBI single. New York went ahead in the seventh when Bucky Dent lofted a flyball off Mike Torrez into the screen over the Green Monster in left for a three-run homer and Thurman Munson added an RBI double against Bob Stanley. Reggie Jackson's eighth-inning home run made it 5-2, but the Red Sox closed in the bottom half when Carl Yastrzemski and Fred Lynn singled in runs off Goose Gossage. Boston put two on with one out in the ninth before Gossage retired Jim Rice on a flyout and Yastrzemski on a popout.
''It's a shame that this is not the World Series, that our series is not seven games and when we're finished with each other that the season then isn't over,'' Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was quoted as saying in The Boston Globe. ''We are the two best teams in baseball.''
CUBS 4, GIANTS 2
The New York Giants and Chicago Cubs met with identical 98-55 records on Oct. 8 to replay a 1-1 tie on Sept. 23 caused by Merkle's Boner. With the teams tied with two outs in the ninth inning at the Polo Grounds and runners at the corners on Sept. 23, Al Bridwell lined the ball to right field for an apparent single that sent McCormick home. But, seeing fans running on the field, Merkle never advanced to second.
Cubs second baseman Johnny Evers attempted to touch second - it was never clear whether he had the ball that was in play or used another - and plate umpire Hank O'Day called a forceout. With the field still filled with fans, O'Day called the game because of darkness. The NL upheld O'Day's decision and ordered a replay, which the Cubs won 4-2 behind a four-run third on Johnny Kling's run-scoring single, Frank Schulte's RBI double and Frank Chance's two-run double.
ROCKIES 9, PADRES 8, 13 INNINGS
Colorado and San Diego tied for the NL wild card at 89-73, causing a one-game playoff in Denver.
Scott Hairston's two-run homer against Jorge Julio put the Padres ahead 8-6 in the 13th. Kaz Matsui and Troy Tulowitzki, who had four hits, hit consecutive doubles off Trevor Hoffman in the bottom half, and Matt Holliday tied the score with a two-run triple off the right-field wall.
Todd Helton was intentionally walked, and Jamey Carroll flied out to Brian Giles in short right. Giles' throw home bounced in front of catcher Michael Barrett, who couldn't hold on as Holliday swiped the plate, then lay face-down after cutting his chin with his headfirst slide. Umpire Tim McClelland made a delayed safe call, and replays were inconclusive on whether Holliday touched the plate with his left hand or was blocked by Barrett's left foot.
''The ump said I was safe,'' Holliday said. ''I don't remember. But I hit my chin pretty good. I got stepped on and banged my chin. I'm all right.''
ROYALS 9, ATHLETICS 8, 12 INNINGS
One game wild card postseason playoffs started in 2012. The first to go extra innings was Oakland's game at Kansas City - the first playoff game hosted by the Royals since they won the 1985 World Series.
Oakland built a 7-3 lead in a five-run sixth on Brandon Moss' three-run homer off rookie Yordano Ventura, who had just relieved starter James Shields, and RBI singles by Derek Norris and Coco Crisp against Kelvin Herrera.
Kansas City scored three runs in the eighth and tied the score at 7 in the ninth on Nori Aoki's sacrifice fly off Sean Doolittle, but Alberto Callaspo's 12th-inning RBI single put the Athletics back ahead. Eric Hosmer tripled against Dan Otero with one out in the bottom half and scored on Christian Colon's infield single - a high chopper to third. Colon stole second with two outs and came home with the winning run when Salvador Perez grounded a single just under the glove of diving third baseman Josh Donaldson.
''This will go down as the craziest game I've ever played,'' Hosmer said. ''No one believed in us before the game. No one believed in us before the season.''
TWINS 6, TIGERS 5, 12 INNINGS
Detroit lost three of its last four scheduled games while Minnesota won four in a row, wasting a three-game AL Central lead and leaving the teams tied at 86-76. The Twins, who won 1-0 at Chicago in the 2008 division tiebreaker, trailed 3-0 and led 4-3 before Magglio Ordonez's leadoff homer in the eighth off Matt Guerrier.
Brandon Inge's RBI against Jesse Crain in the 10th was offset by Matt Tolbert's one-out RBI single against Fernando Rodney in the bottom half. Detroit thought it went ahead in the 12th, but with the bases loaded plate umpire Randy Marsh ruled Inge was not hit by a pitch by Bobby Keppel. The replay appeared to show the pitch grazing Inge's billowing uniform.
Alexi Casilla then singled in the winning run against Rodney in the 12th.
''This is the most unbelievable game I've ever played or seen,'' Twins shortstop Orlando Cabrera said.